Practical analysis for investment professionals

Drivers of Value


ESG: The X-Ray of Finance

Rising interest rates will make environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors one of the most important sources of alpha for investment managers, according to Omar Selim.

Top Five Articles from November: Equity Valuations, Amazon, Palm Oil

Eleven rules for equity valuations from James J. Valentine, CFA, as described by Paul McCaffrey; suggestions for evidence-based thinking in retirement plans by Isaac Presley, CFA; and Sloane Ortel's examination of how Amazon fits into the active vs. passive debate are among the top EI posts from November.

Active vs. Passive vs. Amazon et al.

The top 10% of firms account for 80% of all profits, Sloane Ortel observes. This leaves us with two seemingly conflicting truths: Winners win bigger than ever, but Amazon, one of the world’s biggest winners, is not making much in the way of profits.

Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory: Liability-Driven Investment Strategies

The portfolio construction techniques popularized by modern portfolio theory (MPT) are not always practical, writes Dan Tammas-Hastings, CFA. That's why liability-driven investment (LDI) strategies are generating increased attention.

Social Selling: Building Relationships with the Clients of the Future

Advisers need to be using social media, says Barbara Stewart, CFA. Call it social selling. It is not a replacement for traditional, proven selling practices, but in today’s world, you have no choice but to incorporate it into your daily life as an adviser.

The Palm Oil Industry: Visualized through Big Data

Palm oil is an inexpensive and highly versatile vegetable oil derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. And with annual sales of around $50 billion, palm oil is also a big business, albeit one with oversized risks. Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, FRM, and Kalev Leetaru use data visualizations to better understand the sector's interconnections.

Top Five Articles from October: Thaler, Trillion-Dollar Coins, Volatility

An unorthodox solution to the US retirement crisis from Sloane Ortel; a discussion of Nobel laureate Richard H. Thaler's contributions to economics by Lauren Foster; and an analysis of the value of self-awareness by Jim Ware, CFA, are among the top EI posts from October.

Weekend Reads: Understanding Haiti and the Business of Philanthropy

Inspired by a recent trip to Haiti, Susan Hoover considers the nation's troubled history as well as its recent travails, the value and efficacy of international aid, and how to optimize charitable giving, in the latest edition of Weekend Reads.

US Tax Reform: “Voodoo Economics”

While Joachim Klement, CFA, has some sympathy for the proposals coming out of the White House and US Congress to cut corporate taxes despite the potentially negative long-term effects, he is less sanguine about their efforts to eliminate or reduce estate and individual income taxes.

“Augmented Intelligence”: Combining Human Intelligence and Technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making inroads into private wealth management in both investment management and practice management. It’s an exciting time for AI, but will it cause more disruption or innovation for wealth managers?



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