The primary focus of the renaissance investment management firm is delivering the best possible investment performance, not on scaling for scaling’s sake, C. Thomas Howard and Jason Voss, CFA, explain in the latest entry in The Active Equity Renaissance series.
Jason Voss, CFA, and C. Thomas Howard share some insights on the demise of modern portfolio theory (MPT); Lauren Foster discusses the future of robo-advisers; and Tadas Viskanta advocates that we keep ETFs weird, in the top Enterprising Investor posts from April.
One modern portfolio theory (MPT) pillar that is unquestionably broken is the use of volatility, specifically standard deviation, as a measure of risk, Jason Voss, CFA, and C. Thomas Howard write in the latest edition of The Active Equity Renaissance series. This initial error in MPT's development is a major contributor to active investment management underperformance.
Julia VanDeren shares some insights on giving presentations and writing cover letters; Ben Carlson, CFA, discusses how to determine which hedge funds to invest in; Mark Harrison, CFA, curates the best content on smart beta and factor investing; and C. Thomas Howard and Jason Voss, CFA, offer some advice on how to revive active equity, in the top Enterprising Investor Posts from March.
Collectively, active equity delivers no value to its investors and, in fact, extracts value from them. So what can be done to launch an active equity renaissance?
The end of the year is a good time to look back and take stock. What Enterprising Investor articles did readers find most compelling in 2016? The results are illuminating. Our top content runs the gamut from the granular — tightly focused, practice-oriented material on starting a firm and what to read to stay informed — to more "big picture" analysis on negative interest rates and the ongoing active vs. passive debate. Taken together, they reflect the currents at work in the investment management profession at both the system-wide and individualized levels.
Author Charles Ellis, CFA, contends that structural changes in the US market have eliminated the prospect of outperforming average market returns, after fees, through active management. The causes include the rise in institutional and high-speed machine trading and changes in regulation. Active management may still pay off in low-efficiency markets, such as high-yield bonds and emerging market debt. The book does not address findings that the most active stock pickers who take large but diversified positions unlike the index weightings beat their benchmarks.
Highlights from last month include a critique of shareholder value maximization by Anjali Pradhan, CFA; a discussion of the distractions caused by vision-narrowing apps and dysfunctional networks from Mark Harrison, CFA; an analysis of the benefits of hiring a career coach by Julia VanDeren; and Daniel Goleman's take on the the key elements of emotional intelligence as reported by Matthew Borin.
Shreenivas Kunte, CFA, sheds some light on the war breaking out in the Indian telecom industry, revisits Robert G. Kirby's "Coffee Can" portfolio, and shares insights from Aswath Damodaran, Joseph Stiglitz, and more, in the latest edition of Weekend Reads from India.
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