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.
Can robo-advisers replace human advisers? Not if the goal of the relationship is to increase clients' well-being, says Meir Statman. Why? Because that requires human interaction.
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?
Post-event analyst forecasts — those made subsequent to recent results or management guidance — are significantly more accurate than management forecasts, reports Jeremy Monk. And if analysts can provide insight into tangible measures of value, then we can presume they are also able to offer insight into other, less tangible measures of value, such as management quality and industry outlook.
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.
The cold war between passive and active investing has heated up considerably in the last two years, writes Jason Voss, CFA. He offers more insight on this, as well as other picks in this week's edition of Weekend Reads for Investors.
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