Practical analysis for investment professionals

Active vs. Passive Investing


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.

The Active-Pricing Conundrum in European Funds

European active managers look suspiciously expensive in comparison to their passive counterparts and are reflexively trying to justify or modify their prices. Chris Chancellor, CFA, explores some of their innovative new pricing strategies.

The Wrong Debate: Four Lessons from the Insurance Industry

The asset management industry is at an inflection point. Learning clients’ goals, considering the whole picture, understanding their risk profiles, and using their unique objectives to create custom benchmarks are far better uses of time than debating the merits of active vs. passive investing, quarterly returns, or any of the other issues that are secondary to helping secure a brighter future for our clients.

Weekend Reads from India: Bharat 22, ETFs, and Maginot Lines

Passive investing in India, us vs. them behavioral traps, and the dangers of market timing are among the topics covered in the latest Weekend Reads from India, curated by Shreenivas Kunte, CFA.

Top Five Articles from August: The Market in Wartime, Sam Zell, Fund Names

Leading posts from August include Preston McSwain's call for more honest and accurate fee disclosures and performance reporting; an examination of Sam Zell's take on the economy by Julie Hammond, CFA; tips on how to ace job interviews by Julia VanDeren; Will Ortel's exploration of what's in a hedge fund name; and an analysis of capital markets during times of war by Mark Armbruster, CFA.

Ignoring Fees Doesn’t Beat the Market

A large asset manager has claimed their funds beat the S&P 500 93% of the time. Unfortunately, that's only true without accounting for fees. Preston McSwain explores what to learn from this exercise.

Eugene Fama: Stick with Basic Factors

Have the advances in technology, computing power, and data made the markets more efficient? It’s “not clear,” according to Nobel laureate Eugene Fama.

The Active Equity Renaissance: New Frontiers of Risk

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.

To Compete with Robos, Advisers Must Become Financial Physicians

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.



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