What were the articles of the year on Enterprising Investor? The 10 leading posts covered a broad spectrum of subjects, from interviewing and cover letter tips, to how to optimize decision making and better understand blockchain technology. They were authored by some of the most influential thinkers in finance, including Michael Batnick, CFA, and Ben Carlson, CFA, and together offer an illuminating view into the state of the investment profession in 2017.
Joachim Klement, CFA, demonstrates a method for beating average hedge fund returns — without the fees. It's the best dumb alpha can offer: a simple, low-cost investment strategy that outperforms more sophisticated and expensive alternatives.
Warren Buffett and Protégé Partners entered into a 10-year bet on whether an index fund would outperform a portfolio of hedge funds. With two years remaining, Buffett leads by a wide margin. So what does that mean for the active vs. passive debate?
Hedge fund exposure fails to deliver for investors due to exorbitant fees, high competition, the ineffectiveness of active management, and a general misunderstanding of the underlying exposures and correlations (i.e., hedge funds don’t hedge). But the purpose of hedge funds from the perspective of the manager, parent company, consultants, and brokerages is to collect fees. In that sense, hedge funds have been a huge success each and every year.
The enormous growth in hedge fund assets began in the late 1990s and has continued up to the present. At the same time, academic research has focused on the flow-driven price impacts on financial assets but has not focused on burgeoning hedge fund assets. Katja Ahoniemi and coauthor Petri Jylhä seek to correct that oversight with their recent Financial Analysts Journal article, “Flows, Price Pressure, and Hedge Fund Returns.
Creating a hedge fund index that reflects investor experience is certainly a challenge, but the assertions made in the academic research point fingers at the wrong issues. Ted Seides thinks it worthwhile to set the record straight.
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