A defense of modern portfolio theory (MPT) by Nathan Erickson, CFA, CAIA, and Richard Stott; Nicolas Rabener's analysis of the value of factor investing; and an examination of the non-retirement phenomenon by Barbara Stewart, CFA, were among the leading posts from last month.
C. Thomas Howard and Jason Voss, CFA, have called for the demise of modern portfolio theory (MPT) and the capital asset pricing model (CAPM). They say “financial markets should be viewed and analyzed using a behavioral lens.” Nathan Erickson, CFA, CAIA, and Richard Stott have a different opinion.
Although a fundamentally important financial concept, modern or mean-variance portfolio theory (MPT) has been of little practical value to retail investors in their asset allocation. Hansi Mehrotra, CFA, believes it’s time to develop a more practical risk-management measure.
GMO's Tina Vandersteel, CFA, believes emerging market debt is attractively priced, particularly local currency debt at current relative levels. Vandersteel believes opportunities to outperform are real, especially from a bottom-up perspective, despite challenges created by declining liquidity.
Investors want what Meir Statman calls “utilitarian benefits.” We know that a diversified, low-cost portfolio is theoretically best, but we'd rather have the amusement and bragging rights of expensive, risky investments like hedge funds and specialized equity managers.
Although the author’s argument heralding the demise of modern portfolio theory (MPT) seems weak, he offers a compelling argument for active management. Using exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and asset rotation, he demonstrates how to achieve a return superior to that of a passively managed fund that relies on MPT and index funds. Asset Rotation may well be a harbinger of an “investment renaissance” and the end of passive management.
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