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.
Risk: Your Global Guide is a slim but valuable guide to risk management and fraud detection. The book’s message is simple: Understand the basic principles of finance, reduce unintended risk, and obtain a level of reward commensurate with the level of risk that you assume. This high-level perspective allows the reader to see the big picture and understand how fraud at the highest levels of finance and government affects ordinary citizens.
Jonathan Moog, CFA, and the Lizard Investors team concentrate on the international small- to mid-cap space because they believe there are inefficiencies in that market.
There are three intangibles that all good portfolio managers have, says Jacques Lussier, CFA, but factor-based benchmarks are still the best way to distinguish the effective managers from the lucky ones.
Edward Altman says the benign credit cycle is in “extra innings,” but the metaphorical relief pitchers — central bankers — are running out of gas. Though most indicators point towards the end of the benign cycle, Altman cannot predict when the stress cycle will begin.
In this reissued book, the authors explore credit risk from four distinct quantitative perspectives — the occurrence, frequency, timing, and severity of a loss — and focus on the core econometric techniques for measuring each aspect. Given the industry failings associated with the recent global financial crisis, it is more important than ever for financial analysts to understand the mechanics of quantitative risk tools.
Standout stories from the last month include the latest entry in the Alpha Wounds series by Jason Voss, CFA, in which he analyzes the lack of independent judgment among active managers; Matthew Borin's examination of the recent Brexit vote and its fallout; and Ron Surz's piece explaining how successful advisers are like successful waiters.
Providing a general overview of salient topics in risk management, this book is best suited to the experienced risk manager, who can turn to it for technical guidance and a good, succinct refresher on select topics. The beginner would do well to stick with the book’s qualitative discussions, which can serve as useful points of departure for further study.
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