Category: Alternative Investment Strategy

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Alternative Investment Strategy Managed Futures

Managed Futures is not Trend-Following but it is Close – Broadening the Product Spectrum has Added Strategy Complexity

I would not be the first person to engage in the lazy thinking that managed futures are synonymous with trend-following. For many years, there was little wrong with using both terms to mean the same thing. The majority of managed futures are still trend-following.

Alternative Investment Strategy

Factor Risk Premium Differ Across Countries – Make Sure You are Factor Diversified Globally

Equity factor risk premium ranks change through time. The best performing factor premium today may not be the best premium tomorrow even if there are long-term gains across major factors. Most investors would agree with this statement; however, the dispersion of factor performance is more complex.

Alternative Investment Strategy

How Much Machine Learning is Your Quant Using? Not Clear, if you have not Defined Terms

The current buzzword used with quant investing is “machine learning.” Many quants may like to appear more intelligent by peppering their strategy discussions with comments like, “We use machine learning to create new and enhance our existing models.” Yet many investors don’t fully appreciate that machine learning is a term that refers to a broad […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

The Tale of the Tail – Focus on the Where, Why, and What is Wrong; Use Strategy Diversification as a Solution

Along with any discussion of asset bubbles, there is a complementary discussion concerning tail risk. If there is a bubble, there is likely to be a tail in the future. Bubbles and tails are tied together, yet tail events can occur even if there is no bubble.

Alternative Investment Strategy

Time Series or Cross Sectional Momentum – Which is Better? Your Choice May Matter

The marketplace is abuzz with the value of momentum trading, but a closer inspection shows that it is packaged in two major strains, time series and cross-sectional momentum. The traditional trend-following CTA focuses on time series momentum while the most of the equity research and implementation is conducted through the cross-sectional approach. There is similarity between these approaches, but there are also enough differences so that the return profile for each will not be the same. 

Alternative Investment Strategy Managed Futures

Back to Basics on Managed Futures with AIMA – Answering the Question for Why This Strategy Should be Held

There are many works on managed futures that explain the basics of this hedge fund strategy, but the characteristics need to be reinforced especially at current times when the strategy is underperforming other hedge fund strategies. The core reason for holding managed futures is that it provides useful diversification. This diversification is not available from other strategies and this diversification will be especially present during ‘bad times” of a equity decline. Don’t forget that those strategies that have more systematic risk will need to generate higher returns. Investors will be paid to hold them. On the flip-side, there will be a “payment” for managed futures which does well in “bad times”.

Alternative Investment Strategy

Is it Worth Trading Both Euro STOXX 50 and 600? Country and Capitalization Plays

Is it worth trading two highly correlated equity indices? The correlation between the Euro STOXX 50 and 600 is generally above .95, so most would argue that the two are interchangeable. There is a significant difference in the volume of each futures contract, so liquidity may not be the same. Hence, some would argue that it is reasonable to choose one, but a closer look will show that there are spread opportunities across the two indices no different than the equity spread opportunities in the US based on size or industry mix. Spread trades in index futures offer a way to increase the opportunity set of returns in ways that are often uncorrelated with traditional directional bets.

Alternative Investment Strategy

Can Momentum and Diversifications Solve Every Investment Problem?

I listened to a number of presentations concerning crisis alpha and crisis offset at a recent hedge fund conference. The idea of holding assets and strategies that will do well in “bad times” is a critical issue for any portfolio construction discussion. It is the bedrock and foundation of any portfolio that attempts to protect against bad states of nature, control risk, and gain during good times.

Alternative Investment Strategy

Momentum as the Big Embarrassment to Market Efficiency

“Momentum is a big embarrassment for market efficiency,” he proclaimed, saying he “hopes it goes away” and that the concept was “not exploitable.” – Eugene Fama from CFA Society of Chicago keynote speech. “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”― Mark Twain. You cannot help but think about Thomas Kuhn […]

Alternative Investment Strategy Commodities

Commodity Investing – What is it all About?

What is commodity investing all about: 1. The curves and carry – backwardation/contango (inventory). Given the cash market for commodities is often not available for investing, the primary market for investors in commodities is the futures. Consequently, the shape and dynamics of the futures curve is a dominant factor for longer-term investing. Investors cannot think […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

Factors, Smart Beta, and Global Macro

What has been at the vanguard of thinking in finance is the breakdown of returns into their constituent parts or risk factors. Finance has moved well beyond market beta. The primal breakdown for a portfolio is not returns by asset class but returns by risk factors. Some have criticized the current situation as a factor […]

Alternative Investment Strategy Managed Futures

Declining Economic Growth and Managed Futures Strategy Returns – Is Something There?

Another simple test to determine whether managed futures returns will do better than average is through looking at economic growth. Now, we know that bonds and other defensive assets like managed futures will do better in “bad times” such as a recession, but there just are not many recessions. The cost of being defensive can […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

It Is All About the Volatility Management

For many investment strategies, the difference between a good and a bad manager is based on their ability to manage risk. It is as much about how volatility is handled as return generation. A good strategy that does not manage risk well will never be successful. A key conclusion from a recent paper that focuses […]

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