This “case study” is taken from a piece that I wrote for a client who found it too negative. It describes the way that many “active” equity portfolios are managed. It may seem like a caricature to some, unfortunately it is not. Thus, it is not surprising that so many fail to perform. Consider a […]
Risk adjustment is a fundamental element of modern portfolio theory. Alpha is defined as the return left over after the impact of all sources of risk, including strategic biases, has been accounted for (see the examples in my series on alpha). But a positive historical alpha alone is not sufficient to conclude that a particular […]
It is easy to beat the benchmark of a balanced portfolio in the long run. All we have to do is systematically overweight the riskier asset classes to capture their higher risk premiums. This may add some volatility but will almost certainly lead to a better long-term performance. Many years ago, I suggested this approach […]
Active managers try to outperform their benchmark through various active bets. They obviously need to be skilled in order to be successful. But skill is not the only possible driver of active bets. Some will be the result of biases. As investors, we need to be able to untangle the impact of skill – alpha […]
A few weeks ago, a friend asked me what I thought about a recently published study, entitled “The value of the hedge fund industry to investors, markets and the broader economy”. Written by the Centre for Hedge Fund Research of the Imperial College in London, it is published by KPMG and the Alternative Investment Management […]
Rolf Banz spent his career in the investment industry in the US, the UK and, most recently, in Switzerland. To older people, he is known as the "father of the small firm effect". This weblog consists of a series of essays and shorter pieces on a range of issues at the intersection of institutional investment and investment theory. Please see this post for a description of the objectives of the weblog and the About page for further information on the author and the site.