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Passing Shots

The Fifth Set Blog

Topics: Active Management, Active vs Passive, Asset Allocation, Efficient Market Hypothesis, Evidence-Based Investing, Fiduciary, Index, Index Investing, Long-term investing, Passive, Portfolio Management, Random Walk, Uncategorized

The Guru and The Investor: Act 2 – The Evidence-Based Advisor Strikes Back

Act Two The Setting Following his interview of a hedge-fund manager to see if he should manage his retirement assets, the Investor turns his search to a different type of advisor, for a philosophy based on something called ‘evidence-based investing’.  This seemingly outlandish idea is  …read more »

The Guru and The Investor: A Hedge Fund Story

Act One The Setting Guru appears on CNBC to explain what will happen with interest rates, Brexit, and the economy over the next two years.  Investor sees Guru on TV and assumes that CNBC would only have people on their shows who knew what they  …read more »

What People Want to Know and What is Knowable Are Two Different Things: The FiveThirtyEight Political Forecast Model and a Better Approach to Investing

With the 2018 midterm elections tomorrow, I noted a similar conceptual approach between a political forecast website I follow called FiveThirtyEight (www.fivethirtyeight.com) and the evidence-based approach to investing.    If you are not familiar with FiveThirtyEight, it is a political and sports forecast website developed by  …read more »

CalPERS Kicks Their Hedge Fund Investments to the Curb

Last week, CalPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which manages approximately $300 billion on behalf of 1.6 million public school and other local and state employees, announced that they “will eliminate its hedge fund program, known internally as the Absolute Return Strategies (ARS) program,  …read more »

Why Pay for Passive…Part Three

In a recent white paper, “Vanguard – Quantifying Advisor Alpha“, mutual fund company Vanguard attempts to quantify the added value of the “passive” investment advisor.  They estimate the value at as much as 3% per year without any attempt at outperforming the market. In two  …read more »

Broker Conflicts of Interest and Municipal Bond Investments

Is it a coincidence that seemingly every prospective client’s taxable account currently managed by a brokerage firm includes the same two security types; expensive actively-managed equity mutual funds and individual municipal bonds? Viewed through the lens of massive conflicts of interest, it’s easy to see  …read more »

The Prediction Paradox

In the summary description of the book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t, written by political forecaster, Nate Silver, there is a wonderful quote… “The Prediction Paradox: the more humility we have about our ability to make  …read more »

What’s In a Name? Advice From a Brand Name Firm May Not Be Everything It’s Cracked Up to Be

Many investors continue to believe they can feel secure that their finances are managed by a “brand name” firm such as J.P. Morgan.  Underlying this sense of security is a lack of understanding about how the brokerage business is structured.  Financial “advisors” employed by major  …read more »

Is your mutual fund a box of Corn Flakes?

Among the myriad of conflicts of interest shrouded by the brokerage industry are payments made by mutual fund companies to brokerage firms in exchange for accessing the brokerage firms’ mutual fund platform, often referred to as ‘shelf space’.  The payments, known in the industry as  …read more »