O’Shaughnessy on active management

Recently, Jim O’Shaughnessy, the author of What Works On Wall Street, took to Twitter with his first tweet storm (basically a short post in a series of tweets). In it he spoke about his thoughts on active management. I thought I should capture it for future reference. I’ll add comments and links throughout. What Works On Wall Street (4th edition) is basically 681 pages on a handful of factors; mainly value and momentum, with minor roles played by small-cap, equal-weighting, and quality. The lack of ability to focus on the long term is the number one behavioral issue that prevents … Continue reading

Posted in Quant Investing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Comparing portfolio performance (1973 to 2016)

Note: All the data tables have been updated to include the TAA bond strategy. Thanks to AllocateSmartly, P123, and Stockcharts.com, I was able to gather 2016 performance data much sooner than last year. This post updates the portfolio statistics, through 2016, for all the various portfolios I track that I have data for going back to 1973. It is not comprehensive by any means but contains a good sample of various diversified global buy and hold portfolios, tactical asset allocation portfolios, and quant portfolios, as well as the popular benchmarks, in particular the 60/40 portfolio for US investors. Last year’s … Continue reading

Posted in Portfolio | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

What’s new for 2017

A quick post on some changes to the blog. Overall, the blog will be still mainly be focused on quantitative investing. I will also continue to write about investing in retirement which has it’s own challenges. Now for the changes. The biggest change to the blog is that you’ll start to see more posts about the economy and economic indicators. This has long been a hobby of mine. Now I’ll just write about it for public consumption. The focus will be on quantitative indicators of the economy. This is directly applicable to investing since stocks lose the most during recessions. I … Continue reading

Posted in Portfolio | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Quant strategies: 2016 performance review

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a great holiday season full of great food, family, and a lack of financial market news and data. I just returned from two weeks with my entire family, plus my wife’s family, down in Coconut Grove, Fl in a great Airbnb rental. It provided a much needed rest and re-charge particularly from the markets. Now, its time to get back to business in 2017. For the first couple of posts this year I’ll do some looking back at 2016 performance. Today I’ll cover 2016 total returns for the various quant strategies I … Continue reading

Posted in Quant Investing | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Bond quant performance during the bond selloff

I was going to title this post something like ‘bond quant performance during the bond meltdown’ or something a bit more hyperbolic than the current title. But there’s enough hyperbole in the financial news without me adding to the mix. Just google ‘bond meltdown’ and you’ll see what I mean. Anyway, in this post I want to take a quick look at how the Bond Quant model has performed during the recent bond selloff. I’ll look at performance from the end of 2015 through yesterday. First, let’s take a look at some benchmarks for broad bond portfolios. Here’s the YTD … Continue reading

Posted in Bonds, Quant Investing | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Ranking the top and bottom TAA strategies

Following up on my last post, I’d like to take a deeper dive into the performance of TAA strategies. In particular, I’ll take a look at the differences between the top performing TAA strategies and the bottom performing ones. There are some important points that come out of this analysis which I think are quite useful when deciding which TAA strategies are right for you. As in my last post… The data I’m using is from Allocate Smartly. I’ve taken return data for all the TAA strategies they track, 60/40, and the All Weather Portfolio (a globally diversified portfolio). Data is … Continue reading

Posted in TAA Investing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

TAA strategy performance over time

In this post I’m going to take a look at performance as a whole of a group of TAA strategies and how that performance has varied over time. I’ll then compare it to the classic 60 40 US stock US bond portfolio and a more globally diversified and modern portfolio, the All Weather Portfolio. There’s some interesting things to note in the analysis. Let’s get to it. The data I’m using is from Allocate Smartly. I’ve taken return data for all the TAA strategies they track, 60/40, and the All Weather Portfolio (a globally diversified portfolio). Data is from 1970 through October … Continue reading

Posted in Portfolio | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Building a portfolio from individual quant strategies

In this post I want to briefly return to putting together quantitative strategies into a an overall portfolio. I wrote about this in 2014 but I have better tools and more data now. Basically let’s build a portfolio of quant strategies that reflects a typical 60/40 US stock US bond benchmark and compare portfolio statistics to the SP500 and to the 60/40 benchmark. First things first. Picking the quant strategies (you can find the background to all the strategies in the Portfolios section of the blog). You can definitely spend a ton of time here and go way off into … Continue reading

Posted in Portfolio, Quant Investing | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Quant investing: making momentum tolerable

For today’ s post and the next few I’ll be going back to my favorite topic, quant investing. In this post I want to explore pure momentum quant portfolios and in particular ways to make pure momentum investing tolerable and implementable to more investors. Note: for a refresher on momentum and its power (arguably the most powerful factor in investing) see this great paper from AQR.  You may have noticed that none of the quant portfolios that I have presented on the blog are pure momentum strategies. Only two strategies, trending value and microcap trending value, use momentum to picks stocks … Continue reading

Posted in Quant Investing | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Brief survey of expected return forecasts – nothing new

About once a year I go through various future expected return forecasts. Here are some recent updates on what the investment community is saying about future asset class returns, most of them focused on US stock returns, over the next 10 years. In short, nothing really new from last year, expect future returns to be lower, but worth a review Lets start with the folks at Research Affiliates. Here’s the scatter plot from their most recent update on forecasted 10 year real returns for various global asset classes. There’s various ways to look at the data which you can play … Continue reading

Posted in Portfolio, Retirement | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments