As we have discussed many times, much of the conventional wisdom on investing is simply wrong. For our purposes, we can define conventional wisdom as those ideas that are so commonly accepted that they go unquestioned. Today, we’ll look at the idea that rising interest rates would doom returns to real estate investments, specifically the …Read More.
As far back as the early 1970s, research has shown that the lowest volatility stocks have provided better returns than the highest volatility stocks. These findings run counter to economic theory, resulting in the low-volatility anomaly. The academic research, combined with the 2008 bear market, has led to low-volatility strategies becoming a darling of investors. …Read More.
Earlier this week, we looked at whether adding credit risk in the form of lower investment-grade municipal bonds was an efficient approach to improving returns. The evidence is clear that this isn’t the case. In fact, taking more credit risk resulted in worse relative performance. Today, we’ll apply the same approach to determine whether adding …Read More.
The Federal Reserve’s zero-interest rate policy is now well into its fifth year, probably far longer than most – if not all – investors were expecting. This persistence of low interest rates has pushed many investors to stretch for greater yield from their bond investments. One way to achieve higher yield is to take on …Read More.
The financial crisis of 2008 underscored the role that credit risk plays in many investments. And while counterparty risk has been in the spotlight with such derivatives as credit default swaps, comparatively little attention is paid to its impact on exchange-traded notes (ETNs), a type of tracking product. ETNs are relatively new — but rapidly …Read More.
A common error made by many bond investors is to avoid purchasing premium bonds – bonds that trade above their face value (or par, typically 100). A bond will trade at a premium when the coupon (stated) yield is above the current market rate for a similar bond of the same remaining term to maturity. …Read More.
The goal of actively managed funds is to generate alpha – returns above the appropriate risk-adjusted benchmark. We might add here that the alpha should also be sufficient to compensate for the increased idiosyncratic risks active managers take by failing to fully diversify, and that the only way to generate alpha is to hold a …Read More.
Professors of finance Brad Barber and Terrance Odean have done extensive research on the performance and habits of individual investors. Among their findings is that, on average, individual investors lose money from trading – and not all of the losses can be explained by trading costs. They’ve found that individual investors can have perverse security …Read More.
The term private equity – PE – is used to describe various types of privately placed (non-publicly traded) investments. It has grown tremendously over the past 30 years – thanks largely to America’s pension funds as they search for alternatives to public equity markets that might help them meet their return objectives. Frank Jian Fan, …Read More.
Tying up our two-part series on premiums, today we’ll explore the equity premium. Claude Erb has done a series of papers in which he examines the various premiums – size, value, momentum, and beta – and found that there’s a demonstrable trend in each case of the premiums shrinking in terms of realized returns. His April …Read More.