Monthly Archives: April 2017

Book Bits | 29 April 2017

Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought
By Andrew W. Lo
Summary via publisher (Princeton University Press)
Half of all Americans have money in the stock market, yet economists can’t agree on whether investors and markets are rational and efficient, as modern financial theory assumes, or irrational and inefficient, as behavioral economists believe—and as financial bubbles, crashes, and crises suggest. This is one of the biggest debates in economics and the value or futility of investment management and financial regulation hang on the outcome. In this groundbreaking book, Andrew Lo cuts through this debate with a new framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, in which rationality and irrationality coexist.
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Fear Takes A Holiday As VIX Index Falls To 3-Year Low

The VIX Index – a widely followed measure of US stock market volatility — slid to a three-year low on Thursday (Apr. 28 27), suggesting that investors are unusually serene these days when it comes evaluating the outlook for risk. In fact, investor sentiment has almost never been calmer, according to the VIX. The all-time low for the so-called fear index, which dates to 1990, is 9.48 on Dec. 23, 1993, based on daily data. Considering recent history, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the VIX touch a new record low in the days ahead.
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Quantifying The Value Premium Across Asset Classes

Value is arguably the leading exhibit in the factor zoo. Quantifying the value factor is challenging, however, for multi-asset class portfolios for at least two reasons. Commodities aren’t easily valued because oil, gold, etc. don’t generate earnings or dividends. Even when there are cash flows to measure, putting a broad set of assets on a level playing field is difficult, perhaps impossible, if we use traditional valuation metrics, such as book value, price-earnings ratio, etc. Measuring valuation for real estate investment trusts (REITs), for instance, requires a different procedure vs. stocks, which is different from bonds. A solution (or at least a partial solution) that applies to everything is estimating valuation using return.
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Book Bits | 21 April 2017

Upside: Profiting from the Profound Demographic Shifts Ahead
By Kenneth W. Gronbach with M.J. Moye
Interview with author via
Q: Your book is about predicting the future with accuracy. Can you explain why demographics provide clear evidence of where we’re headed?
A: Demographics precipitates economics — not the other way around. Commerce is reliant on market size, and market size is determined by demographics. Cultural shifts are determined by demographic changes. Demography is dependent on live births, deaths and migration, and so is politics. People are easy to count. It is math. So much of what people influence is determined by their number, their age, and where they are.
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