2015

Tactical Alpha in Theory and Practice (Part II): Principal Component Analysis

In Part I of this series, we explored Grinold’s Fundamental Law of Active Management, and why the theory leads to misguided conclusions in the presence of asset correlations. In this article we will offer a primer on a useful tool for portfolio evaluation, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and illustrate how PCA can help quantify the number of independent bets in a portfolio of correlated assets.

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Experts Aren’t Helpful, and Other Useful Lessons From “DIY Financial Advisor”

We draw a significant amount of inspiration for the material we cover on this blog from the publications of our financial brethren. Unfortunately, given the non-stop firehouse of information that increasingly characterizes the digital age, it’s nearly impossible to consume anything longer than a blog post. So it’s noteworthy that we were inspired to read – cover to cover – Wes Gray, Jack Vogel and David Foulke’s most recent book, DIY Financial Advisor.

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All Strategies Blow Up

We are a quantitative finance shop, right down to the ground. All of our portfolios are driven by supervised quantitative models with no discretionary intervention. As such, I was inspired to respond to a recent article on the risk of quant strategies, as I think the way our team approaches quantitative research diverges from how many outsiders perceive quant, and also from how many quantitative shops work.

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