Tactical Alpha

Measuring Tactical Alpha, Part 1

Grinold linked investment alpha and Information Ratio to the breadth of independent active bets in an investment universe with his Fundamental Law of Active Management. Breadth is often misinterpreted as the number of eligible securities in a manager’s investment universe, but this ignores the impact of correlation.

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Forget active vs. passive. It’s all about factors

We just love a good debate, and there seems to be quite a heated debate at the moment about the relative utility of passive versus active investing. Perhaps this debate is as timeless as investment management itself, but a flurry of recent studies may have finally armed passive advocates with enough ammunition to settle the argument once and for all.

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Setting Expectations for Monthly Trading Systems

Systematic researchers overwhelmingly use monthly holding periods to test strategies. This is probably driven by the availability of long-term monthly total return data for a wide variety of indexes, where daily data is more scarce. This is fine to a point, but investors may not be aware of just how sensitive results might be to day-of-the-month effects which may not persist out of sample.

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Towards a Simpler Palate

The current article series deals with the concept of performance decay, which occurs when the performance of a systematic trading strategy is materially worse in application than it appeared during testing. We dealt with the concept of arbitrage in our last post, drawing a parallel with the phenomenon of ‘multiple discovery’ in science.

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Sources of Performance Decay

Above all, the greatest fear in empirical finance is that the out of sample results for a strategy under investigation will be materially weaker than the results derived from testing. There is absolutely no doubt that a meaningful portion of observed out-of-sample performance decay is the result of arbitrage; that is, others discovering and concurrently exploiting the same anomaly.

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Track Records are Rubbish (or Why Managers are Factors in Drag)

The investment management industry knows that you are influenced by percent symbols preceded by large numbers, so they market products with the best 1, 3 and 5 year track records, prominently featuring them in newspaper and TV advertisements, knowing that you will be unable to resist the urge to chase into those funds to avoid missing another year of riches.

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The Permanent Portfolio Turns Japanese

Our last few articles dealt with the Permanent Portfolio, a widely embraced static asset allocation concept proposed by Harry Browne in 1982. To review, the  simple Permanent Portfolio consists of equal weight allocations to cash (T-bills), Treasuries, stocks and gold to ward against the four major financial states of the world…

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Permanent Portfolio Shakedown Part II

In Part I of the Permanent Portfolio Shakedown we investigated the history of the approach, tracing it back to Harry Browne in 1982. The company he helped to found, The Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds, has been running their version of the strategy in a mutual fund for almost 30 years, with fairly impressive results.

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About Us

ReSolve Asset Management Blog is an investment research forum, opinion pieces, and educational material from the team at ReSolve Asset Management. Our views are driven by evidence based finance, with a special focus on asset allocation, factors and smart beta, retirement and endowment strategies, and quantitative methods.

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