A Framework to Evaluate Value Strategies

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) Earlier this year, I wrote about the mechanics of value investing and the many decisions that go into building value portfolios. Many investors believe that all value-based strategies will produce similar performance. But in reality, the many portfolio construction decisions that value managers make, which I highlighted in the article, can lead to major differences both in their performance and in the ability of investors to stick with their strategies.… Read More

The Facts About Buybacks

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) There might not be a more controversial topic right now in investing than stock buybacks. The debate over buybacks, which started out as a debate over their investment merits, has morphed into a political one that touches many of the controversial topics of our day such as income inequality and whether Wall Street continues to profit at the expense of average Americans. The negative press that buybacks have received has… Read More

Five Questions: Tackling Some of the Toughest Questions in Investing with Michael Mauboussin

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) There are many skills that can benefit you as an investor. Being smart is certainly an asset, although it can also get you in trouble if you don’t know your limitations. The ability to control your emotions is also a huge plus. But I think the most important skill may be the ability to think critically. Having a process you use to view the investing world through and following that… Read More

Five Questions: Factor Timing with Nicolas Rabener

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) Factor timing is a pretty controversial topic in the quantitative investing world. On one hand, we are all taught that we should buy low and sell high, so it seems intuitive to add exposure to factors that are out of favor. But in reality, it isn’t that simple and factor timing is much more difficult than it would seem in theory. This issue has also divided some of the smartest… Read More

The Rising Bar for Active Management

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@PracticalQuant) Active managers as a whole have always been pretty bad at their job. Depending on what data source you use and what time frame you look at, somewhere north of 80% of active equity managers underperform their benchmarks after fees over long periods of time. When building Validea, we’ve tried to key in on those individuals and strategies that have a long term record of success, but the number of… Read More

Why Return Skewness Offers Some Hope for Value Investors

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) It is no secret that value investing strategies have struggled for a long time now. The extended period of underperformance has tested the patience of many value investors and has led some to abandon the approach entirely. Adding to the frustration have been the frequent calls from some well-known value investors that we are at or near the end of this period of underperformance and that value is about to… Read More

Never Say Never

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) Never tends to be an overused word in investing. Don’t get me wrong, I am big believer that the past is often the best guide to the future. I think base rates are the best tool we have when trying to predict what will happen going forward. But relying on the fact that something has never happened in the past to predict that it will never happen in the future… Read More

What I Do With My Personal Portfolio

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management wrote an interesting article a month or so ago about how he invests his money and it got me thinking about how more investment bloggers should do the same thing. It is one thing to talk about the investing concepts you believe in, but the additional step of seeing how you put those concepts to work in practice can be valuable. So in that… Read More

Five Questions: Hidden Risks in Investing with Corey Hoffstein

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) Investing in the stock market is a risky activity. The obvious risks like losing a large portion of your portfolio during a bear market, or underperforming the market by a wide margin if you employ an active strategy can be more than many investors can handle. Given th high level of risk that is inherent in investing, it doesn’t make sense to take more risk than you have to. But… Read More

Five Questions: Lessons From Finance History with Jamie Catherwood

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) Recency bias can be a major issue for many investors. When we analyze the probability of any event in the market occurring, we tend to rely more on the recent past than we should. That can mean that we give too much credence to the most recent year or most recent few years. But it can even go further back than that. For example, when we think about what a… Read More