The Benefits of Base Rates

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   Wall Street prediction season is upon us. It is the time of year when all the major investment banks and market pundits will issue their 2019 market outlooks. They will tell you what they think will happen in the next year and will even by nice enough to give you exact price targets they think the S&P 500 will reach by year end. Unfortunately for all of us, those predictions won’t… Read More

When Hypothetical Becomes Real

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   The day you begin to follow a new investment strategy is typically a day of optimism. You have done your research, you have looked at the historical results, you believe in the investment process, and you expect to see similar returns in the future to what the strategy has done in the past. You have even potentially looked at the ups and downs of the strategy and are prepared for the… Read More

When Your Experience Fails You

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   Because it’s easier, we’re inclined to use our recent experience as the baseline for what will happen in the future. In many situations, this bias works just fine, but when it comes to investing and money it can cause problems. -Carl Richards The next market crash must be coming. We are already in our second correction of the year and having lived through the past two bear markets, it seems obvious that… Read More

Quick Takes – Key Insights From Swedroe, Asness & Gray

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   Below are some of our favorite things we read or listened to this week and one important lesson we took from each of them. This Week’s Topics Why Factor Investing is So Hard Industry Concentration in Factor Investing Reframing the Pain of Underperformance as a Positive Article: What to do When an Investment Strategy Performs Poorly Lesson: Successful implementation of factor investing strategies requires sitting through extended periods of underperformance This… Read More

Five Questions: Value Investing with Wes Gray

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   This is the first interview in our new Five Questions series. Each month, we will take an in depth look at a specific issue in the market through a conversation with a leading expert in the area. The goal of this series is to move beyond the high-level discussion typically available in the media and to learn from someone who has studied the issue in depth. In our first interview, we… Read More

The Inexact Science of Market Valuation

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   When it comes to market valuation, investors love certainty. They want to hear definitively that the market is cheap, or the market is expensive, and that they can use that information to predict where it is headed in the short-term. As a result, strategists that make these type of market calls (particularly the ones who do so on the negative side), can generate significant headlines and attention for themselves. None of… Read More

Why Every Investor Should Join Twitter

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   I am not a big user of social media. I have had a Facebook account for a long time, but I almost never use it. I have never used Instagram. And don’t really even understand the concept behind SnapChat. None of this is meant to knock social media. It has changed the world, and in many ways for the better. It just isn’t for me. But all of that changed a… Read More

Beware of Binary Market Indicators

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   Whenever the market declines, the news is filled with information that can lead investors to panic. That is no surprise since doom and gloom sells. Even with the small pullback we have recently had (we can’t even call it a correction since the market hasn’t declined 10%), there has been no shortage of negative headlines and calls for impending doom. I have previously written about the dangers of letting these headlines… Read More

The Challenges of Market Cycle Timing

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   Everyone wants to follow the investing advice of market legends. After all, that level of success is typically not achieved by accident. Investors want to learn from their wisdom. They want to do what they do. In some cases that can be a slippery slope, though, and it is important to consider the advice of market legends in the context of your own personal situation. . Howard Marks’ new Book, Mastering… Read More

The Pitfalls of Back Testing

By Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) —   Active investment managers have a pretty dismal long-term record. Depending on which study you look at somewhere between 80% and 90% of managers underperform their benchmarks over the long-term net of fees. But what if I told you there was a way to turn those results upside down? What if there was a world where managers beat their benchmark 90% of the time? What if there was a world where managers… Read More