The Most Expensive Investing Factor

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) —  Factor investing is a long-term pursuit. Successfully following a factor-based approach is a function of studying what works over time, implementing it in a disciplined way, and then staying the course through what will inevitably be long periods of underperformance to achieve your long-term goals. Because factors can move in and out of favor for extended periods of time, implementing timing strategies to move in and out of factors… Read More

What BitCoin Can Teach You About Investing

By Jack Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant) — I am unfortunately not one of the people who has enjoyed the two thousand plus percent return of BitCoin this year. I have spent a lot of time studying it, and in hindsight I certainly wish I had bought it when I began that research process, but as a disciplined (at least most of the time) value investor who runs fundamental based investment strategies for a day job, I… Read More

The Dangers of Data

By Jack M. Forehand, CFA (@practicalquant)  —  “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess.” – Ronald Coase  “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts—for support rather than for illumination.” – Andrew Lang The stock market is really overvalued. Take a look at this chart below. The current Shiller PE ratio of 32 is double the long-term average of 16 and we are now at the highest level ever seen… Read More

The Two Most Important Investing Decisions

By Jack M. Forehand (@practicalquant)  —  There are so many interesting things to debate in investing. The active vs. passive debate has been the subject of more articles than I can count. Although the conclusion that most people should invest passively is clear, there are many nuances to it that continue to be debated every day. And for those people that do decide to be active, there are a variety of decisions that come along… Read More

The Importance of Expectations in Investing

By Jack M. Forehand (@practicalquant)  —  To make money in the markets, one needs to be an independent thinker who bets against the consensus and is right. – Ray Dalio I am a big New York Jets fan. So I am used to disappointment. The Jets haven’t appeared in the Super Bowl since 1969, which is the longest drought of any NFL team. Despite this history of losing, no matter how bad the predictions for… Read More

The Most Hated (And Most Loved) Investing Factor

By Jack M. Forehand (@practicalquant)  —  Factor investing requires a lot of patience. Despite the fact that research shows that many factors can produce outperformance over long periods of time, all of them will struggle at times in the short-term. And those struggles are typically long and difficult enough that most investors will abandon underperforming strategies in favor of what is working now. When that happens, that typically signals a bottom for the factor is… Read More

The Biggest Failure of the Investment Management Industry

By Jack M. Forehand (@practicalquant) —  The investment management business has improved dramatically in the past twenty years. The days of brokers selling high priced products to unsuspecting consumers that serve no purpose other than to line their own pockets are mostly gone. Fees have also fallen drastically, and efforts to educate investors on them by people like John Bogle have led to substantially increased investment in index funds and other low-cost products, which is… Read More

Some Thoughts On Improving the Predictive Value of Morningstar’s Ratings

By Jack M. Forehand (@practicalquant) —  The Wall Street Journal article last week that called into question the predictive value of Morningstar star ratings has caused a lot of debate in the investment industry. Many investors rely on Morningstar ratings to select funds and believe that selecting five star funds gives them the best chance of future outperformance. The Journal article shows that relying on those ratings to predict future performance is probably a bad… Read More

Are We Partying Like its 1999?

By Jack M. Forehand (@practicalquant) —  One of the most common comparisons I hear for the current state of the stock market is the bubble of the late 90s. With the market seemingly setting new highs every day, valuations stretched, and technology stocks leading the way, there appear to be many similarities on the surface. When you look deeper, however, there are also some clear differences. Given that the 90s rally ended on a bad… Read More

Shift to Passive Investing May Not Influence Stocks Like Some Think

By Jack M. Forehand —  The massive move investors have made to passive vehicles over the past few years has been truly astounding. With most active managers underperforming their benchmarks by a wide margin recently and over longer periods of time, and charging higher fees to do it, investors have been moving their money out of active and into passive in droves. A CNBC article in April sums up the magnitude of the move: “Flows… Read More