I came across this interesting paper (which can be found in its entirety below) the other day, while perusing Paul Kedrosky’s website, regarding uncorrelated returns. The basic premise of the paper was that there is no such thing as uncorrelated assets. The author conveniently cherry picks the last 36 months to prove his point. Of course the last 36 months can easily be described as unique if not an outlier. Many have been quick to come to the conclusion that the last 36 months not only disprove the efficient market hypothesis, but also disprove the theory of uncorrelated assets. This is highly flawed in my opinion.
Let me begin to dissect this issue from the beginning (without getting bogged down in too much mundane theory). Anyone who is a regular reader has likely taken the time to read the “about us” section on the site. If so, you know that my investment theories aren’t just some cookie cutter “fill the Morningstar box” approach. I believe the efficient market hypothesis is one of the greatest tricks ever played on the investment community. Any market is nothing more than the summation of the decisions of its participants. Markets, by definition are highly complex dynamic systems that are susceptible to chaos. To assume that the summation of these decisions is somehow efficient would mean that the decision makers as a whole are efficient. While this might be true to some extent, human beings (and even the algorithms written by humans) are guaranteed to be inefficient decision makers in a chaotic system.
The investment world is the civilized version of natural selection. It cuts to the core of every emotion imaginable. When Joe Schmo goes to work for 25 years straight in an attempt to create a better life for his family and suddenly sees his life’s savings going down the tube because Lehman Bros went bankrupt you can’t possibly expect him to react rationally in such an environment. This is no different than the man whose family is attacked in the middle of the night. Do you expect that man to react rationally when everything he lives for is suddenly in harms way? Do human beings make rational and efficient decisions in chaotic scenarios? Even more important, will 1 million humans working…
Slowly but surely, the narrative that plummeting oil prices is "unambiguously good" for the economy is fading into obscurity, as reality is starting to emerge. For the latest capitulation we go to the Bank of America chart of the day which shows that the current Hamilton Oil Shock is now the biggest in history, surpassing even the Lehman collapse.
From BofA Chart of the Day:
Hamilton oil shocks: Although historical comparisons are often imperfect, it is useful to look back at prior episodes of oil price shocks. In order for a move in the price of oil to qual...
(ETFTrends.com by Todd Shriber): "Betting on insider buying is again proving to be an efficacious strategy as the Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (NYSEArca: KNOW) has been noticeably less bad than the S&P 500 to start 2015. Add to that, investors are warming to the merits of KNOW's insider sentiment strategy." [Editor's note: KNOW tracks the Sabrient Multi-cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (SBRQAM)]. Read article
My virtual acquaintance New Deal Democrat has posted an interesting article on real (inflation-adjusted incomes) based on annual IRS tax data through 2013. His discussion includes some comparisons between the Census Bureau's median Household Income data and the Family Unit average income. A Family Unit is the term used for an IRS designated Tax Unit (e.g., a couple with dependents, or a head of household with dependents, or a single person).
At NDD's suggestion, I've created a chart that overlays the annual data from 1967-2013, the timeframe for which we have annual data from both sources.
Suppose you had the technical ability and raw materials to print up counterfeit dollars, euros or yen that were identical to the real things. Assume you could spend them as fast as you could create them with no fear of any repercussions.
Would you prudently print up only as much fresh currency as you needed for your current lifestyle? Would you create just a bit more than that to help relatives or those in need?
It is most likely you’d have your printing press running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Becoming the richest person in the world would confer great power upon you.
You could rationalize this action because you plan to use the money for good purposes. Imagine the warm feeling you’d get by giving every person in America one million do...
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So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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