Posts Tagged ‘Finding Alpha’

The Limits of Intellectual Property

Telluride Asset Management LLC v. Eric Falkenstein has been settled but the pain lingered on for many years. I learned about the case recently while reading Eric’s blog and wanted to learn more. Eric kindly agreed to share his experiences in an exclusive interview, and over the last week has been educating me in trade secrets and intellectual property law. 

The Limits of Intellectual Property

Are There Any in the Hedge Fund World?

By Ilene

So who is Eric Falkenstein and how did he become an ex-portfolio manager with no portfolio to manage? 

Eric graduated from Northwestern with a PhD in economics and wrote his dissertation on cross sectional stock returns and volatility.  Prior to joining Telluride as a hedge fund manager in 2004, he had been using strategies that drew upon his education, previous work running his own fund and a fund, Deephaven.
 
Eric resigned his position at Telluride in September, 2006. Several months later, Telluride initiated a lawsuit claiming that strategies used by Eric belonged to Telluride. The claims in the lawsuit would require a court to determine the nature of the components of the strategy Eric had been using and decide who owned them. This is more complicated than it may appear.
 
Consider this analogy.  Baker E goes to work baking sugar cookies for Bakery B.  E, who’s been a baker for ten years, has a favorite recipe calling for flour, butter, sugar, eggs and baking soda.  During the next few years, E tinkers with the ratios of ingredients and experiments with chocolate frosting and colorful sprinkles, but never deviates significantly from the basic recipe.
 
Then one day, Baker E decides to leave Bakery B and open a Cookie Shoppe C in another town.  Bakery B initiates legal action to prevent E from operating C, arguing that E’s cookie recipe will inevitably be derived from privileged information gained while working for B.
 
In response, Baker E argues that his recipe is a standard sugar cookie recipe, using common ingredients. He argues that B cannot own the sugar cookie constituents (sugar, flour, butter, etc.), and that B needs to define the specific recipe in its complaint. Bakery B argues they will provide that, after full discovery has been completed (which could be a few years).
 
And so began Eric's adventure into IP law.  
 
In a hedge fund “trade secret” case, the “ingredients” are variables used to construct


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Psychologists to the Rescue!

I don’t often post book reviews, but this one by Eric Falkenstein is particularly intriguing. I’d also like to welcome Eric as our newest contributor to Phil’s Stock World. Eric’s an economist, author of the book "Finding Alpha," and Managing Member of CapRock Advisors. – Ilene

Psychologists to the Rescue!

Doctoring the mind, psychologyCourtesy of
Eric Falkenstein of Falkenblog
 
With Danny Kahneman’s Nobel prize in economics every other week has a big-name author or journalist writing a breathless article about how the new ‘behavioral economics’ will fix sterile financial theory. Alas, way back in 1951 this was a tired theme. George Stigler noted "each decade, for the past nine or ten decades [ie, back to 1851!], economists have read widely in the then-current psychological literature. These explorers have published their findings, and others in the field have found them wanting—wanting in useful hypotheses about economic behavior."

Take, for example, the anchoring bias, where people do not adjust their prior beliefs sufficiently when presented with new data. On the other hand, there’s the case where people do not sufficiently account for base rate information, as for example when they are told a woman is quiet and assume she’s a librarian, not saleswoman, even though there are more saleswomen than librarians. Thus, over, or underreaction to information is a common ‘bias’, and so Kahneman’s classic work Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases surveys papers from the 1970s! After a generation, the low hanging fruit has been picked, and where are we? Momentum and mean-reversion are part of the ‘new’ finance, and George Soros proudly notes that his theory of markets has markets biased—though it could be in either direction. Yet, these are not really discovered by behavioral economics, but explained by it on a case by case basis. Prospect theory teaches us that people overweight, or underweight, extreme observations in various contexts. These insights are no more useful than saying the effect of X on Y ‘could go either way, depending on a bunch of other information we probably won’t notice until after the fact’.

Finding AlphaA new book about psychiatry, Doctoring the Mind by Richard Bentall argues that the science of the mind is hardly a successful science. He argues that mental illness is on the increase and sufferers in the developed world with access to psychiatric care actually fare


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Phil's Favorites

The False Breakout

 

The False Breakout

Courtesy of 

Did a lot of bullishness just get trapped above 2815, the S&P 500’s previous resistance level that appeared to have been vanquished recently? Here’s Jon Krinsky of Baycrest Partners with my Chart o’ the Day:

Jon goes on to note that “Overall breadth remains a concern (just 38% of R3K above 200 DMA), and Friday’s 87% NYSE down volume day (highest since Dec. 4) is perhaps indicative of sellers waking up.”

Source: ...



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Zero Hedge

Boeing Anti-Stall Software Likely Active When Ethiopian Airlines Flight Crashed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With Boeing's shares still stuck in a rut, the investigation into flight ET302 - the second Boeing 737 MAX 8 to mysteriously crash within a five-month period - has analysts and investors worried about the possibility that the Boeing's controversial MCAS software might have played a role in the crash, which killed nearly 160 people. It's widely suspected that the anti-stall software contributed to the Ethiopian Air crash, as well as an October accident involving a Boeing 737 flown by Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air, which, like ET302, crash...



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ValueWalk

Tesla's Massive Increase In Delivery Volume In Europe And China

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing a few good posts on Tesla on the VIC message board about the massive increase in delivery volume in Europe and China.

41 – jcoviedo – 3 days 2 hrs ago

Re: Re: Re: Several bullish points

40

Q4 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

Elon leaked...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Shanghai Index; White Hot Market Peaking?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is one of the hottest stock indices in the world about to peak? Possible.

The S&P is off to a great start this year, up over 12%. Yet the Shanghai index is white hot, up around 22%, almost twice as much as the S&P 500!

This chart looks at the Shanghai Index over the past 25-years on a weekly basis. It has spent the majority of the past 25-year above rising support line (1). It hit this rising support line in December, where a very strong counter-trend rally has taken place.

Over the past 4-years, the index has created a series o...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Mar 24, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

It was looking like another week of Federal Reserve Kool Aid and crushing bears .. until Friday.  On the back of bad economic news out Europe, the yield curve inverted on the 3 month vs 10 year bond – before you fall asleep to that news, it is a quite important indicator for the economy (not necessarily the stock market… yet).   More on that in a bit.  As you can see the action in the bond market Friday was quite severe so it will be interesting to see the move in the coming few days.

As for the Federal Reserve:

The Federal Reserve signaled no more increase in interest rates this year and just one in 2020, according to its new ‘dot plot,’ and the bank said it would...



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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Buckingham cut the price target for Trinity Industries Inc (NYSE: TRN) from $32 to $26. Trinity Industries shares closed at $22.96 on Thursday.
  • Canaccord Genuity lowered the price target for Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB) from $396 to $275. Biogen shares closed at $226.88 on Thursday.
  • H.C. Wainwright cut the price target on Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNAT) from $8 to $1.50. Conatus Pharmaceuticals shares closed at $2.91 on Thursday.
  • Wedb...


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Biotech

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

Assorted cannabis bud strains. Roxana Gonzalez/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of James David Adams, University of Southern California

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal u...



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Digital Currencies

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down

 

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down

Grejak/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Alistair Milne, Loughborough University

Facebook is reportedly preparing to launch its own version of Bitcoin, for use in its messaging applications, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Could this “Facecoin” be the long-awaited breakthrough by a global technology giant into the lucrative market for retail financial services? Or will...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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