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Thomson Reuters Hedge Funds Team Teaches You…


Across this series of webcasts, our expert speakers will cover some of the most topical subjects in the world of hedge fund management today. In our next session, scheduled for tomorrow, Dr Svetlana Borovkova, Associate Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam provide you with a broad overview of how various commodity markets respond to news and how this information can be used in trading strategies, investment decisions, risk management and for overall improvement in efficiency of quant-based models. We examine the main commodity classes: energy, agriculturals and metals, as well as various market responses to news, in terms of prices, returns, volatilities and trading volumes. Market responses are analysed for different latencies, ranging from minutes to days and to longer horizons.

100% bullshit.

Neuberger Berman Has No Clue About Trend Following

Excerpted from here (PDF):

Historically, performance and lack of correlation to credit and equity markets have made CTAs popular. There are several types of CTA strategies, including trend-following, mean reversion and pattern recognition. The vast majority of managed futures assets under management (greater than 85%, by our estimates) are trend followers; we are currently bearish on this class of CTAs.

So many voices… are clueless.

Mainstream Financial Media & Wrestling: Hip Tied

Great connections from Ben Hunt:

My point is not that mass-mediated financial advice is kinda like professional wrestling. My point is that mass-mediated financial advice is EXACTLY like professional wrestling. And I know that it must seem like I’m slamming Cramer and CNBC and the rest of the mass media financial guru-sphere by equating their efforts with professional wrestling, but I’m really not. I just want to call things by their proper names. I LOVE professional wrestling. Second only to professional politics, professional wrestling demonstrates Narrative creation and execution at an extremely high level of artistry, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. And it’s NOT a fake representation of wrestling in the way that an episode of “Marcus Welby, M.D.” is a fake representation of medical practice. Professional wrestling is scripted and choreographed, like a TV medical drama, but there are actual athletic feats executed here. It is “real wrestling” in that sense, where there is no “real medicine” being practiced in the filming of “House”. But no one in his right mind believes that professional wrestling is the same thing as Olympic wrestling or collegiate wrestling. Professional wrestling is its own thing – a marvelous and entertaining thing – and it deserves to be understood in that light. Well … mass-mediated financial advice is its own thing, too, where Narrative creation and execution is the only thing that matters, and everything you see or read is driven by the economic diktat of driving the Narrative du jour forward. No one in his right mind should believe that mass-mediated financial advice is the same thing as professional, individuated financial advice. And yet here we are, in a world where the notion of trust has become so warped that every day, thousands of investors question the trustworthiness of their flesh-and-blood financial advisors and tens of thousands more act on their own because they trusted a piece of Narrative-driven advice they heard on the TV or read in the newspaper. Why is it so important to distinguish between real people and mass media representations of people when it comes to matters of trust? Because in the wise words of J.K. Rowling, never trust anything that thinks for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.


Make My Dreams A Reality Mr. Covel

Feedback in:

Dear Mr. Covel, Trust you must be doing great.​ ​I ​have read all of your books many times & I really admire you for your methodical approach to markets. I am a IIT-IIM Graduate with more than 22 years of experience in India Capital Markets. I have been able to predict the market turns with close to 90% accuracy with verifiable track record. I appear on CNBC, ZEE Business & ET-NOW regularly. I am really passionate towards my profession. I run a boutique Alternative Investment Management firm specializing in generating positive returns irrespective of Market Direction. We are proficient in all types of Technical Analysis based trading.

1. Conventional Pattern Recognition Based Trading
2. Computerized Algorithm Based Trading
3. Predictive Methodology Based Analysis
4. Behavioral Studies based on Market’s Psychological Profile

I have a proposal to launch an Absolute Alpha Global Hedge Fund using hugely diversified strategies for trading in multiple asset classes such as different Global Equity Indices, Commodities & Currencies. As we will be using just 30% fund in trading, more than 60% funds will be used in Global Arbitrage to generate fixed income for balancing the risk. We are fully confident that we will be able to give more than 20% positive returns per annum in USD terms with less than 10% Equity drawdown. We wish to create a Global Hedge Fund which specializes in generating super normal positive returns every year. This structure has humongous potential to become a hugely successful Fund in just 2 to 3 years. I have 100% conviction in my abilities to deliver the real performance. An association with your company will give us everything what we are looking for. I look forward to hear positively from you soon to make my dream into reality. I promise you to give my 100% efforts to deliver more than the promise.

Thanks & warm regards,

I don’t recall ever writing about 90% accuracy. Isn’t that the Holy Grail of all Holy Grails? Even if you had that accuracy how does it guarantee you make money? You could be accurate 90% of the time and still lose massive money on the other 10%. Accuracy talk is not trend following.

Noah Smith: No Thanks

Feedback in:

Dear Mr. Covel,

I want to congratulate you for arranging an interview with Robert Aumann. You are very skilled at arranging interviews with prominent people in the fields of economics and finance and I am looking forward to listening to your future podcasts.

After listening to your podcast titled, Misinformed View on Trend Following, I was not surprised that Noah Smith [ep. 266] raised your ire. You are another person in a long line of individuals who have been jolted by Smith’s writings on economics and finance. He is very skilled at writing columns that cause the people who he criticizes to respond vehemently. To give you an idea of how many people and websites have responded strongly to Smith’s writings, I will list some of them for you: Peter Schiff, Mike Shedlock, Robert Murphy, Gary North,,, and Schiff recently interviewed Smith on his radio show. If you listen to the interview, you will hear that Smith is not afraid to debate a person that he criticizes and he is not rude. I encourage you to use your skill at arranging interviews to convince Smith to be interviewed by you. I believe that you will find him troublesome but you will learn that he is an intellectually honest person who simply wants to know what drives financial markets and the economy.



Noah Smith is a petulant brat. Next.

The Narrative as Valuation

Aswath Damodaran writes:

If one extreme of the numbers/narrative spectrum is inhabited by those who are slaves to the numbers, at the other extreme are those who not only don’t trust numbers but don’t use them. Instead, they rely entirely on narrative to justify investments and valuations. Their motivations for doing so are simple.

1. Story telling is a powerful attention getter/keeper: Research in both psychology and business point to an undeniable fact. Human beings respond better to stories than to abstractions or numbers, and remember them for longer. After all, the Harvard Business School has taken story telling almost to an art form with its cases, tightly wound narratives that are supposed to convey larger lessons.

2. Unrestrained creativity: “Creative” people through the ages have always fought back against any restraints on their creativity, especially those imposed by those that they view as less imaginative than they are.

3. The Creative Superiority Complex: Just as numbers people intimidate with mounds of numbers, good narrators can browbeat “bean counters” with superior story telling, especially if they can back their stories up with personal experience.

Don’t trade off storytelling. Just don’t do it.

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