Here’s a brief but broad linkfest for you:
The Margin Debate (World Beta, Mebane Faber, @MebFaber) ~ Are margins going to revert? If so, when? That’s a key question for equity investors and allocators. Faber pulls information from Hussman, Montier, Siegel, and Redleaf to provide a quick overview of the issues.
The Evaluation of Common Stocks (The Aleph Blog, David Merkel, @AlephBlog) ~ I ask a lot of rhetorical questions in my writing. I was thrilled to see Merkel’s response to my recent posting — a thoughtful reflection on market history, his own experience, and the realities that investors face. The nice thing is, that’s what he always does.
How I Pick Problems (SimoleonSense, Miguel Barbosa, @SimoleonSense) ~ This is a checklist of considerations that Barbosa uses when confronting a problem. I like the fact that it comes from a lot of different angles, representative of the types of mistakes we are all prone to make. Might as well try to head them off at the pass.
The Move to Managed Account Platforms (AllAboutAlpha.com, @AllAboutAlpha, Shane Brett) ~ The hedge fund industry is facing a critical year. Performance has been punk overall and clients are restless. Managers that are in growth mode have to fight the normal battles as well as the industry headwinds. Brett lays out the opportunities and challenges for a hedge funds considering a move to a managed accounts platform.
Ventures in Asset Management (Institutional Investor, Ashby Monk, @sovereignfund) ~ Monk is a great source for information on big public and sovereign wealth funds. This piece looks at emerging manager programs, one way of capitalizing on the view of many that “the best asset managers tend to be small, entrepreneurial, and independent.” My two cents: Most institutional investors have investment policy statements that are backward-looking and far too rigidly structured. There ought to be an “innovation allocation,” where they don’t try to prove things by numbers, but by opportunity.