Saturday, June 09, 2007

Weekend Readings - Search for Alpha

Sharing some great links found this morning while enjoying a Starbucks coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnut. :-)

A great Quantitative Primer from the Bionic Turtle.

Nice little profile on Parametric Portfolio Associates by Bloomberg Markets Magazine. I enjoyed reading their rebalancing alpha along with their contrarian weighting of individual stocks for each country. In fact, check out Parametric's Research & Whitepapers area...great information to be had. Their paper on Using Statistical Process Control to Monitor Active Managers is one to read a few times this weekend.

One view shared by Parametric coincides with my recent testing of alpha filtering in the U.S. Equities market. Parametric found that smaller countries exhibit less correlation to the broader markets. My guess is due to less investor attention, liquidity issues, and such. In essence the markets are less efficient which enable Parametric to extract alpha (non-commoditized beta) by overweighting these smaller countries in their portfolio compared to the index they track. I found that by increasing the frequency in my alpha calculations...the fewer stocks I found that could beat the market (high alpha). Increasing the frequency to daily in my alpha filter picked up only the most illiquid stocks in the market out of the 20,000 stocks in my database (including the delisted). What does this mean? These stocks are the less followed? Less efficient? Their returns are least effected by the broad market? Short-term...all other stocks are governed by the overall market returns? Only if you extend your time horizon do stocks capture more alpha from the market? My recent testing shows this to be a possibility.

So, what should an investor/trader do? Well, if you're a daytrader, you should pay much more attention to the market in general. The market acts as a powerful force in a stock's short-term returns. If you're an investor...extending your time horizon months if not years is a way to capture more (alpha) than the market gives (beta) to each individual stock. Think about it...anywhere the market is efficient...the market governs the behavior. Only when you drive outside of that efficient zone do you capture non-market behavior. Holding stocks for the very long-term is one road outside of the city.

World Beta finds an interview with Harvard's Endowment manager,El-Erian. El-Erian claims his biggest challenge is overcoming the popularity of the endowment model. Which I tend to agree.

Finally, for you R fans out there...check out the Econometric tools for performance and risk analysis created by Brian G. Peterson and Peter Carl. Need to calculate the Information Ratio, Sharpe Ratio, Sortino Ratio, max drawdowns, rolling returns, CAPM, Kelly Ratio, and Omega on your portfolio's returns? Then this PerformanceAnalytics package could be just the ticket. I have yet to work with this feature-rich package...but have it on my list of to-do's over the coming weeks.

That's it from TaylorTree...where the weather is beautiful, coffee is great, and I've got an afternoon of fishing in my future.

Later Trades,