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8 posts from August 2013


Recent Research: Highlights from August 2013

"Standing Out From the Crowd: Measuring Crowding in Quantitative Strategies"
The Journal of Portfolio Management (Summer 2013)
Rochester Cahan and Yin Luo

One of the most frequently cited criticisms of quantitative investing has been the charge that everyone uses the same factors and models. In other words, the popular strategies of the last few decades, such as value and momentum, have become crowded, leaving little room for investors to generate alpha. But is this actually true? The authors propose an empirical framework for measuring crowdedness, and use this to study the crowding in common systematic strategies.

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Commodities Are Different (In a “Full World”): Part 3

(This post is the third in an occasional series on why stronger oversight of commodity markets must be a public policy priority.)

JPMorgan has announced that it plans to exit the physical commodities businesses, while remaining committed to its historic roots in commodity financing and risk management, and to the precious metals business.  Is this Jamie Dimon recognizing an unstoppable paradigm shift now taking place in the financial sector as policymakers finally find the political will to reign in the power of too big to fail banks?

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Book Review: The Billionaire's Apprentice


The billionaire is Raj Rajaratnam. Rajaratnam's Galleon hedge fund had put him into the billionaire net worth group. He is currently serving a sentence of 11 years after being arrested for insider trading.

His apprentice was Rajat Gupta. Gupta was the managing director of Mckinsey & Co. He has been sentenced to two years for conspiracy and securities fraud.

Anita Raghavan's The Billionaire's Apprentice: The Rise of The Indian-American Elite and The Fall of The Galleon Hedge Fund is the detailed account of what happened—a graphic story of foolish and reckless greed.

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When Bankers Rant: Six Reasons Why Big Banks Are Bad Places to Work


As anyone who’s worked for a large international bank will know, saying something adverse about your employer in a public forum is cause for instant dismissal. Saying something adverse about your employer even after your employment has terminated can lead to the removal of any stock that has yet to vest and to which you are still entitled despite moving on. Doing anything to damage the reputation of current and past banking employers is a no-no. And yet, employees bitching about investment banks is becoming quite the thing.

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My CFA Experience (Level III): Vy Bui

What better way to close my CFA exam journey than by sharing my Level III study strategies, which helped me pass the June 2013 exam?

My first two articles talked about my CFA Level I exam experience and my third article talked about how my study strategies changed from Level I to Level II. So, this article focus on the changes (in detail) I made to surmount the difficulty of Level III materials and the essay exam format of the morning section. Hopefully, this will inspire current and/or future CFA candidates to pay special attention to their study strategies.

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Top Writing Tips from CFA Hartford, FPAMA, NYSSA, and PAICR

Participants in my four May writing workshops expressed their opinions on my most helpful tips. I share their favorites below, along with related links.

1. Use mind mapping to organize your thoughts before you write. You can create a mind map focused on the topic you’d like to tackle in your investment commentary, article, or other written piece. Put the topic in the middle of your page, then start mapping ideas. Once you have everything down on the page, it’s time for analysis. Don’t forget this key step!

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Book Review: Worthless, Impossible and Stupid


Entrepreneurship has become an increasingly important option for financial professionals. Fortunately, there is now a lot more information on how to evaluate and succeed in this world. Most view today's entrepreneur as being in their 20s, operating in the technology industry. One of the values of Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value is it expands our view beyond the young and the tech focused. Author Daniel Isenberg is well qualified to be our guide into the broader view of the entrepreneur. He has been involved in business start-ups, was a Harvard Business School professor, and authored a host of case studies. Currently, Daniel Isenberg is the founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneur Ecosystem Project, and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School.

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International Business Travel: Rules of the Road

If your company sends you abroad to conduct business, congratulations. You're obviously respected by your colleagues, and your management thinks highly of you.  After all, you can't send a member of the "B Team" on a trip that will require a staff meeting in Paris, a client meeting in Johannesburg, a vendor meeting in Singapore, and an employee meeting in Mexico City. And even though you're probably a global citizen because of how you were raised, it's a good idea to brush up on the rules of the road.

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CFA® Level I 4-Day Boot Camp

Thursday November 12, 2015
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level II Weekly Review - Session A Monday

Monday January 11, 2016
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CFA® Level III Weekly Review - Session A Wednesday

Wednesday January 13, 2016
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CFA® Level III Weekly Review - Session B Thursday
Thursday January 21, 2016
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CFA® Level II Weekly Review - Session B Tuesday
Thursday January 26, 2016
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