Top Advisors Corner

David Keller: Dialing Up Data Viz

“The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see.”  -John Tukey

I recently attended the Bloomberg Buy-side Forum in New York where I appeared on a panel on the future of the Buy-side Analyst.  We discussed a variety of related topics, including the impact of data and technology on making investment decisions.  I explained that while we have certainly found ways to leverage computing power to manipulate data, we are embarrassingly behind the curve in terms of data visualization.

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Tom McClellan: When Not To Go Short Volatility

The VIX is a supposed “volatility index”, but it does not really measure actual volatility.  Instead, it measures what options traders think about volatility.  All of the various investment vehicles that have popped up in recent years that are tied to the VIX have enabled traders to go long or short “volatility” with relative ease compared to a few decades ago. 

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David Keller: Handling Home Bias

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”  -Saint Augustine

With the prevalence of ETFs covering global markets, as well as improved access to global exchanges, there are more opportunities than ever to create a broadly diversified portfolio.  However, many investors don’t embrace the benefits of international diversification due to the influence of home bias.  How does home bias impact our decision making, and what can we do about it?

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Tom McClellan: Will Labor Shortage Kill Housing Boom?

We know by the message from lumber prices that the next 12 months should be a positive period for all sorts of housing related data.  New home sales, for example, tends to follow in the footsteps of lumber price movements with a lag time of about 1 year.  So because lumber prices have been trending strongly higher, that should mean higher numbers of new home sales.

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David Keller: Why Does a Down Day Feel So Bad?

In an extended bull market with very few painful corrections, why does one down day feel so downright dreadful?  The answer is “myopic loss aversion” which was proposed in the early 1990’s by Bernartzi and Thaler.  To summarize, we feel the agony of losses much more than the joy of gains.  Also, the more you pay attention to your portfolio, the more you will tend to fall victim to this bias.  Let’s examine both of these issues for investors.

The Overwhelming Pain of Losses

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