Posts filed under “Hedge Funds”

Be Wary of Serial Correlation

MIT’s Andrew Lo:

The key concept here, developed by MIT professor and noted hedge-fund theorist Andrew Lo, is “serial correlation.” Simply put, serial correlation is the degree to which each month’s returns in a fund mirror the results of the month before. A fund that returns the exact same amount every month is perfectly serially correlated. Madoff’s returns were strikingly consistent month after month, year in and year out. That kind of performance—a nice, smooth line going up no matter what the market does—is a really good sign that you should look more closely.

The extraordinary thing that Lo does in the third chapter of his book Hedge Funds, published earlier this year, is to demonstrate mathematically that an excessive degree of serial correlation is a powerful indicator that the holdings of a fund aren’t being reported realistically. What Lo shows from the pattern of historical returns in hedge-fund databases is that when funds’ returns grow too consistent, it is a sign that the investments are either very hard to value accurately and the returns are just guesses, or, worse, that they’ve been manipulated in a way that smoothes them artificially. What Lo creates is a mathematical model for judging what “looks too good to be true.” Lo’s work turns a lot of the conventional thinking about what’s safe on its head. It shows that the evenness that investors have traditionally been taught indicates safety and reliability can actually be the best sign risk is being hidden or that the data are unreliable.

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Source:
Madoff Dilemma: How Can You Spot A Wall Street Crook?
Mark Gimein
Big Money, Friday, December 12, 2008 – 3:57pm

http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2008/12/12/madoff-dilemma

Hedge Funds
Andrew W. Lo
Princeton University Press (May 18, 2008)

Category: Hedge Funds, Legal, Markets, Mathematics, Quantitative

Harvard: Not So Smart After All

We interrupt the GM hearings for this brief moment of schadenfreude: Harvard’s endowment has now blown through over $8 Billion, or 22% in the last four months. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t Harvard’s endowment outperforming the broad indices for a long time? And didn’t their Board of Trustees fire/replace/chase awayt hese outperforming…Read More

Category: Hedge Funds, Markets, Really, really bad calls

MODELS & THE RISK OF RUIN

Bill Werner is an Engineer in Missouri City, Texas. The following is his review of this year’s “worst call” and an attempt at drilling down to the ultimate problem. ~~~ > “You will see when you can swallow the world in one gulp.” -Zen Aphorism > My submittal for the worst call is that “housing markets…Read More

Category: Bailouts, BP Cafe, Hedge Funds

Hedge Fund Performance by Strategy

With 6 hedge fund managers — Philip Falcone, Kenneth Griffin, John Paulson, James Simons and George Soros — testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today, it might be a good time to look at how various strategies have been performing. What hedge fund strategy has yielded the best relative performance? Not…Read More

Category: Hedge Funds, Markets, Politics, Trading

Charlie Rose: A conversation with Bill Ackman

A conversation with Bill Ackman, major investor and hedge fund manager of Pershing Square Capital Management LP.

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Source:
A conversation with Bill Ackman
Charlie Rose, Tuesday, November 11, 2008

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/9498

Category: Derivatives, Hedge Funds, Markets, Video

When Genius Failed

A financial firm borrows billions of dollars to make big bets on esoteric securities. Markets turn and the bets go sour. Overnight, the firm loses most of its money, and Wall Street suddenly shuns it. Fearing that its collapse could set off a full-scale market meltdown, the government intervenes and encourages private interests to bail…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Books, Derivatives, Hedge Funds, Markets

Andrew Lahde: Goodbye!

Now, this is how you close a fund!

Andrew Lahde, manager of a small California hedge fund, Lahde Capital, burst into the spotlight last year after his one-year-old fund returned 866% betting on the subprime collapse. Last month, he took his ball and went home. Tired of the stress, he closed the fund.

Today, Lahde passed along his "goodbye" letter (via FT Alphaville and Portfolio.com), a snarky "Up Yours" to those who do deserve it.

Enjoy:

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Category: Hedge Funds, Psychology

New Hedge Fund: Strategery Capital

Category: Hedge Funds, Politics, Taxes and Policy

Trusting the Hedgies

Did you get your hedge fund redemption demand in yet? The window closes today! >

Category: Hedge Funds, Investing, Trading

Hedge Fund Equity Exposure (Long/Short)

Interesting chart via Sentiment Trader: We see Hedgies are now as short as they were in 2004. > > I am not sure that hedgies are that short, but that’s merely a low confidence anecdotal info. I’ll ask Sentiment Trader where they get this data from.

Category: Hedge Funds, Psychology, Short Selling, Trading