The Everyman Hedge Fund

My latest Seeking Alpha exclusive has been posted. The excerpt; Barron’s had an article over the weekend called Attack of the Hedge Fund Clones. The concept has grown in terms of AUM and proliferation of funds. ETF provider IndexIQ was early to market in the ETP space and now there are a lot of funds offering some version of absolute return or hedge fund replication. There have also been plenty of traditional mutual funds that have come into the space. And the link, I hope you can check it...

The Everyman Hedge Fund

My latest Seeking Alpha exclusive has been posted. The excerpt; Barron’s had an article over the weekend called Attack of the Hedge Fund Clones. The concept has grown in terms of AUM and proliferation of funds. ETF provider IndexIQ was early to market in the ETP space and now there are a lot of funds offering some version of absolute return or hedge fund replication. There have also been plenty of traditional mutual funds that have come into the space. And the link, I hope you can check it...

Personal Finance Hobgoblins

The Trader Column in this week’s Barron’s devoted a lot of pixels to personal finance issues which is somewhat unusual. The first bit was in making the case for Financial Engines (FNGN) with some grim retirement-preparedness stats. The article rightly notes that many portfolio short comings are “self inflicted.” I might use the word behavioral but it is the same difference, people are often their own worst enemy when it comes to their finances and portfolios for things related to poor spending decisions and occasional panic selling or panic buying. Barron’s cited an unnamed study that concluded “nearly three-quarters of 401(k) participants are not on track to meet their retirement goals” and “based on their present performance, they won’t replace even half their current income in their retirement years.” I’m not sure what the best number is to consider for average 401k balances as there have been numbers ranging from the 20’s (thousands) up to $100,000. In terms of confronting our more immediate problems the country should probably care most about the average balance for people 55 and older, then make a priority of educating the hell out everyone between 40 and 55 while just providing normal education of financial literacy for people under 40. Not that I know, but isn’t there a Czar for financial literacy or wouldn’t this come under the purview of one of the Czars? I’m thinking the cost for building a couple of spreadsheets for mass distribution would be pretty cheap–of course they wouldn’t even need to build them as they already exist. As far as teaching financial literacy in highschool I think they...

Personal Finance Hobgoblins

The Trader Column in this week’s Barron’s devoted a lot of pixels to personal finance issues which is somewhat unusual. The first bit was in making the case for Financial Engines (FNGN) with some grim retirement-preparedness stats. The article rightly notes that many portfolio short comings are “self inflicted.” I might use the word behavioral but it is the same difference, people are often their own worst enemy when it comes to their finances and portfolios for things related to poor spending decisions and occasional panic selling or panic buying. Barron’s cited an unnamed study that concluded “nearly three-quarters of 401(k) participants are not on track to meet their retirement goals” and “based on their present performance, they won’t replace even half their current income in their retirement years.” I’m not sure what the best number is to consider for average 401k balances as there have been numbers ranging from the 20’s (thousands) up to $100,000. In terms of confronting our more immediate problems the country should probably care most about the average balance for people 55 and older, then make a priority of educating the hell out everyone between 40 and 55 while just providing normal education of financial literacy for people under 40. Not that I know, but isn’t there a Czar for financial literacy or wouldn’t this come under the purview of one of the Czars? I’m thinking the cost for building a couple of spreadsheets for mass distribution would be pretty cheap–of course they wouldn’t even need to build them as they already exist. As far as teaching financial literacy in highschool I think they...

Sunday Morning Coffee

This week’s Barron’s featured the final installment of the Barron’s roundtable which included Marc Faber’s picks. I find his commentary in this event to be most useful for what I’m trying to do in terms of learning about new (to me) niches or maybe learning a little more about a niche I’ve already started to study. Faber touched on two areas of interest to me. The first was publicly traded exchanges with his pick of Oslo Børs which appears to trade in Norway with ticker OSLO and on the US pinksheets with ticker OSBHF. The reason I say appears is that Yahoo Finance which has Norwegian stock quotes on the home market doesn’t have a listing, it does for the pinksheet shares, I also could not find it on the Oslo Børs site. BigCharts does know the Norway listing and I would think Faber would know whether or not he did own shares, BTW he said it yields 10%. I was able to find a page on the company site with financial information that I will try to look at later today. Zooming out a little bit, I’ve banged the drum a few times about an ETF devoted to global, publicly traded exchanges, such a fund would be heavy in the US exchanges I imagine–there are funds with exchange exposure but they also take in other parts of the sector like asset managers. Broad financial exposure will be unattractive on a fundamental basis, in my opinion, for a long time. Given the severity of the meltdown and the factors causing it I think it will be years before things...