Is Innovation Investable?
If you're a regular reader of The Paper Trail, you know by now that I am Kai Wu's #1 fanboy. Kai is the founder & Chief Investment Officer for Sparkline Capital and his papers are a staple in my monthly research compendium. He is prolific when it comes to applying novel approaches (unique data sets, machine learning) to classic investment frameworks (i.e. value investing) in areas where the old rules may no longer apply. Think intangible assets and crypto/Web3.
His latest published work is titled Investing in Innovation and it was so good I just couldn't wait until the end of the month to highlight it.
The Paper Trail: Private Party
2021 was a banner year for private equity: new records in deal value and exits, the second-best fund-raising year ever, and a continuation of the strong returns that have outpaced other asset classes.
But can the party in private markets continue in 2022 and beyond? It's definitely a question worth examining with private markets likely to play a more substantial role in the portfolios of high-net-worth investors in the years to come.
In addition to private equity, this month's installment of The Paper Trail digs into:
- Litigation Finance
- Value in Japanese Equities
- The Upward Migration of ESG Ratings
- Information in Municipal Bond Yields
- The Momentum Factor's Woes
- And much, much more!
UniFi by CAIA™
As alternative investments continue to broaden in their accessibility and play a more meaningful role in the portfolios of the future for individual investors, financial advisors will by necessity need to develop their competencies in this arena.
It is with that notion in mind that I am proud to announce I will be serving on the advisory council of UniFi by CAIA™, a just-announced learning platform dedicated to educating the private wealth management industry on alternative investments.
The Paper Trail: Rate Expectations
There's no sugar coating it - it's been a brutal start to the year for bonds. The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is down nearly 7 percent year-to-date.
The conventional wisdom of building a balanced portfolio is being challenged before our very eyes. If there was ever an environment to demonstrate the value of diversifying your diversifiers, this is it.
Frictions can be thought of as anything standing between an investor and their returns. Some frictions we are in control of and others we are not. Taxes, costs, and inflation all come to mind as possible frictions, but perhaps one we face as investors is the deluge of distractions that can cause us to trip over our own two feet.
Making Alternatives Feel Less...Alternative
A portfolio that works great on a spreadsheet is of no use if the end recipient lacks the confidence, understanding, and/or patience to stick with it until it bears fruit.
Truly diversifying alternative investments can be a valuable arrow in the allocator's quiver in meeting investor objectives and delivering successful outcomes. That being said, the experience of owning them can be difficult at times.
The Paper Trail: Don't Say The "S" Word
This week was a reminder of how humbling markets can be. I don't think anyone went to bed Wednesday night after seeing the alerts on their phones about Russia's invasion and Dow futures being down ~800 points and thought stocks would finish in positive territory by Thursday's close. Nor did they think it would be followed by a strong rally on Friday going into the weekend. Investing is hard.
An investment strategy predicated on predictions and activity is almost certain to fall short over time to one based on preparation and temperament. And that is what The Paper Trail is all about - sharing valuable third-party insights with investors to help them prepare and improve their odds of long-term investment success.
Twelve Books Everyone in Finance Will Be Talking About in 2022
One unfortunate downside of all the time spent writing my own book was that the time I spent reading other books effectively came to a screeching halt. Sure, I managed to read a handful from start to finish but nothing like the pace I was at prior to starting my own endeavor.
Now that I have my weekends back, I plan on changing that in 2022. And my Amazon wish list is full of some intriguing new investing/finance/business books that will eventually be making their way to my doorstep.
The Paper Trail: Trending, Fast and Slow
There's an old Wall Street adage that says “as goes January, so goes the year.”
Like most market aphorisms, it sounds clever in theory but the results are mixed at best in practice. But if it does happen to ring true this year, we are in for one wild ride. All the more reason to seek ways to diversify and build durable portfolios!
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