Tagged: alpha generation

Alpha Bet

We smell autumn on the wind in Denver.

Soon the backbone of the continent will transform from verdant to orange and yellow and caramel as the aspens salute departing summer. It’s a process spanning weeks, an epoch compared to equity-market timeframes nowadays.

Investors want an edge, and it’s important for investor-relations pros to recognize what that means. It seems like everyone has lost patience with patience. One IRO lamented this week: “I am now starting to be convinced that are very few ‘rational’ price-setters. Even the long-only funds are very short-term.”

It’s against insider-trading law for advantage to spring from valuable information gleaned privately from another person, so instead traders are winnowing the public social chaff of the many for “alpha” – a way to outperform expected market returns.

Social Market Analytics, a Naperville, IL firm run by PhDs in theoretical chemistry and electrical engineering, tracks what it calls S-factors, turning tweets into data science for identifying stocks and sectors signaling directional outperformance. (more…)

Algo Rhythm

At Winter Park Sunday scooting off the Panoramic high-speed chair at 12,060 feet and cooking downslope on skis, the trip was anything but algorithmic.

No, skimming from summit to the lift slow zone was uniquely and individually exhilarating. But in equity markets, unique exhilaration more often comes from derivative bets that randomly pop stocks 7-8%. Otherwise, your shares blend with millions of other securities across asset classes mixed and matched in proprietary recipes aimed at unique outcomes from ordinariness.

Last week, we likened the movie Moneyball, about baseball statistics, to how stocks trade today. Let’s go one step further. Your story is unique. You differentiate your performance from your peers. We as individuals want to be valued on our own merits. So we hope our company’s shares are examined discretely.

Institutional and retail investors want the same thing, right? Distinct success stories, diamonds in the rough. Listening to advertisements from big mutual funds, you get the sense that analysts are rooting in the rice paddies of southeast Asia to learn why fiber optics from the Philippines are the next big opportunity for a German manufacturer of diodes. Or whatever. (more…)