the research puzzle


Into the workshop [0.13]

Posted on July 6, 2017, 5:09 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

This was the fiftieth year for the program. The program uses the case method, with classes led by Harvard professors.

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Precision farming [0.08]

Posted on June 1, 2017, 6:03 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

I recently came across a report, written almost a year ago, by a group of Goldman Sachs analysts.

The cover of the report explains that its authors “explore how agriculture offers fertile ground for a confluence of technology trends, from sensors and the Internet of Things to drones, big data and autonomous driving,” asserting that precision farming can lift crop yields 70% by 2050 (and that a number of companies stand to thrive as a result).

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Surprisingly popular [0.27]

Posted on May 2, 2017, 9:21 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

For the first four years of this century, I taught at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Each student would pick his or her answer to a multiple-choice question — or provide a prediction about something — and then also state what was likely to be the most common answer from the group.

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Site visits [0.13]

Posted on April 25, 2017, 8:31 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

In my work as a consultant advising investment organizations, I generally get access to the people that I would like to interview and am able to see the things that I would like to see. That degree of openness is uncommon for others doing site visits (for the purpose of evaluating an investment in company, for example, or the selection of an asset manager), who face a more daunting challenge.

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Circles of risk [0.10]

Posted on March 14, 2017, 12:57 a.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

In October 2009, McKinsey Quarterly published an article with the intriguing title “Risk: Seeing around the corners.”McKinsey Quarterly | It was written by Eric Lamarre and Martin Pergler. A few months earlier, the world was convulsed by the financial crisis, so the title that accompanied the graphic below — “Companies are susceptible to interconnected cascades of risk” — seemed obvious.

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Point of view [0.10]

Posted on Feb. 7, 2017, 7:57 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

If you are of a certain age and have attended a significant number of plays and concerts in your time, something is easy to remember about any one of them: where you were sitting and what the scene looked like from your perspective. And that impression is anchored in your location and your point of view.

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The investment ecosystem [0.10]

Posted on Dec. 6, 2016, 9:36 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

I first wrote the phrase “the investment ecosystem” in one of these postings more than eight years ago. Despite some significant hiccups along the way, the market environment has been relatively benign, with a secular trend of disinflation leading to the low interest rates and generally high equity valuations that we enjoy today.

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Watching the flows [0.14]

Posted on Oct. 20, 2016, 7:22 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

It has become a monthly ritual to scrutinize the amount of money gushing out of actively-managed funds and into passively-managed ones.Morningstar | Here’s the latest monthly summary from Morningstar. An easy to understand example of that is the boom and bust of the Janus equity funds during the dot-com era.

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In the company of women [0.15]

Posted on Sept. 22, 2016, 12:08 a.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

The first analyst day I attended was at the Vista International Hotel in the World Trade Center. Last week, the shoe was on the other foot at a CFA Institute conference, “Alpha and Gender Diversity: The Competitive Edge.” Now I know how it feels to be outnumbered.

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The tests ahead [0.13]

Posted on Sept. 7, 2016, 8:59 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there was a great hue and cry about how we had become slaves to our models and that they had proven to be imperfect — tragically imperfect — masters.

It is, then, quite ironic (and very surprising, at least to me) that we seem to be more reliant on those models than ever before.

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Changing classifications [0.13]

Posted on Aug. 8, 2016, 2:20 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

In most of our endeavors, we seek to avoid ambiguity and are quick to classify people, places, things, whatever.

Of course, investors are champions at this activity, breaking down our holdings into asset classes and style boxes and buckets of this and that.

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High conviction [0.14]

Posted on July 14, 2016, 6:04 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

Every industry has its lingo, its jargon, and its favorite phrases.

While reasonable cost and manager responsiveness were mentioned as selection factors, over and over the article documents the attraction to “high conviction managers.” So what are they?

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Programmed or nonprogrammed [0.18]

Posted on June 15, 2016, 10:36 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

I came across a handout from an information systems class that I took more than forty years ago.

As I looked at it, I started to think about investment decision making.

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A best practice for funds [0.11]

Posted on May 24, 2016, 7:48 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

Whenever mutual funds run into trouble of one kind or another, questions about the responsibilities of mutual fund boards come to the fore. Just in the last few months, developments at Sequoia Fund and Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund have drawn attention to them once more.

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Starting somewhere [0.10]

Posted on April 17, 2016, 5:26 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

I hear that quite a lot when I ask why those trying to select managers begin with some kind of a performance screen.

Litman Gregory is not alone in presenting this conflicting message and in proceeding in a way that ensures that past performance has a greater impact on the selection of managers than advertised.

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Work issues [0.27]

Posted on March 23, 2016, 2:35 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

The February 28 edition of the New York Times Magazine was titled “The Work Issue.” The articles within it received widespread attention, especially the lead one about Google studying what makes for “the perfect team.”New York Times Magazine | Yet another example of the supposedly moribund mainstream media driving the discussion.

If we stop there, in your experience, which of the last two paragraphs most aptly describes how investment professionals operate in organizations?

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Shared delusions [0.12]

Posted on Feb. 23, 2016, 3:38 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

It shouldn’t be too controversial to say that an investment program ought to be grounded on reasonable expectations. Asset owners and the asset managers who serve as their agents should proceed together with realistic notions of the possible outcomes — and the probable ones.

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Ripped from normalcy [0.19]

Posted on Jan. 31, 2016, 10:03 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

Long-time readers know that I rarely stray from a regular pattern in these essays, in which I hope to identify a persistent issue in the investment ecosystem and offer creative ways to think about it. Almost never do I get personal about anything.

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Open networks [0.06]

Posted on Oct. 28, 2015, 1:51 p.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

In my last posting, regarding home bias and the difficulty of seeing past familiar territory to other possibilities,the research puzzle | Believe it or not, the second season of Fargo is based in my hometown, which is what spawned that posting.

Simmons wrote: “Most people spend their careers in closed networks; networks of people who already know each other.

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No place like home [0.15]

Posted on Oct. 13, 2015, 5:20 a.m. by the research puzzle @ [source]

The second season of FargoAtlantic | The show, an homage to rather than a retelling of the classic Coen brothers movie, appears on FX. My hometown.

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