Excess Returns Podcast

Excess Returns is an investing podcast hosted by Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) and Justin Carbonneau (@jjcarbonneau), partners at Validea. Justin and Jack discuss a wide range of investing topics including factor investing, value investing, momentum investing, multi-factor investing, trend following, market valuation and more with the goal of helping those who watch and listen become better long term investors, all in twenty minutes or less per episode. The podcast is available on YouTube and on all the major podcast platforms. You can click the links next to each episode below to watch or listen to it on your preferred platform.

If you enjoy the podcast, please follow us on YouTube or subscribe or write a review on iTunes. If you have any questions or feedback, you can email us at podcast@validea.com.

Latest Episode

5/13/2021

Episode 89: Asset Allocation and Projecting Expected Returns with Jim Masturzo of Research Affiliates

We are currently in a very challenging time for building multi-asset portfolios. The 60-40 portfolios is coming off one of its best decades ever, but the expected future returns on both stocks and bonds are very low. And unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus have added additional variables into the equation. This week we talk to Jim Masturzo, who is a partner and head of multi-asset at Research Affiliates and also helped create their popular Asset Allocation Interactive tool, to try to make sense of all of this. We discuss their process for projecting expected returns and the challenge of building multi-asset portfolios in this environment, the role that potential future inflation plays in their process, and his thought process when looking at a new asset like Bitcoin.

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5/10/2021

Episode 88: Strategy Focus: Low Volatility Investing and the Conservative Formula

The success of of the low volatility factor can be challenging to explain. Investing theory teaches us that to get an additional return, we need to take additional risk and if we reduce risk, our return should come down with it. But low volatility seems to defy that rule. In this episode, we look at the low volatility factor, how it is defined, and why it works. We also look at how the returns of low volatility can be enhanced by combining it with other factors, and take an in depth look at our Multi-Factor Investor strategy on Validea, which is based on the paper The Conservative Formula by Pim van Vliet, and how it puts that idea into action.

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4/29/2021

Episode 87: Six Potential Metrics to Help Limit Value Traps

Deep value investing is about buying companies that other investors don’t want. It is about investing in companies where the current situation doesn’t look great – actually in many cases it looks horrible. On average, investors tend to overestimate the problems in these types of businesses and as a result, stocks of these companies get cheap. But for some of these cheap companies, the situation is actually worse than what the market has priced in. These types of stocks are typically referred to as value traps. Although value traps come with the territory in value investing, the ability to limit them can have a positive impact on a value strategy. In this episode, we discuss some of the metrics we use to try to do that.

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4/29/2021

Episode 86: Investing in Freedom in Emerging Markets with Perth Tolle, Founder of Life + Liberty Indexes

The emerging market universe includes a very diverse set of countries, many of which are sorely lacking in the types of freedom enjoyed by their people. Some of the biggest countries in emerging market indexes like China are also some of the worst offenders in this regard. It has been commonly accepted by many that investing in these types of companies is unavoidable for investors who want emerging market exposure and so most investors just ignore the behaviors of the regimes that run the countries within the space. But what if you could invest in only the countries that are the most free within the space, and potentially boost your returns at the same time? We discuss this idea with Perth Tolle, the founder of Life + Liberty Indexes. Perth has developed a scoring system that ranks all emerging market countries based on their levels of freedom and has constructed an index that includes the highest scorers. We discuss the story of how she came to create this index, the criteria that go into it and its potential to improve the world of emerging market investing.

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4/26/2021

Episode 85: Academic Research Spotlight: Migration by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French

This week, we look at some interesting research that took a unique approach to explaining the value and size premiums. We examine the paper "Migration" by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French. The paper grouped stocks into categories based on their size and valuation and then looked at how the migration between those groups impacted both the value and size premiums. We take a look at what they found as well as the lessons investors can take from it.

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4/19/2021

Episode 84: The Three Keys to Understanding Investing Bubbles

With the stock market at all-time highs and returns over the past year some of the best in history, the word "bubble" is getting thrown around more and more by investors. But before we jump to conclusions, it is first important to understand what a bubble is and what the term means from a practical standpoint for investors. In this episode, we look at bubbles through a framework based on the three questions that we think are most important for investors to ask.

1. What is a Bubble?
2. Can a Bubble Be Identified in Advance?
3. If We Are in a Bubble, What Can I Do About It?

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4/15/2021

Episode 83: A Detailed Look at All Weather Investing with Eric Crittenden

The last 40 years have been an exceptionally strong period for a portfolio of stocks and bonds. With stocks performing well and bonds benefitting from a tailwind of constantly falling interest rates, a portfolio consisting of only the two asset classes has been all investors have needed. But a deeper look at market history reveals that there were significant periods where a standard stock and bond mix didn't serve investors well. In this episode, we take a deep dive into the concept of all weather investing with Eric Crittenden of Standpoint Funds. All weather investing seeks to hold a diverse portfolio of assets that have the potential to perform well across a wide range of economic environments, including the inflationary environments that have tripped up the standard 60/40 portfolio in the past. We discuss the benefits of an all weather portfolio, the process of constructing a portfolio to stand up to a wide range of potential environments and the role of behavior in building an all weather strategy.

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4/12/2021

Episode 82: The Changing Nature of Momentum Investing

Investors tend to associate momentum with growth stocks. If you try to name a typical momentum stock off the top of your head, you will probably think of names like Google or Facebook or Amazon. And that is especially true when we have gone through a growth dominated period like we have in the past decade. But the reality is that momentum doesn't care about growth. It doesn't care about value either. It also doesn't care about quality. All it cares about is that a stock's price has gone up. In this episode, we look at why momentum is a chameleon, and why that fact can make it challenging to follow for many investors.

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4/5/2021

Episode 81: The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Major Value Metrics

Many investors think all value strategies are fairly similar to each other. And as a result they expect the value funds they invest in will all perform similarly over time. But the reality is that the behind the scenes details that go into building a value strategy can play a major role in how it performs and lead to major deviations in performance among value funds. In this episode, we take a look at one way that value strategies can differ - the metric they use to define value. We look at the major value metrics and the pros and cons of each of them. We also look at the construction of value composites and why their benefit might come from a different source than the one you think.

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4/1/2021

Episode 80: The History of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett with Adam Mead

There have been hundreds of books written about Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. So it rare for a book come out that does something that none of the others have. But a new book coming out in April does exactly that by offering the first full chronological history of Berkshire Hathaway, from the period prior to Buffett all the way to the current day. In this episode, we talk to Adam Mead, the author of The Complete Financial History of Berkshire Hathaway: A Chronological Analysis of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger's Conglomerate Masterpiece. We discuss the origin story that brought Buffett together with Berkshire, Buffett's best and worst investments, his best investment you probably haven't heard about, the key traits that led to Buffett's success, and what it is like to attend the Berkshire annual meeting.

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3/29/2021

Episode 79: Quantifying The Motley Fool’s Small Cap Growth Investment Strategy

The Motley Fool is not known for their quantitative models. They are known for a discretionary growth style of investing that attempts to identify game changing companies and then holds them for the long-term, seeking to generate returns that are multiples of their original investment. But despite their discretionary nature, their book The Motley Fool Investment Guide did contain a detailed quantitative model to select small-cap growth stocks. When we launched Validea in 2003, we wouldn't have guessed that this model would have outperformed all the other models we launched, but it has produced the best return of all the models we follow in the 18 years since. In this episode, we take a look at the model we extracted from the Motley Fool Investment Guide and the criteria it uses to select small-cap growth stocks.

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3/25/2021

Episode 78: Rafael Resendes On Intrinsic Value, Economic Margin and How Some Value Models Have Lost Their Way

Systematic value strategies have had one of the worst performing periods in their history in the past decade. This extended underperformance, coupled with changes in the market and economy that many argue are unfavorable for the strategy have led many to question whether it is permanently broken. As believers in the strategy, we have a natural tendency to discount these arguments and to invite on guests who support our opinion. So in this episode, we wanted to counteract that bias and look at the other side of the coin. We are joined by Applied Finance founder Rafael Resendes, who has been a vocal critic of traditional approaches to value. We talk about why traditional value may not produce the kind of results many value investors are looking for going forward and examine the arguments against the strategy.

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3/22/2021

Episode 77: What Has Really Driven the Rebound in Value Stocks?

There is a popular narrative out there that value investing is back. And it makes sense given the huge run that many value funds have had off the market bottom. But when you look beneath the surface, it turns out what drove those returns may have little to do with value at all. In this episode, we look at what has actually driven the returns of many value strategies in the past year, and the opportunity it may create for long-term value investors.

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3/15/2021

Episode 76: Machine Learning, Fantasy Football and Factor Investing with Kevin Zatloukal

In this episode, we are joined by Kevin Zatloukal. Kevin teaches Computer Science at the University of Washington and has his Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT. He previously was a programmer for both Microsoft and Google. He is also a member of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management's Research Partner Program, where he has written two papers applying machine learning concepts to investing. In the interview, we discuss the basics of machine learning and some examples of how it is applied, including the different types of machine learning and some common algorithms, how machine learning can be used in fantasy football to identify players with the potential for success, the application of decision stumps and clustering to value investing, and the balance between intuition and empirical results

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3/8/2021

Episode 75: Lessons From Warren Buffett's 2021 Annual Letter

In this episode, we cover the major points Warren Buffett covered in his 2021 annual letter and talk about some lessons investors can learn from them. We discuss the importance of recognizing mistakes and learning from them, why operating earnings are a better measure of Berkshire's business than GAAP earnings, the evolution of Buffett's investment approach over time, and why Berkshire's approach differs from most other conglomerates.

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3/4/2021

Episode 74: Bridgeway Founder John Montgomery On Their Unique Culture and Lessons From a 25+ Year Career in Quant Investin‪g‬

In this episode, we are joined by John Montgomery, the founder and CIO of Bridgeway Capital Management. Bridgeway is unique in the world of Wall Street, where profits are usually the primary motive, in that it donates 50% of its profits to charity, makes everyone who works at the company a partner, and strives to maintain a low ratio of compensation of its highest paid team members relative to the lowest paid. The firm has also built an excellent long-term record managing quantitative, factor-based strategies. In the interview, we discuss Bridgeway's unique culture, John's path to becoming a quantitative investor, and the biggest lessons of his career running factor models. We also talk about Bridgeway's process of building quantitative models and how they view the major investing factors.

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3/1/2021

Episode 73: Academic Research Spotlight - Replicating Anomalies by Lu Zhang, Chen Xue and Kewei Hou

In this episode, we are trying something new. There is so much academic research out there about markets, and what drives their returns over time, that it can be very difficult for investors to keep up with all of it. So we are going to start highlighting some of our favorite academic papers each month and breaking down their key lessons. We start with paper Replicating Anomalies by Lu Zhang, Chen Xue and Kewei Hou. In this paper, the authors examined 452 stock market anomalies to see how they held up once the impact of micro-cap stocks was reduced. We summarize the findings from the paper and what they mean for investors.

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2/22/2021

Episode 72: GameStop: What Happened, How it Happened, and Lessons We Can Learn From It

The rapid rise and fall of GameStop earlier this year was unlike anything many of us have seen in our investing careers. The stock's price went from the single digits to upwards of $400 per share in a very short time, and then lost most its value in the weeks that followed. In this episode, we take a look behind the scenes at the factors that led to GameStop's massive gains, and how those same factors eventually led to the ensuing decline We also take a look at some lessons investors can learn from the GameStop saga.

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2/15/2021

Episode 71: The Elusive Definition of Risk – And Some Practical Ways to Measure It

Risk is one of the most difficult concepts in investing to define. Part of that is because we face many risks as investors that come from many different directions. But another part of it is that risk is ultimately different for every investor, which makes a universal definition impossible to find. In this episode, we look at some of the most important risks we face as investors, and why they are impossible to disentangle from our own behavior. We also look at some practical ways we use to measure risk to help optimize results for the focused factor-based strategies we follow.

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2/8/2021

Episode 70: A Detailed Look at Joel Greenblatt's Magic Formula Method

Joel Greenblatt produced exceptional returns as managing partner at Gotham Capital, a New York City-based hedge fund he founded. The firm averaged a remarkable 40 percent annualized return over more than two decades .In his 2005 bestseller The Little Book That Beats The Market, Greenblatt laid out a very simple two variable strategy that more than doubled the market return in his testing. In this episode, we take a deep dive into the magic formula, how it works, and its pros and cons.

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2/4/2021

Episode 69: An In Depth Look at Momentum Investing and Trend Following with Jack Vogel

There is perhaps no investment factor with more long-term data to support it than momentum. But despite that, its real world usage lags far behind other factors like value. Part of the reason for this is the fact that momentum can be much less intuitive for investors. It is easy for investors to understand why they should buy a stock that trades at a discounted valuation, but it is much more difficult to understand why they should invest in a stock solely because its price has gone up. In this episode, we take a deep dive into momentum investing with Alpha Architect's Jack Vogel. We discuss why momentum works, how it is measured, and some potential ways to enhance the returns of momentum strategies. We also cover the pros and cons of trend following and why the strategy can be so difficult to implement in the real world.

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2/1/2021

Episode 68: The Impact of Intangible Assets on Value Investing

Our economy is changing. Gone are the days where the biggest companies require substantial physical assets to operate and grow their businesses. Most of the companies that dominate our economy today rely on assets like technology, brand value, and patents to power their businesses. In this episode, we look at the impact of intangible assets on value investing and investment strategies that rely on fundamentals. We discuss the challenges of valuing intangible assets, and the different approaches that can be used to do it. We also tackle the debate over whether intangible assets should be included on standard financial statements.

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1/28/2021

Episode 67: Interview: Replicating Private Equity Returns In Public Markets with Verdad’s Brian Chingono

There are many misconceptions about private equity. Most investors see it as a domain where high net worth investors and institutions earn returns that can't be achieved via public markets. Investors typically also view the success of private equity as the result of the ability of private equity firms to go in and make operational changes to businesses to unlock their true potential. But it turns out the reality is much less exciting than that. As is the case in public market investing, it turns out that fundamentals and valuation are a large driver of returns.

In this episode, we speak to Brian Chingono of Verdad Capital about the true drivers of private equity returns, and how those returns can be replicated using a systematic strategy in public markets. We also cover some other interesting areas of Verdad's research, including how high yield spreads can be used to identify opportunities for value stocks and whether bond upgrades and downgrades can be predicted via machine learning.

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1/25/2021

Episode 66: Examining the Arguments Against Value Investing

After a decade of struggle, the past six months have finally given value investors reasons for optimism. Although the recent outperformance pales in comparison to the underperformance over the course of the decade, the fact that performance has improved, coupled with the arguments that a move toward increased fiscal stimulus may lead to a higher inflationary environment that would benefit value, has many value investors, including us, thinking we may have finally reached the turning point. And market experts have also jumped on the value train, with many predicting a strong year for value.

But times like these are our most dangerous ones as investors. When we become convinced we are right, it becomes easy to miss the arguments for the other side. So in this episode we decided to challenge ourselves and to try to make the best case we can against value investing.

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1/18/2021

Episode 65: Why Dividend Investing May Be Overrated

Dividend based investing strategies are very popular among investors. The ability to receive regular cash payments from the equities they own and a belief that dividend paying stocks outperform the market are both major drivers of this popularity. But this preference for dividend stocks often exceeds the reality of the benefits they provide. In this episode, we take a look at the facts behind dividend investing. We look at how dividend-paying stocks perform over time and why the source of their outperformance may be different than many investors think. We also look at alternative ways to accomplish the goals of strategies based around dividends.

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1/11/2021

Episode 64: Breaking Down the Investment Strategy of Peter Lynch

Peter Lynch is one of the most successful mutual fund managers of all time. Lynch guided Fidelity Investment's Magellan Fund to a 29.2 percent average annual return from 1977 until his retirement in 1990, almost doubling the S&P 500's 15.8 percent yearly return over that time. And he did it with an approach that is very unique among history's most successful investors. In its paper Superstar Investors, AQR tried to use factors explain the historical performance of some of the best investors of all time, and Lynch's performance was the most difficult to explain using that framework. In this episode, we look at Lynch's approach to investing and our quantitative strategy based on him, which we extracted from his book One Up On Wall Street. We also look at why his strategy is so difficult to quantify.

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1/4/2021

Episode 63: The Importance of Expectations in Investing

There is a common misconception that a good company is always a good investment. But that sometimes isn't the case. The reason for that comes down to the role that expectations play in investing. Companies with good fundamentals typically have high expectations built into their stock price, while companies with poor fundamentals typically have low expectations embedded in their price. But either way, the key for investors is identifying companies where there is a gap between expectations and reality. In this episode, we look at the importance of expectations in investing and how investors can look at this issue. We also look at some systematic ways to take advantage of the differences between expectations and reality.

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12/28/2020

Episode 62: The Biggest Lessons From Our Five Most Popular Interviews of 2020

When we started our podcast late last year, we were hoping we could create something that would be educational and informative for people who follow our content. We were hoping we could take some of the lessons we have learned in running quant models over the past decade and share them with other investors who are looking to learn and improve. But one of the biggest surprises for us in the first year of the podcast, though, is how much we have learned ourselves. We have been fortunate to interview some of the smartest investors we know, and each interview has taught us something new and expanded our understanding of some complex and interesting concepts. To bring 2020 to a close, we took a look at our five most popular interviews of the year and found the most important lesson we learned from each of them. We bring all those lessons together in our final episode of the year. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to listen to us this year. We hope you have a happy to safe New Year.

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12/21/2020

Episode 61: Eight Timeless Lessons All Investors Can Learn From Warren Buffett

No investor can match the combination of Warren Buffett's annual returns and the period of time he has been able to sustain them. Buffett has generated those returns in a variety of ways, many of which your average investor could never copy. But Buffett's greatest contribution to the investing world likely isn't his returns or his approach to picking stocks. Buffett's greatest contribution has been his willingness to help all of us become better investors. Through his writings, his annual meetings, and his general willingness to share his knowledge, Buffett has probably contributed more to educating other investors than anyone in history. In this episode, we look at some of the biggest lessons investors can learn from Buffett.

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12/17/2020

Episode 60: Making Sense of Fed Intervention, Fiscal Stimulus and MMT with Cullen Roche

The way economic policy is implemented has undergone some major changes in the past decade. The Federal Reserve's response to the Great Financial Crisis, and the continued quantitative easing in its aftermath, marked a significant change in the way the central bank implements monetary policy. And the fiscal policy response to the current crisis also marked a significant departure from how things have been done in the past. In this episode we are joined by one of our favorite economic thinkers, Cullen Roche, to help us make sense of all of this. Cullen is an expert on Federal Reserve policy and one of the few people who predicted that the outcome of quantitative easing would not be the significant inflation that many thought it would. We discuss a variety of topics including why quantitative easing hasn't caused inflation, the implications of the recent massive government stimulus, Modern Monetary Theory, and the role inflation plays in the value/growth dynamic. We hope you enjoy the discussion.

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12/14/2020

Episode 59: Twin Momentum: Combining Fundamental and Price Momentum Together In One Quantitative Model

The academic research supporting the momentum factor is very strong. But most of that research focuses on the momentum in a stock's price. An interesting research paper written by Dashan Huang looked at the potential to enhance the excess of return of price momentum by also looking at the momentum in a firm's fundamentals. In this episode we discuss this paper and the pros and cons of combining fundamental and price momentum. We also outline the seven variable system the paper uses to calculate fundamental momentum and how it separates out firms who are showing improvements in their businesses.

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12/7/2020

Episode 58: Lessons From Our First Year of Podcasting

We have reached the one year anniversary of the podcast so we wanted to take a break from our regular investing episodes for a week and reflect back on our first year and what we have learned. In this episode we talk about our biggest lessons from our first year of podcasting and some of the behind the scenes details that go into creating the podcast. As we begin our second year, we also would welcome any feedback on things we can do to improve the podcast and the types of episodes that listeners find the most useful. If you have any feedback, please send it to us at podcast@validea.com. We want to thank everyone who took the time to listen to us in our first year. We really appreciate your support.

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11/30/2020

Episode 57: Why Eliminating Discretion from Quantitative Models is Harder Than You Think

There is a tendency for those of us who support quant models to talk about them as if they are these things that just run on autopilot over the long-term that are free from all the decision-making issues that plague us as human beings. That just isn’t the case, though. There are many decisions that go into the development, optimization, and evolution of quant models that require human intervention and a thoughtful, nuanced approach. In this episode, we discuss the human decisions that go into quant models and how to develop a thoughtful framework to make them.

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11/25/2020

Episode 56: Is Value Investing Dead?

Value investing has struggled for over a decade now. Although no one will dispute that fact, there are significant disagreements about whether this is just another of the long periods of underperformance that have been common in the history of value or if something about the strategy has become broken. In the first year of our podcast, we have talked to some of the smartest people we know in the investing world about this topic, including Jim O'Shaughnessy, Tobias Carlisle, Adam Butler, Partha Mohanram, Wes Gray, Vitaliy Katselnelson, and Kai Wu, and have received a diverse set of opinions. In this episode, we bring together all of those insights in an effort to answer one question: Is Value Investing Dead?

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11/23/2020

Episode 55: Why You Shouldn’t Try To Copy Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time. He has also been very generous in sharing the lessons he has learned over his career with all of us. There are many things all of us can and should learn from Buffett. But despite that, there are also many lessons that investors should not learn from what Buffett does. Like all investors, many of the things Buffett does are the result of his own unique situation. The majority of investors also have substantially smaller portfolios than Buffett and much shorter time frames. In this episode, we look at some lessons that investors should not learn from Warren Buffett.

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11/16/2020

Episode 54: The Fundamental Principles of Benjamin Graham and Whether They Still Work Today

Benjamin Graham is considered by many to be the father of value investing. Not only did Graham produce an exceptional track record during his lifetime, but he also counts some of the most successful value investors of all time among his disciples, including Warren Buffett. But despite the long-term success of the deep value investing style popularized by Graham, many argue that things have changed and that value investors need to evolve to keep up with the times. In this episode, we take a deep dive into the principles of Graham and the criteria of our quantitative strategy based on him, and debate whether his strategy is still relevant today.

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11/12/2020

Episode 53: Monopolies, Intangible Assets and the Disruptive Economy with Kai Wu

Our economy is changing. The largest, most successful companies in the world no longer require substantial tangible assets to operate their businesses. The businesses that are disrupting our world and wielding monopolistic power aren't powered by plants and factories. Instead their value lies in things like brands and technology and the value of their networks. This new world has challenged many traditional beliefs about investing. Everything from how we define value to how we look at growth has changed. More traditional methods are now being supplemented by things like alternative data and machine learning. In this episode, we speak to Kai Wu of Sparkline Capital, who has written some of the best research we have seen on these topics.

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11/9/2020

Episode 52: Are Flows Into The S&P 500 And Other Passive Indexes Distorting The Market?

There is little disagreement among market observers that passive investing is growing. There is also little dispute that the trend is likely to continue as a result of the rise of ETFs, investors’ focus on fees, the inconsistency of active manager outperformance, and numerous other factors. That is where the agreement ends, though. There are substantial disagreements as to if there has been an impact on the pricing of securities within the market, and if so, what that impact is. There are two ways that some argue that the rise of passive investing is influencing the market. The first is that it has been a significant source of fuel behind the market and has caused it to go up more than it otherwise would have. The second is that it is impacting the relative pricing of stocks within the market and is benefitting the largest stocks that have the highest weights in market cap weighted indexes relative to all other stocks. In this episode, we discuss both of these and try to summarize the arguments both for and against the conclusion that passive investing is distorting the market.

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11/5/2020

Episode 51: The Birth, Growth and Death of Investing Factors with Adam Butler

Many investors have come to accept the fact that the major factors like value and momentum will produce excess returns over the long-term. But what if the fact that these factors have become widely known and have strong evidence to support them has reduced or eliminated their effectiveness? In this episode, we discuss this idea with Adam Butler of Resolve Asset Management. Adam is one of the deepest thinkers that we know in the investing world. He is also a prolific writer and host of the popular Gestalt University podcast.

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10/26/2020

Episode 50: Why Your Politics Shouldn't Affect Your Investment Portfolio

We all have our political views. We all have a series of policies that we think would make the world a better place than it is today. And in the polarized world we are in today, most people are more entrenched in these views than they ever have been. No matter what you think about politics, though, it is important to understand that it is likely best to separate those views from what you do with your investment portfolio. In this episode, we look at the historical data to explain why which party controls the White House is not likely predictive of how the market will perform.

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10/26/2020

Episode 49: The Dangers of Trying to Outsmart the Market

All of us can fall into the trap of thinking that a certain outcome in investing is obvious. Whether it be the future direction of the market, which asset classes will perform best going forward, or the types of stocks that will lead the way, it is easy to think that certain outcomes are a virtual certainty. This can be particularly true during a period like the one we are in where opinions are polarized. But it is important to understand that the market's collective wisdom is usually smarter than all of us and what we think is obvious often is not. In this episode, we discuss some of the things that may seem obvious in the current market, and why they might be wrong.

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10/22/2020

Episode 48: Interview: Curating Investing Content and Sharing Knowledge w/ Tadas Viskanta of Abnormal Returns

The volume of financial content that is produced these days can be completely overwhelming. Filtering through it to find the best articles is a task that most investors just don't have the time to complete. Thankfully, they don't have to. Tadas Viskanta helped solve this problem when he launched Abnormal Returns over 15 years ago. Every day, Tadas identifies the best financial content and distills it down to a condensed series of links. And he does it for free. Tadas is also the Director of Investor Education at Ritholtz Wealth Management.

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10/19/2020

Episode 47: Why Growth Investing is Harder Than You Think

Growth investing has seemed easy in the past decade. Growth stocks have easily outpaced both value stocks and the market, which has led to great performance for many growth strategies. But it likely won't always be this easy. Over the long-term, growth stocks as a whole have trailed the market, and successful growth investors have had to identify a small group of stocks that perform well in a universe that typically does not. In this episode, we look at some of the realities of growth investing.

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10/15/2020

Episode 46: Interview: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Investing and Learning with Nir Kaissar

Investing in today's world requires an ability to understand multiple disciplines. In addition to understanding markets and having the ability to put current events in a long-term context, it also requires an understanding of economics. And with governments playing an increasing role in markets, it requires an ability to understand public policy and interpret its impact. Nir Kaissar is unique in his ability to offer insights into each of these areas. He is the founder of Unison Advisors and a regular columnist for Bloomberg. In this interview, we discuss each of these areas, and the unprecedented times all of us are currently living through.

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10/12/2020

Episode 45: Interview: Liquidity Cascades with Corey Hoffstein

It has been said that the most dangerous words in investing are "this time is different". But sometimes a confluence of factors come together to significantly change the character of the market. In the best research paper we have read this year, Corey Hoffstein argues this is one of those times. In this interview, we go through all the details of Corey's argument and how they fit together to form a very compelling argument that this time might in fact be different.

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10/5/2020

Episode 44: Why the S&P 500 is an Active Portfolio, and Other Observations on the Stages of Active Management

Active management deserves all the criticism it gets. After all, over 80% of equity managers underperform their benchmarks over the long-term and active managers charge vastly higher fees compared to passive indices. But active management also gets a bad rap. There are many active strategies that perform very well over time, and justify the fees they charge. How can both of these conflicting statements simultaneously be true? The answer lies of the definition of the term “active management” and the fact that many strategies that investors consider passive also have significant active components. In this episode we talk about the various types of active management and the pros and cons of each.

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9/28/2020

Episode 43: The Past, Present and Future of Investing with Morningstar's John Rekenthaler

John Rekenthaler is Vice President of Research for Morningstar, the author of the Rekenthaler Report column, and a leading expert on the mutual fund industry. John has been with Morningstar almost since the beginning and has witnessed the evolution of the mutual fund and investing industries first hand. In this interview, we draw on John's extensive experience to cover a variety of topics related to the fund industry and investing in general.

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9/24/2020

Bonus Episode: Six Narratives Shaping the Stock Market in 2020

In this bonus episode, we we discuss a presentation Justin recently gave to Fidelity customers about some of the major narratives shaping the current market. The word "unprecedented" tends to be overused in investing, but 2020 has certainly seen many occurrences that many investors have never seen before, and may not again. We talk about some of these things and what they mean for investors going forward.

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9/21/2020

Episode 42: Why the Stock Market is Near All Time Highs Despite the Major Issues in the Economy

We are currently in one of the most difficult economic environments many of us will see if our lifetimes. Even though the unemployment rate has fallen from its high of 15% to a level below 10%, it still exceeds the peak from the 2008 crisis, which itself was one of the deepest recessions ever. Small businesses and entire industries, like air travel, cruise lines and hotels are struggling mightily as the various degrees of lockdowns we have experienced in recent months have taken a huge toll. But despite all of that, the stock market currently sits at all time highs. In this episode, we look at the reasons for this disconnect.

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9/14/2020

Episode 41: Is Direct Indexing the Future of Investing?

Technology has allowed all of us to personalize many aspects of our lives. Rather than accept products tailored to a wide range of people, we are now able to customize products we use based on our specific needs and preferences. But in the world of investing, most investors continue to invest in prepackaged indexes like the S&P 500 that are the same for everyone. That may be about to change, though. The combination of new technology, the elimination of brokerage commissions, and the ability of investors to purchase partial shares of individual securities have come together to create a product that allows investors to build indexes that meet their individual preferences. That product is direct indexing. In this episode we talk about the pros and cons of direct indexing and the details of how it works.

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9/7/2020

Episode 40: Six Lessons New Robinhood Traders Could Learn From Peter Lynch

Trading volumes at online brokers have skyrocketed since the Coronavirus crisis began. If there is one lesson these newly minted traders have learned so far, it is that the market does nothing but go up. But more seasoned investors know that the market, and these traders, will eventually fall upon tough times. In this episode, we discuss some investing lessons that these new traders could learn from legendary investor Peter Lynch. We discuss the importance of understanding the businesses behind stocks you invest in, how to distinguish luck from skill, why investors should avoid "Cutting Their Flowers and Watering Their Weeds", and why making mistakes early in your investing career can be a good thing

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8/31/2020

Episode 39: Interview: Bridging Academic Research and Real World Investing with Professor Partha Mohanram

In this episode we are joined by Professor Partha Mohanram. Professor Mohanram is the John H. Watson Chair in Value Investing at the Rotman School at the University of Toronto. His paper "Separating Winners from Losers among Low Book-to-Market Stocks using Financial Statement Analysis" is also the basis for one of the quantitative models we run on Validea. In this interview, we cover a wide range of topics based on Professor Mohanram's research, including the criteria of his G Score strategy, whether accounting standards should change to account for intangible assets, the balance between quality and value in portfolio construction, separating winners from losers in Financial stocks and whether investors can profit from information on Twitter.

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8/24/2020

Episode 38: Four Reasons Value Investing Might Not be Dead Yet

Value investors have fallen on difficult times in the most recent decade. Value's extended underperformance has led many to question whether the strategy still works or if it is broken in some fundamental way. In this episode, we look at these arguments and discuss why we still believe in value. We discuss whether value is cheap on a relative and absolute basis, if the risk- and behavioral-based arguments for value still hold, why history gives us some reason for optimism, and why underperfomance would not be what we would expect if value is truly dead.

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8/17/2020

Episode 37: A Conversation about Buffett, Berkshire & High-Quality Shareholders w/ Professor Lawrence Cunningham

In this episode, we are joined by Lawrence Cunningham. He is a professor at George Washington University and one of the world's leading experts on Warren Buffett. He is also the author of many excellent investing books including "Dear Shareholder", "The Essays of Warren Buffett", "Quality Investing", and the upcoming "Quality Shareholders: How the Best Managers Attract and Keep Them". We discuss a wide range of topics, including the key traits that have led to Warren Buffett's long-term success, the characteristics of a quality shareholder and what companies can do to attract and keep them, the impact of the rise of passive investing on corporate governance, the most important attributes that can help to identify quality companies and whether they can be quantified.

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8/10/2020

Episode 36: Have the Fed, Narratives and Passive Flows Broken Fundamental Investing?

Valuing a company (or the market in general) typically involves looking at its price and judging that price relative to its current and projected future fundamentals. But some have argued that this process has become broken in the most recent decade and other factors have become more important than actual results. In this episode, we talk about some of these factors, how they have impacted the market, and what they might mean for the future.

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8/3/2020

Episode 35: Finding Diamonds in the Rough Among Growth Stocks

Buying expensive stocks has historically been a terrible investing strategy. On average, expensive stocks significantly underperform the market as a whole over time. But despite the poor performance of the group, the absolute best performing individual stocks typically come from within this universe. The difficult part is trying to identify them in advance. In this episode, we look at a quantitative growth strategy developed by Partha Mohanram, a professor at the University of Toronto, and how it seeks to find diamonds in the rough among growth stocks.

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7/27/2020

Episode 34: The Danger of Learning From Your Mistakes

The process of learning from your mistakes is an important part of improving yourself over time both as an investor and as a person. But it requires that you learn the right lessons and don’t draw the wrong conclusions from your failures. And sometimes that is easier said than done. In this episode, we talk about some ways that learning from your mistakes can be counterproductive.

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7/20/2020

Episode 33: Active Value Investing in a Changing World with Vitaliy Katsenelson

In this episode we are joined by Vitaliy Katsenelson. Vitaliy is the author of the popular Contrarian Edge blog and the CEO of investment firm IMA. As quantitative investors, we often find we learn the most from investors who use very different approaches than we do. As a discretionary value investor and long-term student of value investing, Vitaliy provides us with an alternate take on value and the advantages a discretionary approach can offer in uncertain times.

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7/13/2020

Episode 32: Is the Price/Book Ratio Dead?

The Price/Book ratio has probably been the most important valuation ratio of the past century. If you look at the academic research that supports value investing, you won’t find any other ratio that is referenced more often. There is also no ratio that is used more by systematic value funds. But the rise on intangible assets and other factors have led many to question whether the ratio has value any more. In this episode, we look at the arguments for and against the Price/Book and whether it should still have a place in value portfolios.

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7/6/2020

Episode 31: Can Warren Buffett Be Quantified?

In this episode, we are going to try something a little different. Our goal at Validea is to capture quantitative strategies that work over the long-term. To do that, we go through books and academic papers to find factor-based models with results to back them up. We are going to periodically do some episodes for the podcast where we do a deep dive into these strategies and look at the factors behind them. In the first episode, we will take a detailed look at our strategy based on Warren Buffett, which was extracted from the book Buffettology. But before we look at the strategy's criteria in detail, we start with a more basic question: Can Warren Buffett be quantified?

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6/29/2020

Episode 30: The Pros and Cons of Quantitative and Discretionary Investing

We all have a tendency to believe that the way we invest is the best way. As quantitative investors, we can sometimes feel that there is no reason anyone should ever use a discretionary strategy. But like most issues in investing, there are two sides to this argument. In this episode, we talk about quantitative and discretionary investing and the benefits of each.

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6/22/2020

Episode 29: Timeless Investing and Life Lessons with Jim O'Shaughnessy

In this week's episode we are privileged to be joined by Jim O'Shaughnessy. Jim is a pioneer in quantitative investing and the founder of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management. He is also the author of the best selling book What Works on Wall Street, which is now on its 4th edition and is considered by many to be the definitive guide to factor-based investing.

In this discussion, we get Jim's takes on a wide range of topics both in and outside the investing world, including the recent struggles of value investing, the process of enhancing an investment strategy over time, the role of behavior in constructing factor strategies, and Jim's tips on parenting.

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6/15/2020

Episode 28: The Danger of Focusing on What Should Be and Missing What Is

We all have our beliefs about the way that things should work in investing. When the market gets overvalued, we think it should go down. When value stocks struggle for a long period of time, we think they should outperform. When central banks or governments implement policies we don't agree with, we think they will inevitably end in disaster. But that focus on the way we think things should be can sometimes lead us to miss the reality of what is. In this episode, we talk about the balance between having conviction in the way things should work out and recognizing the way they are actually working out.

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6/8/2020

Episode 27: Quality and Low Volatility: The Factors That Shouldn't Work

Investing factors that work over time typically do so for one of two reasons: they either produce an excess return by taking on additional risk or they benefit from the tendency of investors to systematically misprice certain types of securities. Factors like value and momentum are easy to explain using this framework, but the outperformance of quality and low volatility offers more of a challenge. In this episode, we take an in depth look at these two factors.

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6/1/2020

Episode 26: Interview: Systematic Value Investing with Wes Gray

Wes Gray is the founder of Alpha Architect, the author of Quantitative Value and Quantitative Momentum, and an expert in systematic investing. In this interview, we discuss the recent struggles of value investing and how the current period fits into a long-term context. We also talk about the nuts and bolts of building a value strategy, including the pros and cons of value composites and the role of quality in a value portfolio. We hope you enjoy the discussion.

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5/25/2020

Episode 25: An In Depth Look at Momentum Investing

Momentum investing is difficult to understand for many investors. While a concept like value that involves trying to buy stocks at a discount to what they are worth resonates with many, the idea of betting that stocks that have already gone up will go up more can be much more difficult to understand. In this episode, we take an in depth look at momentum investing. We discuss why momentum works, the different types of momentum, and some of the drawbacks of a momentum based approach. We also talk about some additional variables that can potentially enhance a momentum approach like fundamental momentum and momentum consistency.

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5/18/2020

Episode 24: The Pros and Cons of Factor Timing

We are all trained to buy low and sell high, and it is tempting to conclude that we can do the same thing with factors. But the research suggests that factor timing strategies are extremely difficult to implement in practice. In this episode, we discuss the pros and cons of factor timing and look at some of the approaches that investors can use to time factors.

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5/11/2020

Episode 23: The Challenges of Multi-Factor Investing

The basic theory of multi-factor investing is pretty simple. It has been widely proven that factors like value and momentum can outperform the market over long periods of time. But no reward comes without risk. In this case, the risk is the significant periods of underperformance that the factors can endure. That is where multi-factor investing comes in. It offers investors an opportunity to blend factors together to reduce risk and smooth out those bad periods.

But building a multi-factor investment strategy can be much more difficult than it seems and requires a series of decisions that can have a significant impact on the end result. In this episode, we look at multi-factor investing and the important factors to keep in mind when building a multi-factor portfolio.

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5/4/2020

Episode 22: The Impact on COVID-19 on Value Investing

The process of using past fundamentals to try to predict future prices has been in place for a very long time, and there is substantial academic evidence to support it. One of the major challenges of it; however, is what happens when we are confronted with breaking points that are so large that a company’s past results prior to it occurring might tell us very little about what it will look like after. The current situation with COVID-19 might be the most significant situation of this type that any of us will experience in our investing lifetimes.

In this episode, we look at the impact of COVID-19 on value investing and offer some practical tips for building a value portfolio during a time like this.

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4/27/2020

Episode 21: Psychology and COVID-19 with Dr. Daniel Crosby

In this week's episode we shift gears a little from our usual investing focus. We wanted to spend some time talking about the current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on all of us as people. To do that, we brought in an expert of human psychology and behavioral finance, Dr. Daniel Crosby. Daniel is the author of the Behavioral Investor and the Chief Behavioral Officer at Brinker Capital.

In the interview, we discuss what we are going through as a society with the COVID-19 crisis, how we can all learn to better cope with the stress it brings, and the impact it will have on our behavior in the future. We also talk about its impact on us as investors and discuss Daniel's process to help investors avoid making bad decisions during times like these. We hope you enjoy the discussion.

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4/20/2020

Episode 20: The Limits to Lessons From Past Bear Markets

Whenever we are confronted with a bear market, we all want to figure out how it will play out. We want to know how big the decline will be. We want to know when it will end. We want to know what stocks we should buy to limit losses during it and to outperform the market after it. To answer these questions, our minds tend to point us to the simplest solution we can find. That solution is often to find the bear market in history that was most comparable to this one, and to assume that what happened then will also happen now. But there is a major flaw in that argument: no two bear markets are alike.

In this week's episode, we discuss the dangers of trying to compare the current bear market to past declines, and compare and contrast some historical bear markets with what is going on now.

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4/13/2020

Episode 19: The Dangers of Hindsight Bias

Whenever any of us analyze the decisions we make in investing, there is always a tendency to think that what we end up knowing in retrospect was obvious at the time. There is a tendency to believe that decisions that we could have made were easier than they actually were. But that’s just not the way things work, especially when we are faced with high stress situations and very uncertain outcomes, which is the situation we all face today. In this episode, we discuss the challenge of analyzing the current market environment and how what might seem obvious in retrospect is far from it today.

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4/6/2020

Episode 18: Interview: Value Investing with Tobias Carlisle

In this week’s Excess Returns, we are trying something new. In addition to our regular episodes, we have decided to periodically talk to some of the people we respect most in the investment community to get their insights on the issues facing investors today. For our first conversation, we talk to our friend Tobias Carlisle about value investing. Toby is probably the smartest value investor we know. He is the author of four books on value, including the Acquirer’s Multiple. He is also the founder of Acquirer’s Funds. In the conversation, we talk about the things that led to his interest in value investing and try to put the current struggles of value into context. We hope you enjoy the conversation.

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3/30/2020

Episode 17: The Importance of Challenging Your Own Beliefs

Confirmation bias is one of the most damaging biases in investing. All of us want to be right. We all want to think that opinions that disagree with ours don’t have sensible arguments to support them. So we gravitate toward people who agree with ours. Whether it be in our personal relationships, or our virtual ones through things like social media, we all unconsciously want to seek out validation that proves that what we thought all along is correct. But during times like these that can be a major problem. In this episode, we discuss some of our current beliefs, and why they might be wrong.

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3/23/2020

Episode 16: Looking at Different Ways to Manage Risk

There are many ways to manage risk in a portfolio. Traditional methods like blending stocks with bonds will work for most investors, but more creative methods can also make sense in some cases. One thing all risk management techniques have in common though, is that they come with trade offs. In this episode we look at some popular risk management approaches, and some lesser known ones, and examine the pros and cons of each. In addition to a traditional blended stock and bond approach, we also discuss the Permanent Portfolio, and more advanced quantitative approaches like Trend Following, Protective Asset Allocation and Generalized Protective Momentum.

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3/19/2020

Q&A: Answering Investors' Questions in Uncertain and Volatile Times

With the market in the midst of a significant decline and uncertainty reaching levels we haven't seen in many years, we have received many questions about what is going on, and where we go from here. So we decided to do a Q&A episode to do our best to answer some of these questions. In this bonus episode, we talk about why the market has fallen so quickly, whether stocks are cheap after the recent decline, and whether can can rely on past fundamental data to pick stocks in a time like this. We hope you enjoy this bonus episode. If you have any questions you would like answered in future episodes, please email them to podcast@validea.com.

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3/15/2020

Episode 15: Some Thoughts on Market Panics

The argument that investors should stay the course during market declines is an easy one to make. It also in most cases is the correct one, since figuring out when to get out of the market, and when to get back in, is very difficult for most investors to do. Despite the strength of the stay the course argument, those of us who make it can sometimes fail to deliver it with the proper recognition of the pain that most investors feel during market declines. In this episode, we talk about some important lessons to keep in mind during market panics and some strategies investors can use to manage them.

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3/9/2020

Episode 14: Some Thoughts on the Struggles of Factor Investing in the Past Decade

The long-term evidence to support factor investing is compelling. Academic work has shown that factors like value and momentum have produced an excess return relative to the market over time. But what occurred in the most recent decade was in many ways the opposite of what has happened over the long-term. Almost anything an investor did to get away from buying large growth companies over that period was a detraction from returns. In this episode, we try to put the struggles of factor investing in context and talk about some lessons we can learn from this difficult decade.

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3/2/2020

Episode 13: The Dangers of Headline Investing

The recent market sell off related to the Coronavirus has many investors worried. And with good reason. When panics like this set in, we all tend to focus on worst case scenarios and want to take action in response. But the process of analyzing headlines and figuring out how they will impact the market is challenging for even the most sophisticated investors. In this week's episode, we look at the dangers of investing based on headlines and why most investors are probably better off avoiding it.

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2/24/2020

Episode 12: The Pros and Cons of Trend Following

To say that the track record of market timers in general is dismal would be an understatement. There are so many factors that impact market returns that getting them all right is next to impossible. And even if you do, figuring out what is and is not already priced in can be an equally fruitless exercise. Despite the fact that forecasters have consistently failed to predict market turns, there is an option that can help to limit losses in major downturns and can be beneficial for some investors. Trend following has a long-term track record of both limiting major losses and reducing volatility. But like anything in investing, it comes with some trade offs. In this episode, we discuss why market timing is so difficult and take a detailed look at the pros and cons of trend following.

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2/17/2020

Episode 11: The Pitfalls of Back Testing

Back testing is one of the most misused tools in investment management. Almost every back test outperforms the market, but those same strategies often struggle when run with actual money. In this episode, we discuss the reasons why back tested results often don't translate into the real world and talk about some things to look out for when evaluating back tests.

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2/10/2020

Episode 10: Lessons From Our Most Read Five Questions Interviews

In this week's episode, we talk about the biggest lessons from the first year of our Five Questions interview series. Our Five Questions series features in depth interviews with leaders in the investing industry. We discuss the five most important lessons we learned from our interviews with Jim O'Shaughnessy, Corey Hoffstein, Michael Mauboussin, Ben Hunt and Wes Gray.

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2/3/2020

Episode 9: The Benefits of a Value Composite

Picking the right value metric can be one of the biggest challenges of quantitative value investing. Although the Price/Book is the most widely used value metric, its struggles in recent years and valid concerns that have been raised about its viability in a world dominated by intangible assets have led many to question whether it still works. But the other widely used value metrics also have their own problems. In this week's episode, we discuss the benefits of using a value composite and how it can enhance the risk/return profile of a value strategy.

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1/27/2020

Episode 8: The Perils of Market Forecasting

We have just completed market prediction season. Its the time of year where there are countless forecasts about what the economy will do in the new year. Its when experts tell you what interest rates will do for the year. And most of all, its when you see a variety of predictions for where the S&P 500 is heading this year. The experts making these predictions even do you the favor of giving you exact price targets so you know exactly what will happen. But there will be one major problem with almost all of these predictions: they will be wrong. In this week's episode, we discuss why market forecasting is so difficult and highlight some of the tricks that market forecasters use to make their predictions seem better in retrospect than they actually were.

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1/20/2020

Episode 7: The Challenges of Developing a Sell Strategy

As difficult as it is to figure out the right stocks to buy, determining when to sell can be even more challenging. In this episode, we look at the important factors to consider when deciding when to sell and develop a systematic sell framework that can be used for both quantitative and traditional investors.

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1/13/2020

Episode 6: The Case Against Value Stocks

Confirmation bias is one of the biggest problems in investing. We all have a set of core beliefs, and we tend to surround ourselves with people who also believe them and focus on information that validates them. That can be dangerous, though, because it can blind you to valid arguments that contradict your own. In this episode, we challenge our belief in value investing and discuss some of the reasons why we could be wrong.

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1/6/2020

Episode 5: The Double Edged Sword of Avoiding Value Traps

Many value stocks are cheap because they deserve to be. Some of them no longer have sustainable businesses, and as a result their current discounted multiple will look really expensive relative to where their business is headed. These types of stocks are often referred to as 'value traps" and value investors do everything they can to avoid them. In this episode, we talk about value traps, why they are impossible to avoid completely, and some rules that can help minimize them.

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12/30/2019

Episode 4: Lessons From the March For the Fallen

In this episode, we discuss Justin's experience participating on the Alpha Architect team in last year's March for the Fallen and how some of the lessons he learned from it can be applied to investing. The March for the Fallen is an event hosted by the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap to honor the memory of all that have fallen in the defense of our nation.

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12/23/2019

Episode 3: Six Common Misconceptions About Factor-Based Strategies

Factor strategies have grown exponentially in the past decade. Almost every major asset manager now offers their variation of things like value, momentum, quality, and low volatility. But to use them properly, it is important to understand what they can and can't do. In this week's episode, we discuss the common misconceptions about factor strategies and what they can deliver for investors.

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12/16/2019

Episode 2: The Rising Bar for Active Management

The market has always been tough to beat, but the ability to investors to gain inexpensive exposure to factors like value and momentum has made the job of active managers even harder. In this week's episode, we talk about why the pursuit of alpha has become more difficult over time.

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12/9/2019

Episode 1: The Mechanics of Value Investing

There is a tendency to believe that all value investing strategies are similar. But beneath the surface, many value approaches couldn't be any more different. These differences can lead to substantially different outcomes in both the long- and short-term. In this episode, we discuss the many decisions that go into building a value portfolio and how they impact the results it delivers.

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Performance Disclaimer: Returns presented on Validea.com are model returns and do not represent actual trading. As a result, they do not incorporate any commissions or other trading costs or fees. Model portfolios with inception dates on or after 12/30/2005 include a combination of back tested and live model returns. The back-tested performance results shown are hypothetical and are not the result of real-time management of actual accounts. The back-testing of performance differs from actual account performance because the investment strategy may be adjusted at any time, for any reason and can continue to be changed until desired or better performance results are achieved. Back-tested returns are presented to provide general information regarding how the underlying strategy behind the portfolio performed in our historical testing. A back-tested strategy has the benefit of hindsight and the results do not reflect the impact that material economic or market factors may have had on advisor's decision-making if actual client assets were being managed using this approach. The model portfolios offered on Validea are concentrated and as a result they will exhibit high levels of volatility and their performance can be substantially impacted by the performance of individual positions.

Optimal portfolios presented on Validea.com represent the rebalancing period that has led to the best historical performance for each of our equity models. Each optimal portfolio was determined after the fact with performance information that was not available at portfolio inception. As a result, an investor could not have invested in the optimal portfolio since its inception. Optimal portfolios are presented to allow investors to quickly determine the portfolio size and rebalancing period that has performed best for each of our models in our historical testing.

Both the model portfolio and benchmark returns presented for all equity portfolios on Validea.com are not inclusive of dividends. Returns for our ETF portfolios and trend following system, and the benchmarks they are compared to, are inclusive of dividends. The S&P 500 is presented as a benchmark because it is the most widely followed benchmark of the overall US market and is most often used by investors for return comparison purposes. As with any investment strategy, there is potential for profit as well as the possibility of loss and investors may incur a loss despite a past history of gains. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Results will vary with economic and market conditions.