More by the Same Author
2013-05-21 Measuring the Cost of Socially Responsible Investing by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Quite apart from its motivations, the consequences of socially responsible investing have intrigued analysts. The actual results, as distinct from the desired results, cannot be taken for granted. Mark Kritzman has written about the subject, but his research was little noticed until recently, when SRI achieved renewed prominence in the form of popular demands that institutional portfolios divest themselves of investments in fossil-fuel companies. Kritzman’s point, and the conclusion of his analysis, is that SRI, properly understood, incurs a cost to the portfolio.
2013-02-19 Alan Greenspan on the Market and the Global Economy by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
During his six-decade-long career in financial services, Alan Greenspan was a central figure in seminal events that drove investment markets, from the savings-and-loan crisis to the dot-com bubble to the housing crisis. Now, nearing 87, he rarely speaks in public. But he did so last week, offering his forecasts for the U.S. and European economies.
2013-02-19 Asset Class Allocation and Portfolios by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Asset class allocation has been so thoroughly absorbed into the culture of investing that today, most investment guidance is built around it, and you may even have heard that it is the foundation of an investment plan. And like nearly all respectable investment ideas, it is misunderstood and abused. One misconception is that asset class allocation and portfolio management are the same thing. I'll explain why they aren't later, but let's start by considering another misconception.
2012-03-06 Why Invest? - Part 2 by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Risk tolerance is a quality inherent in an individual or an institution. Whether quantified or not, risk tolerance is the amount of return the investor requires as compensation for the extra risk that comes with investing. It's a concept that is essential for making investment decisions, yet it is elusive and maddeningly difficult to specify. Even so, many investment advisors like to give the public the impression that they're proficient at determining it.
2012-01-03 New Measures of Risk (and why markets are now very fragile) by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Understanding risk is essential to successful investment management, yet most common measures, like beta, capture only risk within markets - disregarding systemic risk of the markets themselves. Fortunately, new research is now shining light on "fragility" or systemic risk - how fast and how severely an unanticipated event will propagate through the markets.
2011-11-01 Why Invest? by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Investing has its rational justifications, but like any human activity, it's contingent upon history. American society has come to regard investing in stocks and bonds as a matter of personal responsibility and even an obligation, which in part explains why we invest.
2011-05-10 What Return can we Expect from Stocks? by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
What return can we expect from stocks over the long term? This sentence contains four problematic terms: 'return,' 'expect,' 'stocks,' and 'long term.' Intended for the educated laymen, this article considers each in turn.
2010-11-23 Why Diversify? by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Although diversification is commonly regarded as a good thing, there are nonetheless those who regard it as a guarantee of mediocrity. It isn't, but there are right ways and wrong ways to go about diversifying a portfolio. Let's explore how diversification works.
2010-08-10 Is the Market Efficient? by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
After Marxism, no economic theory today may be as derided and despised as the hypothesis of market efficiency. The idea is often misunderstood, sometimes willfully. So what does "market efficiency" mean? In the latest installment of his series for the educated layman, Adam Jared Apt provides some answers.
2010-05-04 How Much is that Investment Worth in Real Money? by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
In the latest installment of his series of articles geared to the educated layman, Adam Apt looks at the topic of the time value of money, and how discount rates can be used to determine the value of a security. He shows the practical applications of present value calculations and its limitations.
2010-02-16 How Professionals Select Investments by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
In this guest contribution intended for the educated layman, advisor Adam Apt discusses the process by which investment managers select individual securities, contrasting the disciplines of fundamental and technical analysis.
2009-11-10 Not by Return Alone: Judging Investment Performance by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
In the latest installment of his articles intended for an educated layman, Adam Apt addresses the relationship between risk and return, and shows that the connection between them is neither rigid nor obvious, and that we can be cheated of our money by disregarding risk and fixating only on return.
2009-08-25 Jim Cramer Exposed: Does He Generate Alpha? by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Paul Bolster and Emery Trahan, professors of finance at Northeastern University, were curious about the Mad Money phenomenon, and applied the full force of their analytical powers to a study of Jim Cramer's advice. They published their analysis earlier this year, and it reveals answers to key questions - such as whether Cramer's picks move the market or whether Cramer can legitimately call himself a skillful stock picker.
2009-08-04 How to Think about Return and Risk at the Same Time by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
In this guest contribution targeted to the educated layman, Adam Apt discusses the relationship between return and risk. Only when you can keep in mind at one and the same time these two concepts can you properly understand how to invest. And you will also understand why you should invest. Without the marriage of the concepts, you will be playing the market-or shunning it-as if it were a casino.
2009-03-24 Lessons from Madoff by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Bernard Madoff has yet to share with the public the benefit of everything that he learned in his years of running what was likely the world's greatest Ponzi scheme ever. Perhaps he'll reveal all now that he had pleaded guilty, though that is by no means a legal requirement and he seems unlikely to do so. Nonetheless, we are already able to draw a number of lessons from this one disastrous episode in the endless history of financial scandals, says advisor Adam Apt in this guest contribution.
2009-02-10 How to Think about Investment Returns by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Adam Apt provides the third article in his series intended for the educated layman, addressing the question of how to think about investment returns. What matters for the investor is the total package, the entire portfolio. A change in one component of the package, considered in isolation, often matters very little, unless it is indicative of something systematic.
2009-02-03 How to Think about Investing by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Adam Jared Apt's column answers the question "how to think about investing" from the perspective of an educated laymen. Apt traces the development of classical finance, modern portfolio theory, and behavioral finance, and shows the role each plays in the construction of a properly diversified portfolio.
2009-01-27 How to Think about Investment Risk by Adam Jared Apt (Article)
Investment risk should be viewed as a matter of quantifiable probabilities and some amount of risk, even risk of extreme outcomes, is ever present. In this article written for investors, advisor Adam Apt says it is useful to identify investment risk with the volatility of returns and that some common inferences from this identification are incorrect. But a little statistical learning can lead to dangerous underestimation of investment risk.