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The Impact of Cycles on Equal-Weighted and Market-Weighted Portfolios

by: Lawrence Hamtil  on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It is fairly common knowledge in financial circles that equal-weighted portfolios tend to outperform portfolios weighted by market capitalization, whether the portfolio is composed of U.S. stocks, foreign stocks, or emerging market stocks.  As Tobias Carlisle has written (citing research by Joel Greenblatt), equal-weighted portfolios tend to outperform market-cap weighted portfolios because they avoid the main flaws of market-weighted portfolios, which are generally buying more of the same stocks as they become ever more expensive (thus leaving less exposure to cheaper stocks), and having greater exposure to hot sectors during bubble-type periods, such as the tech boom of the 1990s.  Furthermore, equal-weighted portfolios tend to have far more exposure to smaller companies which, as they grow, are more likely to outperform larger companies, which may have more limited growth opportunities. Read More

The Asian Financial Crisis 20 Years Later

by: Lawrence Hamtil  on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Next month marks the beginning of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which saw the equity markets of several nations plunge more than eighty percent in less than two years, a drawdown the severity of which American investors have not experienced since the Great Depression.  The point of this post is not to articulate the history and causes of the Asian crisis, - there are many detailed resources available for that, - but rather to illustrate that even modern markets can be subject to near total wealth destruction in less time than many of us can even imagine. Read More

Lessons From the Last Bear Market

by: Lawrence Hamtil  on Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It is strange to contemplate, but we are now just a few months removed from the tenth anniversary of the previous market top of October 9th, 2007.  Over the next year and a half, the ensuing bear market would go on to erase almost 60% of the S&P 500's peak value, shaking the confidence of many investors in the efficacy of equity investing, something which previously had been considered unthinkable. Read More