Research & Insights

Our investment decisions flow from incisive perspectives.

November 2014

Kai W. Hong, CFA
Managing Director & Chief Investment Strategist

November saw a consolidation of the market rally which began in mid-October.  Market volatility continued to decline, and most days saw steady if unspectacular gains.  The price of oil accelerated its collapse towards $60/barrel, a level last seen in during the depths of the recession in 2009, and correspondingly energy and energy-related stocks underperformed the broader market dramatically.  Q3 GDP growth for the US was revised upwards (from +3.5% to +3.9%), but globally the trend was towards lowering growth expectations.

The US broad market Russell 3000 Index finished the month at +2.4%.  US small cap stocks lagged meaningfully with the Russell 2000 Index returning +0.1%.  Outside of the US, returns were more modest with the developed market MSCI World ex USA Index returning +1.2% while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index returned -1.1%.

Active manager performance was once again variable with stronger relative performance coming from overweights to larger size, growth, quality, and low volatility.  Market volatility remained low from both a VIX and cross sectional volatility perspective, and after a spike in October, volumes returned to the low levels seen most of the year.  In this environment, Core managers did quite well with Growth managers struggling and Value managers mixed.

Defining Operational Alpha | October 2014

James Ware, CFA, Founder at Focus Consulting Group, and Author of “High Performing Investment Teams” (Wiley 2006)

Speaker Presentation from Bivium Capital Investor Summit, October 16, 2014

In his PowerPoint presentation, Mr. Ware – highly acclaimed industry author and international speaker on the subjects of investment leadership, culture, and building high performing teams- identifies elements of leadership and teamwork that lead to sustainable success for investment firms. He emphasizes that firm culture can be a competitive advantage. “People Alpha” at a firm focuses on building and retaining a team of employees that embody that defined culture and that help foster it as a firm grows. Mr. Ware teaches that the core of a winning culture is purpose, trust, and values. He invites investment firm leaders to lead the development of a winning culture that will ultimately bring about sustainable success. Click below for his presentation.