Hedge funds: Overpriced, underperforming

hedge funds

The industry has ballooned thanks to pension funds. Now institutional investors are taking a look at costs and returns

Crude soothsayers should recall Peak Oil

Oil market’s ‘grand narratives’ can be read as cautionary tales for investors

Data ‘arms race’ is alpha lifeline

Crunching big data may yet offer hope for active managers

Composite picture of Janet Yellen and Donald Trump

Lack of conviction reflects negative mood

Swift recovery for risk markets since February shows sign of reversal

Poor earnings suggests bear market looms

Unusual for markets to go as long as a year without a new high

Stock market’s sweetspot threatened

The prospect of lower returns on equities creates real dangers for retirement plans

Alarm over debt and stalled earnings

Cheap borrowing has funded dividends, stock buybacks, and M&A

The four puzzling questions for markets

Low bond yields help to keep expensive stocks attractive for now

Interest in low-carbon investment rises

As sustainability is quantified, the next step is smart beta ETFs

Argentina Flag on blue sky background.

The drama’s not over for Argentina

Without success on inflation government will find it much harder to make deeper structural reforms

Earnings sugar rush masks pain for stocks

Low expectations leave companies with easy bar to beat, but long-term profit worries remain

Constraint of yen looms large for markets

Chance that Japan will weaken the currency again looks strong

Investors rake over ashes of poor quarter

Four factors helped unseat so many fund managers

Oil and US earnings matter for investors

Lack of confidence shows itself in collapsing profits forecasts

Big tests lie ahead after Yellen speech

Jobless data, earnings and global manufacturing surveys loom

Smart beta not quite as clever as billed

Cheap stocks that outperform attract buyers and then the moment is gone

Equities: Shaking off the bears

Some believe US share prices have still not emerged from the dotcom crash

Policy drives markets’ animal spirits

Any sentiment survey or gauge of valuation faces a problem accounting for the Fed’s influence

Calm after the first-quarter storms

Volatility abates and US stocks go back to being overpriced

Active fund managers find their voice

Pockets of outperformance occur, but beating the index remains rare

Investors focus on central banks’ limits

QE ‘wealth effect’ has never had much consequence, give or take tantalising signs of growth in US

Seven fat years for US stocks

The rally since the S&P 500’s post-Lehman low has been remarkable by any standard

Volatility could define a timely market exit

When the going gets tough, the wise get out until it is calm

Emerging markets look less barren

The case for long-term investors is starting to strengthen

Going with the flow kills contrarianism

Reforms to governance and benchmarks may temper short-termism

Momentum matters as profit estimates drop

Earnings estimates go from bad to worse

Stocks show political risk is underpriced

There is something worrying about how investors are treating the US presidential election

Murderous markets have many suspects

Twelve guilty parties had a hand in the current market turmoil

Market fears are feeding on themselves

The only logical central bank response would damage banks’ profit and their ability to stay solvent

Bear market blindsides bank stocks

Profits to be made from scare but there is no harm in waiting

Banks’ bear market is fresh Fed challenge

Tumbling financial stocks show a rise in market concern about central banks

Why nobody is happy with the US economy

Wall St in line with Main St over outlook for growth

Risk of US recession low but rising

Mixed economic indicators have focused attention on employment

US recession risk haunts markets

Chance of worst ‘growth scare’ since 2009 hangs over risk assets

Central banks tested on easy money

Global investors await US Fed stepping back from a hawkish stance

Strong case for value investing in Japan

Tokyo stock market’s highly cyclical nature means sectors deliver great returns when the cycle turns positive

Healthy eating clue to long-term riches

Asset classes are correlated, but the performance of ‘return drivers’ appears more varied

Oil contagion extends its reach

How Japan helps explain this week’s volatility puzzle

The positive impact of passive investors

Research suggests funds coexist with an increase in board independence

What goes down eventually comes up

Markets have hit the abyss before, but how long will it take to climb out?


John Authers John Authers is the Financial Times' Senior Investment Commentator, responsible for the weekly Long View and other columns on markets and investment. In a 22-year career at the FT, his previous posts have included global head of the Lex column, investment editor, US markets editor, Mexico City bureau chief and US banking correspondent. His latest book is The Fearful Rise of Markets.

John has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, and an MBA from Columbia University.

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