Investment Strategies Reading List

Event Arbitrage

 

Convertible Arbitrage: Insights and Techniques for Successful Hedging by Nick P. Calamos (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003). Convertible bonds as an event arbitrage strategy.

 

The Mental Strategies of Top Traders: The Psychological Determinants of Trading Success by Ari Kiev (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009). The hedge fund SAC’s fusion of a catalyst approach to event arbitrage with performance / trading psychology.

 

Merger Arbitrage: A Fundamental Approach to Event-Driven Investing by Lionel Melka and Amit Shabi (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014). A contemporary primer on merger arbitrage techniques.

 

Merger Arbitrage: How to Profit from Event-Driven Arbitrage (2nd edition) by Thomas Kirchner (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2015). A synthesis of global macro and event arbitrage strategies.

 

Trading Catalysts: How Events Move Markets and Create Trading Opportunities by Robert I. Webb (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2006). Event arbitrage strategies used amidst the early part of the 2003-08 speculative bubble.

 

World Event Trading: How to Analyze and Profit from Today’s Headlines by Andy Busch (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007). Presents a series of frameworks that Busch uses for event arbitrage in currencies and equities markets.

 

Momentum

 

Asset Rotation: The Demise of Modern Portfolio Management and the Birth of an Investment Renaissance by Matthew P. Erickson (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014). How exchange traded funds can be used for a momentum strategy that uses a two-asset portfolio.

 

Dual Momentum Investing: An Innovative Strategy for Higher Returns with Lower Risk by Gary Antonacci (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014). A momentum strategy that combines relative strength and trend-following approaches.

 

Unholy Grails: A New Road to Wealth by Nick Radge (Sydney: Radge Publishing, 2012). Radge’s experience using momentum strategies in Australian financial markets.

 

Trend-Following

 

The Complete TurtleTrader: How 23 Novice Investors Became Overnight Millionaires by Michael W. Covel (New York: HarperBusiness, 2009). The definitive account of the TurtleTraders experiment in rules-based trend-following.

 

Following the Trend: Diversified Managed Futures Trading by Andreas Clenow (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013). How trend-following strategies have been profitable in managed futures.

 

Investing With the Trend: A Rules-Based Approach to Money Management by Gregory L. Morris (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013). A rules-based methodology for trend-following.

 

Trend Following: Learn to Make Millions in Up or Down Markets (rev. edition) by Michael W. Covel (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2009). A popular primer on trend-following strategies.

 

The Trend Following Bible: How Professional Traders Compound Wealth and Manage Risk by Andrew Abraham (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012). How commodities trading advisers use trend-following strategies.

 

Trend Following with Managed Futures: The Search for Crisis Alpha by Alex Greyserman and Kathryn Kaminski (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014). How trend-following traders adapted to the financial market volatility of the 2007-09 global financial crisis.

 

Value

 

Accounting for Value by Stephen Penman (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010). The link between value investment, accounting, and equity valuation.

 

Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-bound Markets by Vitaliy N. Katsenelson (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007). An adaptation of value investing strategies to the 2003-08 speculative bubble.

 

Applied Value Investing: The Practical Applications of Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett’s Valuation Principles to Acquisitions, Catastrophe Pricing, and Business Execution by Joseph Calandro, Jr (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009). Value investing applied during the peak of the 2003-08 speculative bubble and the start of the 2007-09 global financial crisis.

 

The Art of Company Valuation and Financial Statement Analysis: A Value Investor’s Guide with Real-Life Case Studies by Nicolas Schmidlin (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014). Contemporary fundamental analysis for value investors.

 

The Art of Value Investing: How the World’s Best Investors Beat the Market by John Heins and Whitney Tilson (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013). A collection of interviews with successful fund managers who are value investors.

 

Brandes on Value: The Independent Investor by Charles Brandes (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014). Brandes’ value investment experiences at Brandes Investment Partners LP.

 

Deep Value: Why Activist Investors and Other Contrarians Battle for Control of Losing Corporations by Tobias E. Carlisle (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014). A quantitative analysis of how activist investors use value investment strategies in the market for corporate control.

 

The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Value investment as a framework for cultivating character and personal growth.

 

Extreme Value Hedging: How Activist Hedge Fund Managers Are Taking on the World by Ronald D. Orol (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008). The experiences of value-oriented hedge fund managers during the 2003-08 speculative bubble.

 

Global Value: How to Spot Bubbles, Avoid Market Crashes, and Earn Big Returns in the Stock Market by Meb Faber (The Idea Farm, 2014). A synthesis of value investing and global macro approaches.

 

The Investment Checklist: The Art of In-Depth Research by Michael Shearn (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011). How value investors undertake fundamental research.

 

The Manual of Ideas: The Proven Framework for Finding the Best Value Investments by John Mihaljevic (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013). Presents the value investing framework of the Value Investors Club.

 

Modern Security Analysis: Understanding Wall Street Fundamentals by Martin J. Whitman and Fernando Diz (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013). The link between fundamental security analysis and value investing.

 

The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor by Howard Marks (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013). The value investment philosophy that Marks implements at Oaktree Capital Management.

 

The Nature of Value: How to Invest in an Adaptive Economy by Nick Gogerty (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014). Presents a value creation model used by the hedge fund Bridgewater.

 

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William N. Thorndike (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2012). Effective capital allocation as a key value investment strategy.

 

Quantitative Value: A Practitioner’s Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors by Wesley R. Gray and Tobias E. Carlisle (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012). A synthesis of value investing, behavioural finance, and quantitative finance.

 

Security Analysis (6th edition) by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008). The influential primer on value investing.

 

Security Analysis and Business Valuation on Wall Street: A Comprehensive Guide to Today’s Valuation Methods (2nd edition) by Jeffrey C. Hooke (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010). How Wall Street uses fundamental security analysis to value companies.

 

Security Valuation and Risk Analysis: Assessing Value in Investment Decision Making by Kenneth S. Hackel (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011). The link between the investment process, risk management, and fundamental security valuation.

 

The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder (New York: Bantam Books, 2008). The authorised biography of value investor Warren Buffett.

 

Sources of Value: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Valuation by Simon Woolley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). BP’s valuation framework for analysing the economic value of companies.

 

Strategic Value Investing: Practical Techniques of Leading Value Investors by Stephen M. Horan, Robert R. Johnson, and Thomas R. Robinson (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014). A contemporary primer on value investing and its link to corporate strategy.

 

Valuation: The Market Approach by Seth Bernstrom (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014). Valuing firms through comparison with stock exchange and comparator company transactions.

 

Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies (5th edition) by Tim Killer, Marc Goedhart, and David Wessels (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010). The McKinsey valuation model for companies.

 

Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance by Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs, and Bill Huyett (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011). Growth, return on invested capital, and cashflow analysis in corporate finance as the foundations for valuation of companies.

 

Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond by Bruce C.N. Greenwald, Judd Kahn, Paul D. Sonkin, and Michael van Biema (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2004). Greenwald’s value investing framework taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

 

The Value Investors: Lessons from the World’s Top Fund Managers by Ronald W. Chan (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012). Profiles of leading fund managers who use value investing.

 

Value Maps: Valuation Tools That Unlock Business Wealth by Warren D. Miller (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010). How tools from strategic management, industrial organisation, organisation theory, evolutionary economics, and Austrian economics can inform contemporary valuation of companies.

 

Valueable: How To Value The Best Stocks and Buy Them for Less Than They’re Worth (2nd edition) by Roger Montgomery (My 2 Cents Worth Publishing, 2010). The investment framework and experiences of Australian value investor Roger Montgomery.

 

Why Moats Matter: The Morningstar Approach to Stock Investing by Heather Brilliant and Elizabeth Collins (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014). Morningstar’s ‘economic moats’ framework for value creation.

Foreclosure Of A Hedge Fund Dream

Media personalities who took a career detour into managing hedge funds are the latest casualty of the subprime fallout, reports New York Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Sorkin profiles Ron Insana the former CNBC news anchor who founded Insana Capital Partners at the height of easy credit in 2006 and closed ICP in August 2008.  Insana raised $US116 million from major investor Deutsche Bank and media contacts.  Rather than invest directly in complex financial instruments Insana chose an intermediary position: a fund of funds investor in a diversified portfolio of hedge funds.

Insana made several errors that led to ICP’s blow-up.  Sorkin notes the US$116 million was a smaller capital raising than its blue chip competitors.  The fund of funds positioning meant a rational herds strategy on the hedge funds that ICP invested in.  Subprime-caused market volatility set off a cascade: the hedge funds didn’t make alpha returns above the market and ICP didn’t have the diversified portfolio to weather the volatility.  Consequently, ICP still had to pay out investors in full for their original investments (the ‘high water mark’ rule) before it could earn its ‘1.5 of 20’ fee (1.5% management fee on funds and 20% of fund profits).

Sorkin is insightful about the cost structures of hedge funds:

That would have been enough if it was just Mr. Insana, a secretary and
a dog. But Mr. Insana was hoping to attract more than $1 billion from
investors. And most big institutions won’t even consider investing in a
fund that doesn’t have a proper infrastructure: a compliance officer,
an accountant, analysts and so on. Mr. Insana had seven employees, and
was paying for office space in the former CNBC studios in Fort Lee,
N.J., and Bloomberg terminals — at more than $1,500 a pop a month —
while traveling the globe in search of investors. Under the
circumstances, $870,000 just wasn’t going to last very long.

This ‘contrarian’ observation highlights the leverage of institutional investors, and, in contrast to the usual media portrayal, the regulatory burdens of institutional compliance on funds.

Sorkin’s profile raises some interesting questions beyond his comparison of Insana and the media-savvy millionaires who blew-up after the April 2000 dotcom crash.  Did ICP adopt the trend following strategy from CNBC’s media coverage and Insana’s popular books?  If so, could Insana distinguish between market noise and critical events?  How did Insana grapple with the career change from CNBC news anchor to hedge fund head?  What risk mitigation steps did ICP’s investors demand, and did Insana exercise prudential caution? When he had to close ICP was Insana able to be self-critical about his past decisions and errrors?  Are there firm-specific, operational and positioning risks for fund of funds?  That would be a really interesting post-implementation review for aspiring hedge fund mavens.

Don’t expect to see it in CNBC European Business or Bloomberg Markets anytime soon.