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Saturday, December 29, 2012

#Humor Listing of Scammer Emails

#Humor Listing of Scammer Emails

"Attn: Beneficiary.

This is to inform you that the UNITED NATION (UN) /AFRICA UNION (AU) and  Bank For International Settlement empowered to contact all the beneficiaries who has in one way or the other fail by paying some huge sum of money from Ecowas Contract Authority  in other to get their Inheritance or Contract money/fund to no avail.This payment shall be paid from Africa, America , Europe or Asia depending on beneficiary's geographical location.

Now I want to inform you that your name has been written out for payment release Of $3.5m Us dollars through Pacific ATM CARD,DIPLOMATIC DELIVERY or through Bank transfer, because some people has come forth to lay claim on your behalf stating that you are late(Dead)  and that they are the beneficiary whom your payment should be made to. We want to know if this information is true or not before we proceed to pay them and this will be done as soon as we do not hear from you that's  means we will assume that truly you are Dead.
 

If you are Alive do confirm the following information to us immediately: 

1) FULL NAME:................................................................
2) YOUR HOME ADDRESS:.............................................
3. YOUR CURRENT CELL PHONE:..........................................FAx NUMBER:............
4) YOUR AGE:......................................SEX:......................
5) MARITAL STATUSES:....................................................
6) OCCUPATION:.............RELIGION:..................................
7) COUNTRY:.................................................................
  
Reply to me in my private email  address at skyservice02@yahoo.com.ph.
Yours in Service,
Skyse vice"

Fearful of ban, buyers swarm gun stores

Fearful of ban, buyers swarm gun stores

'No organization publicly releases gun sales data. The only way to measure demand is by the number of background checks conducted when someone wants to buy a firearm. Those numbers are released by the FBI every month. Data for December is not out yet. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation says it did 16.8 million firearm background checks as of the end of November, up more than 2% from a year ago.
In November, it did more than 2 million, up from 1.5 million in November 2011.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which handles background checks for the state, can't keep up with the number of requests. The bureau has pulled staff from other units and increased its hours, says spokesperson Susan Medina.
Many firearm dealers and manufacturers say President Obama's comments since the Newtown school shooting are driving demand.
James Zimmerman of SelwayArmory.com, a website that sells guns, ammunition and knives, says sales took off Dec. 19 after President Obama held a White House press conference announcing that Vice President Joe Biden would lead a team tasked with coming up with "concrete proposals" to curb gun violence.
That day, one customer ordered 32,000 rounds of ammunition from SelwayArmory.com, worth close to $18,000. The order had to be shipped from the company's Lolo, Mont., office to Kentucky on a truck.'

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

$AAPL $JEF #Downgrades

$AAPL $JEF #Downgrades

Report resets price target on Apple's stock to $800 from $900, positing slower iPhone sales in saturated markets and suggesting a lower-priced iPhone could arrive in June or July.

Dubai Rents Seen Rising

Dubai Rents Seen Rising

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chart of the Day: Chinese WARNING?

Chart of the Day: Chinese WARNING?

Cohen's SAC Faces Client Querries as Investigators Circle #HedgeFunds

Cohen's SAC Faces Client Querries as Investigators Circle #HedgeFunds

WARREN BUFFETT: Here's The Thing Grover Norquist Doesn't Understand About Business And Taxes

WARREN BUFFETT: $NYT Here's The Thing Grover Norquist Doesn't Understand About Business And Taxes

Revenge of the nerds as banks see risk, compliance hiring boom $BCS $GS $C $BAC $MS $DB

Revenge of the nerds as banks see risk, compliance hiring boom

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Tough regulations aimed at banks have jolted demand for compliance, risk and legal officers, creating one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal job market for the financial industry.

Traditionally one of the least glamorous jobs in the sector, these staff are in hot demand at a time when nearly all other parts of the banking industry are getting cut.

"It used to be a really tough job to sell as people saw it as boring," said Sonia Fuller, director of recruitment firm KS Consulting in Singapore, who said some risk and compliance candidates are asking for raises of up to 50 percent when they change jobs.

With demand outstripping supply, recruiters say compliance staff can be hard to find, and are asking for the biggest salary hikes across the financial industry.

Recruitment firm Robert Half says compliance salaries in Singapore have gone up 10 percent on average in the past year, one of the biggest year-on-year increases across the finance and accounting sectors.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

After the bounty, the bust: unwise public spending exposes Europe's economic errors (Portugal, Spain, Italy)

After the bounty, the bust: unwise public spending exposes Europe's economic errors (Portugal, Spain, Italy)

A Former Broker For SAC Capital Gives His Take On The Latest Insider Trading Case

A Former Broker For SAC Capital Gives His Take On The Latest Insider Trading Case

"I covered the mortgage bond side of SAC Capital in the early 2000s, and I remember half-kidding, half-probing my client about Steven A Cohen’s seeming inability to miss.  Back then Cohen’s SAC had put together a string of annual monster returns like no other hedge fund.[1]  Cohen’s SAC Capital was the Mark McGuire of stock trading, and we knew enough to think the home run records of 1998 looked mighty suspicious."

European Flash PMIs: Actually Not A Complete Disaster

European Flash PMIs: Actually Not A Complete Disaster

Expert sees a gathering storm for top fund manager - #SAC #SteveCohen

Expert sees a gathering storm for top fund manager - #SAC #SteveCohen

Friday, November 16, 2012

How the #SEC Almost Shut Down #FAIL Wall Street

How the #SEC Almost Shut Down #FAIL Wall Street

The time-bomb at the heart of Europe: Why France could become the biggest danger to Europe’s single currency

The time-bomb at the heart of Europe: Why France could become the biggest danger to Europe’s single currency

The country has always been at the heart of the euro, as of the European Union. President Fran├žois Mitterrand argued for the single currency because he hoped to bolster French influence in an EU that would otherwise fall under the sway of a unified Germany. France has gained from the euro: it is borrowing at record low rates and has avoided the troubles of the Mediterranean. Yet even before May, when Fran├žois Hollande became the country’s first Socialist president since Mitterrand, France had ceded leadership in the euro crisis to Germany. And now its economy looks increasingly vulnerable as well.
As our special reportin this issue explains, France still has many strengths, but its weaknesses have been laid bare by the euro crisis. For years it has been losing competitiveness to Germany and the trend has accelerated as the Germans have cut costs and pushed through big reforms. Without the option of currency devaluation, France has resorted to public spending and debt. Even as other EU countries have curbed the reach of the state, it has grown in France to consume almost 57% of GDP, the highest share in the euro zone. Because of the failure to balance a single budget since 1981, public debt has risen from 22% of GDP then to over 90% now.
The business climate in France has also worsened. French firms are burdened by overly rigid labour- and product-market regulation, exceptionally high taxes and the euro zone’s heaviest social charges on payrolls. Not surprisingly, new companies are rare. France has fewer small and medium-sized enterprises, today’s engines of job growth, than Germany, Italy or Britain. The economy is stagnant, may tip into recession this quarter and will barely grow next year. Over 10% of the workforce, and over 25% of the young, are jobless. The external current-account deficit has swung from a small surplus in 1999 into one of the euro zone’s biggest deficits. In short, too many of France’s firms are uncompetitive and the country’s bloated government is living beyond its means.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Even if $AMD were up for sale who wants it?

Even if $AMD were up for sale who wants it?

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — A report that Advanced Micro Devices Inc. was exploring its options lit up the chip maker’s stock in late trading, but investors might want to watch what happens first.
AMD AMD -4.94%  issued a statement after the market closed on Tuesday stating that it “is not actively pursuing a sale of the company or significant assets at this time.” Earlier, Reuters reported that the company had hired investment bank J.P. Morgan, a move that potentially could lead to a sale of the company or some of its assets. Read more about AMD’s statement.

CIC In Talks to Invest In Fonterra dairy fund- WSJ

CIC In Talks to Invest In Fonterra dairy fund- WSJ

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BNY Mellon Pays Big to Settle Madoff Lawsuits

BNY Mellon Pays Big to Settle Madoff Lawsuits

Financiers Still Aren’t Rocket Scientists

Financiers Still Aren’t Rocket Scientists

Over at Slate, John Dickerson has a piece expressing amazement that “numbers guy” Mitt Romney was so badly misinformed about the election. While I’ll admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude about the general bafflement of the Romney campaign and the Republicans generally, this particular slant (which Dickerson isn’t the only one to take, just the latest in a series) is more annoying than entertaining.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Home Damaged by Hurricane Sandy? Get Some Tax Relief

Home Damaged by Hurricane Sandy? Get Some Tax Relief

Casualty Losses and You
The tax laws allow taxpayers who itemize their deductions to get a tax break for losses they suffer from natural disasters. However, the way that the IRS defines a loss is different from what you might expect. Rather than looking at repair costs, the IRS defines a casualty loss as the amount by which the fair market value of your property decreased as a result of the storm.


Although IRS Publication 547 allows you to use repairs as a measure of the decrease in fair market value, you have to take into account any potential increase in value that results from work you have done on your home.

Once you've determined the amount of your loss, you can estimate your eventual deduction. For a home, you have to subtract $100 from your losses and then further reduce your deduction by 10% of your adjusted gross income on your tax return before listing the final amount as an itemized deduction. For business property, these limitations don't apply; you can deduct the full amount against your business income.

You Don't Have to Wait

By now, you might wonder if you'll have to wait until April to get any tax relief. The answer is no, because the areas hit by Sandy got a presidential declaration as disaster areas. As a result, you can go back and amend your 2011 tax return to deduct your casualty loss in order to get an immediate refund.

Of course, you may want to wait if the amount of your deduction will be higher or if you'll get more of a tax benefit from the deduction this year rather than last.

For more information about how casualty loss deductions work and the records you should gather and keep, be sure to check out the IRS website. In addition, tax preparer Jackson Hewitt has put together a disaster recovery guide to help lead you through the process of documenting your loss for IRS purposes.

Economy Set for Better Times Whether Obama or Romney Wins

Economy Set for Better Times Whether Obama or Romney Wins

Monday, October 22, 2012

We're Hiring: Ruby on Rails Developers (X4) Growing Startup NYC

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Candidates MUST HAVE green card, US CITIZENSHIP, or valid current h1b with AT LEAST 3 YEARS LEFT.

Call or text 203-29-QUANT 203.297.8268 if you have any questions and are qualified for this role or others posted.

Please speak clearly if leaving a voicemail, and let me know the role you are applying for and if you have sent a resume or not. You may call or text at any time. All discussions and messages are fully confidential...

Email resume onto QuantRec @gmail.com & Quant at QuantRec dot com.

Goto http://www.QuantRec.com for updates on jobs, bookmark it!

Also include the best times to reach you over the near term (this week & or next week).

Candidates MEETING MOST OF the SPEC below will be contacted PROMPTLY.

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Ruby on Rails Developers (X4)

Web/E-commerce Start -up

Midtown Manhattan

100-125K base, plus equity



Our client is currently looking to hire Ruby developers to build out an innovative web-based platform which will serve as a marketplace for investors and entrepreneurs around the world to come together on one platform to do business. There is currently no other platform like it in the world. This platform promises to change the way we do business in same way as amazon.com, facebook and linkedin have for their industries.



From a development perspective it's a chance to do innovative design and development work. The work environment has that fresh, bright, open, energetic feel to it. The development team takes a stimulating, face-paced, agile approach to developing software often working in pairs.



The core responsibilities will consist of developing web based applications, interfacing directly with product teams for requirements, development and refactoring. Programming will be done primarily in Ruby on Rails, Javascript, jQuery in a test-driven and behavior-driven environment. The right person will have significant experience with web application development using a variety of languages and have at least 3-5 yrs of experience with Ruby on Rails.



This is a well funded, well established startup. New hires will receive equity in the firm so you can truly share in the success of the firm. At the same time, the company already has nearly 200,000 investors and entrepreneurs signed up. From a company lifecycle perspective, they are roughly at the same stage as Linkedin in 2005.

Bank CEOs Fear the Fiscal Cliff They Apparently Don’t Understand $BAC $JPM $MS $C $WFC

Bank CEOs Fear the Fiscal Cliff They Apparently Don’t Understand $BAC $JPM $MS $C $WFC

We're Hiring: Senior Front End Web & Mobile Developer - CONSULTING (Top Financial, Montreal)

Call or text 203-29-QUANT 203.297.8268 if you have any questions and are qualified for this role or others posted.

Please speak clearly if leaving a voicemail, and let me know the role you are applying for and if you have sent a resume or not. You may call or text at any time. All discussions and messages are fully confidential...

Email resume onto QuantRec @gmail.com & Quant at QuantRec dot com.

Goto http://www.QuantRec.com for updates on jobs, bookmark it!

Also include the best times to reach you over the near term (this week & or next week).

Candidates MEETING MOST OF the SPEC below will be contacted PROMPTLY.
---------

Location: Montreal


Long Term, Open-ended Contract











Job Description:





Position is for a Front-end Mobile Developer with Design skills to join an internal user experience consultancy at a leading Financial Services company to create captivating user interfaces for HTML-based applications. This position will be responsible for translating high-fidelity comps to pixel perfect code for highly intricate, interactive, complex user interfaces. Development will be roughly 50/50 between web and mobile development. The mobile platform is mostly iPhone and iPad.


Will develop with JavaScript, EXTJS, HTML4/5, Sencha Touch for mobile apps running on iPhone and iPad. Person must have strong JavaScript with either EXTJS or Sencha Touch (though both are preferred) and must have at least some HTML4/5 (though more is better). Flex and WPF are also a plus (not required).





Will perform Visual Design with Adobe Photoshop. Person must have at least basic to intermediate level proficiency with Photoshop to work with Visual Designers in creating highly polished applications.

We're Hiring: Sr Front End Developer (Top Financial Firm, NYC)

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Candidates MUST HAVE green card, US CITIZENSHIP, or valid current h1b with AT LEAST 3 YEARS LEFT.

Call or text 203-29-QUANT 203.297.8268 if you have any questions and are qualified for this role or others posted.

Please speak clearly if leaving a voicemail, and let me know the role you are applying for and if you have sent a resume or not. You may call or text at any time. All discussions and messages are fully confidential...

Email resume onto QuantRec @gmail.com & Quant at QuantRec dot com.

Goto http://www.QuantRec.com for updates on jobs, bookmark it!

Also include the best times to reach you over the near term (this week & or next week).

Candidates MEETING MOST OF the SPEC below will be contacted PROMPTLY.

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We're Hiring: Sr Front End Developer (Top Financial Firm, NYC)
~10+ years Experience Required.
 Summary:  
Position is for an experienced Front-End Web / UI Developer proficient in JavaScript, jQuery, EXTJS, JSP, HTML.    This person will also participate in server-side Java development and SQL Programming.  The more server-side development the better but client will consider strong front-end web developers with any server side Java experience.     Position will focus on development of various asset and private wealth management applications.   Person will interact directly with business users for requirements gathering, therefore must have strong interpersonal skills.   
Description:

Investment Management Technology group is looking for a Front End Web Developer for one of our client facing teams. Our clients manage funds of hedge funds or private placement funds. The role will require solid technical skills and strong interpersonal skills. The current applications assist the Sales Team to raise AUM, provide Financial Analysts with timely information, and assist operations with the client take on process. The developer will interact closely with end-users and work in a team environment to enhance these various applications and be involved in all phases of the software development lifecycle. 

Skills Required:
- JSP, HTML, Spring, JavaScript, Ajax, JQuery, EXTJS
- Some Server Side Java programming skills (along with Spring and Hibernate knowledge) 
- Strong communication skills to interact with both business users as well as IT colleagues at various levels of seniority. 
- Database development skills - preferably Sybase 
- Ability to multitask and quickly respond to critical issues and changes in requirements.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

We're Hiring: Software Engineer (Top Financial Firm, Chicago)

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Candidates MUST HAVE green card, US CITIZENSHIP, or valid current h1b with AT LEAST 3 YEARS LEFT.

Call or text 203-29-QUANT 203.297.8268 if you have any questions and are qualified for this role or others posted.

Please speak clearly if leaving a voicemail, and let me know the role you are applying for and if you have sent a resume or not. You may call or text at any time. All discussions and messages are fully confidential...

Email resume onto QuantRec @gmail.com & Quant at QuantRec dot com.

Goto http://www.QuantRec.com for updates on jobs, bookmark it!

Also include the best times to reach you over the near term (this week & or next week).

Candidates MEETING MOST OF the SPEC below will be contacted PROMPTLY.

---------

SKILLS REQUIRED

Expert knowledge of C++
Expert Communicator – easily contributes to the sharing of knowledge and concepts within the team
Proven Leadership – strategic management qualities within a professional team environment
Critical Thinker – uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems
Complex Problem Solver – identifies complex problems and reviews related information to develop and evaluate options and implement architectural/algorithmic solutions.
Active Learning – understands and accepts the implications of new information provided by team for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making
Troubleshooting – determines causes of operating errors and designs fixes

QUALIFICATIONS

Undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Math; graduate degree preferred
Math and Statistics background, a plus
Experience with algorithmic trading, a plus
At least 5 years hands-on development experience with C++
Scripting with Bash, Perl, Python preferred
Experience with full life-cycle deployment is preferred
Self-motivated with a strong work ethic
Must be a team-oriented leader

We're Hiring: Junior Financial Engineer (Top Financial Firm, Chicago)

------
Candidates MUST HAVE green card, US CITIZENSHIP, or valid current h1b with AT LEAST 3 YEARS LEFT.

Call or text 203-29-QUANT 203.297.8268 if you have any questions and are qualified for this role or others posted.

Please speak clearly if leaving a voicemail, and let me know the role you are applying for and if you have sent a resume or not. You may call or text at any time. All discussions and messages are fully confidential...

Email resume onto QuantRec @gmail.com & Quant at QuantRec dot com.

Goto http://www.QuantRec.com for updates on jobs, bookmark it!

Also include the best times to reach you over the near term (this week & or next week).

Candidates MEETING MOST OF the SPEC below will be contacted PROMPTLY.
------

Junior Financial Engineer

 
REQUIREMENTS for position include:
  • Undergraduate degree in statistics, math, science, or another quantitative discipline; graduate degree preferred
  • Coding in a Linux environment
  • Familiarity with scripting languages such as, bash, shell, perl, ruby, and/or python
  • Proven background  with research platforms such as, R, Matlab, Mathematica, or Octave
  • Experience in a trading/financial research environment desired
  • Self-motivated with a strong work ethic
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
 

We're Hiring: Junior Trader (Top Financial Firm, Chicago)


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Candidates MUST HAVE green card, US CITIZENSHIP, or valid current h1b with AT LEAST 3 YEARS LEFT.

Call or text 203-29-QUANT 203.297.8268 if you have any questions and are qualified for this role or others posted.

Please speak clearly if leaving a voicemail, and let me know the role you are applying for and if you have sent a resume or not. You may call or text at any time. All discussions and messages are fully confidential...

Email resume onto QuantRec @gmail.com & Quant at QuantRec dot com.

Goto http://www.QuantRec.com for updates on jobs, bookmark it!

Also include the best times to reach you over the near term (this week & or next week).

Candidates MEETING MOST OF the SPEC below will be contacted PROMPTLY.
------
We are looking for a junior trader to join our expanding team in downtown Chicago. 
 
JOB REQUIREMENTS
High aptitude for analytical and quantitative thinking
Excellent organizational skills
Cultivates teamwork through leadership qualities
Effective communicator within all media and throughout all levels of organization
 
EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION
1-2 years experience in a quantitative trading and/or financial engineering role
Undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline; advanced degree preferred
Proficiency in Excel required
Familiarity with scripting language; a plus
 

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Hard Landing for University Endowments

A Hard Landing for University Endowments

For years, America’s largest, richest and most prestigious universities have been the envy of investors. They churned out double-digit returns over the last two decades, even with steep losses during the financial crisis. Harvard’s endowment today is over $30 billion and has generated annualized returns of 12.5 percent over the last 20 years.
Their investing success along with their vaunted academic reputations led many financial experts to conclude that Harvard and its peers at the pinnacle of higher education had solved an age-old conundrum: how to generate higher returns with lower risk.
An investment stampede ensued as other universities, giant pension funds and even individuals slavishly copied their strategy, which stressed diversification along with high-cost, often illiquid alternative investments like hedge funds, venture capital and private equity funds. Today, it’s hard to find a college or university that stuck with the older and far simpler allocation between stocks and bonds. Hedge funds alone currently have what is estimated at over $2 trillion in assets, much of it from large institutions.
College and university endowment returns for the most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30, are starting to roll in. And in many cases, they warrant a grade of “C” at best, and in some cases, an “F.” Harvard reported a 0.05 percent loss and a drop in its endowment of over $1 billion in the same period, even as a simple Standard & Poor’s 500 index fund gained about 5.5 percent. Harvard’s endowment decline is more than the entire endowments of roughly 90 percent of all colleges and universities. 
Even more startling, data compiled by the National Association of College and University Business Officers for the 2011 fiscal year (the most recent available) show that large, medium and small endowments all underperformed a simple mix of 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds over one-, three-and five--year periods. The 91 percent of endowments with less than $1 billion in assets underperformed in every time period since records have been maintained. Given the weak results being reported this year, that underperformance is likely to be even more pronounced when the fiscal year 2012 results are included.
The impact is significant. Universities depend on returns on their endowments to finance operations, pay faculty and administrative salaries, provide scholarships and pay for building projects. Harvard said it planned to spend $172 million this year on need-based scholarships. Many colleges budget 4 to 6 percent of the endowment’s value for current spending. At Harvard, funds from the endowment account for 35 percent of the university’s annual budget.
“The compelling simplicity of a 60/40 strategy is very hard to beat,” Timothy J. Keating, president of Keating Investments in Greenwood Village, Colo., and author of two reports on endowment performance, told me this week. “Many investors would be much better served with a simple 60/40 strategy, or at least a core where you have low-cost index funds. When you understand the role of transaction fees, it’s a very high mountain to scale.”
Those fees for so-called alternative investments can be enormous. Hedge fund and private equity fund managers typically keep 20 percent or more of the gains, which is known as carried interest, and a percentage of assets under management. Private equity, real estate and natural resources partnerships may also impose an array of transaction fees on top of performance fees. “The audacity of Wall Street at extracting fees never ceases to amaze me,” Mr. Keating said.
Simon Lack, a founder of SL Advisors in Westfield, N.J., and a hedge fund insider — he allocated capital to hedge funds during his 23 years at J.P. Morgan — caused a stir earlier this year with his book, “The Hedge Fund Mirage,” in which he calculated that the hedge fund industry as a whole lost more money in one year (2008) than it had made in the previous 10 years. “If all the money that’s ever been invested in hedge funds had been put in Treasury bills instead, the results would have been twice as good,” he asserted. And he maintained that nearly all the hedge funds’ gains had gone to hedge fund managers rather than clients.
“If you look at the data, hedge funds have underperformed a simple 60/40 stock/bond mix every year for the past 10 years,” Mr. Lack told me this week. “They did well in the downturn of 2000-2. But that’s when assets under management were less than half what they are now. There’s no disputing that as assets have grown, performance has declined.”
Not surprisingly, Mr. Lack’s analysis has come under attack by a vast industry that depends on steering clients into alternative investments, among them the London-based Alternative Investment Management Association, a lobbying group that issued a detailed rebuttal. But Mr. Lack said he stands by his methodology, and pointed out that many of his critics have a financial stake in maintaining the status quo. Mr. Keating, who doesn’t advise endowments or pension funds, said he agreed with Mr. Lack. “He’s very controversial, but I found his analysis persuasive.”
Among those raising questions about the Ivy League model and its heavy dependence on alternative investments is Vanguard, the giant mutual fund company that has long promoted a radically simpler approach based on low-cost index and mutual funds. “I feel that there was endowment envy, or maybe emulation is a better word,” Francis M. Kinniry Jr., a principal in Vanguard’s Investment Strategy Group, told me this week. “Everybody wanted to look like the Yales and Harvards of the world. But they were early. They were doing these techniques in the mid-1990s and late 1990s when equities looked overvalued, and alternative strategies could capture market imperfections. That’s no longer true. Those universities were forward-looking and deserve a lot of credit. But emulating that process three, five or seven years later is very problematic.”
Even David Swensen, Yale’s chief investment officer, who is widely viewed as the godfather of what’s become known as the Yale model, has cautioned that few could expect to replicate Yale’s results, because Yale had access to top managers whose doors were closed to all but a favored few. Mr. Kinniry agreed. “Because of their size and relationships, and the ability to commit to a continuing investment cycle, Harvard, Yale, M.I.T. and Notre Dame have unique access.”
It’s true that Harvard’s and Yale’s endowments, in contrast to most smaller endowments, have outperformed a simpler and more conventional mix of stocks and bonds, and a Harvard spokesman noted that over the last 10 years, Harvard’s endowment has generated over $12 billion more than a 60/40 model would have.
But that may be hard to replicate in the future, even for the Harvards and Yales of the world, since even access to top managers is no guarantee of future performance. “They’ll have to be very good at manager selection,” Mr. Lack said, “because there’s been very little return persistence. I looked at one-third of the hedge fund industry. Of those in top 40 percent of returns, only 7 percent stayed there throughout the period.” A recent example is the billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, who after a spectacular bet against mortgage-backed securities in 2007 attracted millions from investors, but then suffered crushing losses last year. “He deserves credit, but he had one great trade and that was it,” Mr. Lack said of Mr. Paulson. “He should have quit and done something else for a living.”
In addition, the high annualized returns at Harvard, Yale and a few other universities largely depended on some superlative years that are now receding into the past. As a result, their average returns are dropping. Even the top endowments experienced severe double-digit declines during the financial crisis, when hedge funds failed to perform as expected and illiquid alternative investments left some major universities facing a cash bind. Yale recently reported a gain of 4.7 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Princeton said its gain would similarly be less than 5 percent. Even those mediocre returns may be better than many smaller endowments, which, like Harvard, may be facing losses.
“If you look at the endowment world as a whole,” Mr. Keating said, “they don’t have access to the top quartile of managers. That access is uniquely provided to a few of the best investors. So what does the median venture capital or private equity return look like? It’s a horror show. It’s been flat to even negative. The strong get stronger and the weak get stuck with non-top quartile managers and mediocre returns and high fees.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

One Algorithm Made Up 4% of Quote Traffic Last Week

One Algorithm Made Up 4% of Quote Traffic Last Week

A single mysterious computer program that placed orders - and then subsequently canceled them - made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the U.S. stock market last week, according to the top tracker of high-frequency trading activity. The motive of the algorithm is still unclear.
The program placed orders in 25-millisecond bursts involving about 500 stocks, according to Nanex, a market data firm. The algorithm never executed a single trade, and it abruptly ended at about 10:30 a.m. Friday.