Hedge fund sector challenges and flock to alternative data seeking alpha

When taking into account different signals about a sector you get a very different perspective altogether.

This signals says that hedge fund managers are all flocking to alternative data to seek alpha

https://www.businessinsider.com/hedge-fund-data-buyers-at-alternative-data-conference-battlefin-2019-6

Taking into account the signal from these two articles, we can infer that the above trend has been mainly driven by the deterioration of the sector over the past few years.

https://www.highlandfunds.com/business-insider-hedge-fund-apocalypse-coming/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-31/quant-hedge-fund-amplitude-returning-client-cash-after-outflows

When further taking into account this signal, we see a subset of the survivors are struggling to transit

https://www.businessinsider.com/hedge-funds-open-source-platforms-2019-5

Trends associated with GetData.IO

Alternative Data

Robotic Process Automation

Analysis of the Facebook Libra Token

High level

  • The launching of Libra Token will allow large swath of people access to banking
  • It will also allow corporations with a huge stock pile of cash the access to alternate forms of investment

Libra currency liquidity

Every Libra token that gets created is backed by a reserve of real assets. Close examination of partner balance sheet figures shows approximately USD148 billion dollars of cash and equivalent available for deployment right out the gates.

Libra social impact

One of Libra’s goals is to provide banking access to segments of the world’s population that don’t. Close examination of partners’ reach to this segment of the world shows 7.9million people. This is not including the 204 million African Internet Users on Facebook.

Related References

Book summary – the wealth of nations

The supply chain

  • producers (agriculture and mining)
  • manufacturers
  • wholesalers
  • retailers

Types of profits

  • labor wages
  • stock profits
  • rental profit

Types of currency

  • gold and silver ( internationally)
  • fiat money (domestically)

Political economy

  • Free Trade increases volume of goods available for consumption
  • As more territories join the free trade network overall price of goods will decrease due to competitive advantages and economies of scale.
  • Colonies where country do not assume tight control tends to economically fair better  – British West Indies (modern day US)
  • Revenue generated by far flung colonies will often not be enough to cover for expenses incurred for their military protection
  • Slaves are more productive when well taken care of – French West Indies versus British West Indies
  • Wars are costly and force countries to take on debt they will unlikely repay
  • Capital circulation is faster when trading with near by neighbors versus far flung colonies
  • Rapidly growing far flung colonies consume more capital than they make available

Types of colonization

  • Tightly controlled
    • central government assumes tight control to extract resources for parent country – French East Indies
  • Loosely coupled
    • citizens outgrew their space in their mother country and are surrounded by hostile neighbors. New colony assumes an independent administration and foreign policies – Greek colonies

Types of monopolies

  • Of produce by colonies
    • the common form utilized by companies
    • easier to enforce
    • bad for colonies
  • Of trade routes
    • utilized by the Portuguese for traveling sailing along the East Indies after successfully navigating the cape of good hope
    • not feasible to enforce except on countries that don’t have a navigation industry
  • organization aimed at restricting supply
    • trade guilds
    • universities
    • trading companies
      • Types
        • Government exclusive companies
        • Joint stock companies
      • Example
        • British East India company
        • Dutch East India company

Types of military

  • Standing Army
    • professional and kept even in times of peace
    • Official types – Rome
    • By environment – the Mongolian nomads whose hardy lifestyles were beneficial
  • Militia
    • drafted in times of necessity
    • as war fare became more complex and long drawn campaigns instead of skirmish, militia eventually harden to achieve skill levels of standing army
    • The Greek army transited from a militia to become a standing army during the Peloponnesian War

Book summary – Range

  • specialists by instinct will grip tighter to their core tools when the environment becomes more chaotic
  • Repetition to optimize for efficiency is only suitable for a predictable environment
  • in a chaotic environment being able to draw solutions from a wider range of domains will lead to qualitatively better and more innovative break through solutions
  • build culture that encourage dissent rather than blind adherence
  • build teams that are deeply networked rather than hierarchical

20190619 – Federal reserve chairman Powell’s speech

Federal Reserve’s two pronged mission

  • Maximum employment
  • Price stability at 2% inflation

Indicators utilized to proxy inflation

  • Unemployment levels
  • wage levels
  • consumption levels
  • Agriculture
  • manufacturing
  • Business investments
  • trade levels

Departments overview

US treasury and Federal Reserve are non-political entities

  • Government
  • US treasury – controls exchange rates
  • Federal reserve focus on domestic concerns only

Observations

  • will not act on sentiment driven from cross currents like Trade war and China’s deleveraging
  • will wait to see more of how trends pan out before acting
  • most countries find it challenging to sustain a 2% inflation rate
  • wage level increases has remained subdued despite increase demand for labor
  • balance sheets of banks are well stress tested
  • balance sheets of non-banks like mutual funds are not well tested

Reflections on the subject of economics

Man as an automaton

The average man eats, sleeps, shits and reproduce.

When presented with environment stimulus that signals more of the above, his brain emits dopamine which elicits are warm fuzzy sensation in his body which he interprets as pleasant.

When presented with environment stimulus that signals less of the above, his brain emits adrenaline which elicits muscular tension and heat in various parts of his body which he interprets as unpleasant.

Physics as the upper bound constrain for economic activities

Economic activity is what man as a collective organism engages in as it goes about fulfilling its above stated needs.

A quantum leap in economic activity is only possible when there is significant break through in the field of physics.

A large increase in numeric valuation of such economic activities without corresponding increase in actual physical throughput volume will result in either an inflation or a subsequent correction.

Characterization of economic activities

Aerobic economic activity is when the environment remains at equilibrium during energy extraction for the above stated needs.

Anaerobic economic activity is when the environment equilibrium is disturbed during energy extraction for the above stated needs.

Framing as a high level principle

He who controls the frame determines what goes within it.

The jug shapes the water.

The player controlling the outer edges of the Othello board generally wins the game

The country which controls the currency for all international commerce control the direction and level of cross border commercial activities.

US controls the global USD supply which majority of foreign economic activities and debts are denominated in. US controls the future economic outputs creditors will receive in the future.

Major creditors for US debts like China and Russia are moving towards Gold as the denominator.

Effects of Trump administration and Federal Reserve fiscal policy on the S&P index

2018 Oct / Dec

During the period of Dec 2019, the SPY index ranged between

  • 3rd Oct 2019 – USD 291.72
  • 24th Dec 2019 – USD 234.34

The steep decline in share price can be attributed to the ongoing trade war wage by the Trump administration and the expected Federal Reserve rate hike. The decline attributions are as follows:

  • Trump administration
    • USD 291.72 – USD265.37
    • 3rd Oct 2019 – 13th Dec 2019
    • decline of 9.03% off of USD291.72
  • Federal reserve rate hike
    • USD265.37 – USD234.34
    • 13th Dec 2019 – 24th Dec 2019
    • decline of 10.63% off of USD291.72

2019 May / June

During the period of May and June 2019, the SPY index ranged between

  • 3rd May 2019 – USD 294.03
  • 3rd June 2019 – USD 274.57

The steep decline in share price can be attributed to the two front trade war wage by the Trump administration which caused a 6.61% price decline

Of the recovery that occurred after 3rd June 2019, the following parties could be attributed

  • Federal reserve
    • USD274.57 – USD 287.65
    • June 3  2019 – June 7 2019
    • 4.76% recovery off of USD274.57
  • Trump administration
    • USD 287.65 – USD 292.32
    • June 10th 2019 – June 18th 2019
    • 1.70% recovery off of USD274.57

Conclusion

While both the Government administration and the Federal reserve have observed impact on the SnP index, it is observed the Federal reserve has a slightly higher level of impact.

  • Oct/Dec 2019: 10.63% versus 9.0%
  • May/June 2019: 4.76% versus 1.70%

 

Guo Jia’s Ten Advantage Framework

A framework Guo Jia used to assess Cao Cao’s strength versus Yuan Shao’s strength during the period of the three kingdom. This is an alternative measure to the modern day GDP measure which has been documented to be in use by the Chinese CCP government.

Advice to Cao Cao

  • Yuan Shao is overmuch devoted to ceremony and deportment; while you are sympathetic and natural; this is an excellence in conduct.
  • He is antagonistic and drives; you are conciliatory and lead; so you have the advantage of popular approval.
  • For many years the government has been lax, and he makes it more so; you strive vigorously after efficiency; this is the excellence of able administration.
  • He is outwardly liberal but grudging at heart, and too given to nepotism; you appear exacting, but you understand and use people after their ability; this is the advantage of correct appreciation.
  • He is a visionary but lacking in decision; you are a man of prompt decision and direct action; this is an advantage in policy.
  • He loves to gather about him people of renown; you treat people as you find them regardless of their reputation; this is where you excel in moral virtue.
  • He is compassionate to those at hand, but careless about those out of sight; your care is all-embracing; this is where you excel in humanity.
  • He lends a ready ear to calumny and is misled; you may be flooded with evil counsel, but you preserve independence; this is where you excel in perspicacity.
  • His sense of right and wrong is confused; your appreciation is accurate and clear; this is where you excel in administrative capacity.
  • He loves the make-believe force, but is ignorant of military essentials; you would overcome with far inferior numbers as you possess military genius; this is where you excel in war.

Related readings

  • The hundred year marathon, Michael Pillsbury
  • Book of Wei

Non-purchase of DOMO despite 10% dip

11th June 2019 DOMO 10% share price dip

Reasons for non-purchase

  • Macro economic environment is still uncertain given US/China Trade war where leaders are set to meet during the 28th-29th June 2019 G20 Osaka summit.
  • US Treasury yield curve is currently inverted signaling a forthcoming recession
  • DOMO share price has been on a steady trend for past 3 months.
  • Competition purchases
    • Google has recently purchased Looker
    • SalesForce has recently purchased Tableau
  • Financials
    • Cash and cash equivalent is down by more than 50%
    • Total assets is down by more than 10% while total liabilities is down by only 3%

Related References

  • https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/06/07/why-domo-shares-plunged-today.aspx
  • https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/06/06/1865628/0/en/Domo-Announces-Fiscal-2020-First-Quarter-Financial-Results.html