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The Practical Quant's Blog

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Hedge Fund Performance: First half of 2012

July 16, 2012 Comments (0)

The first half of 2012 was tough on most asset classes, hedgies were definitely not exempt. The different style indices trailed the S&P 500 through the first half of 2012. The S&P 500 itself returned a modest 8.3% through the first six months of 2012: (Click to enlarge) Returns over the most recent 12 months have been paltry. Fixed Income Arb and Global Macro both finished above 5%, barely higher than the 3.1% investors received from the S&P 500. (Click to enlarge) Related content: When...

Estimating Word Count - Graham Greene edition

June 16, 2012 Comments (0)

Wonderful factoid from page 158 of Pico Iyer's recent book on Greene -- in the course of writing a medium length novel, Greene came within 125 words of his initial estimate, in the typewriter era. ... Greene was such a master of his craft that, on beginning A Burnt-out Case, for example, he estimated that it would be 65,000 words long (220 pages, in a typical typeface); when he concluded, much, much later, it would come to 64,875 (or 219 and a half pages). I got so curious that I tracked...

Which Code Review Tool do you prefer?

June 12, 2012 Comments (0)

I'm interested in what Code Review Tool you like best, chances are it's the tool you're currently using, but it need not be. In the unfortunate case that you're actually stuck using a tool that you don't like, I'd like you to pick the tool you like the best. Assuming I get enough responses, I'll post the results in about a week. Loading...

Offbeat encouters at Foo Camp 2012

June 10, 2012 Comments (0)

Like previous Foo Camps, I had lots of interesting technical discussions, with folks I already knew, and with many I met for the first time. In this post I'll highlight a few offbeat encounters. 1. Sometime Saturday afternoon, I saw a skateboarder out in the parking lot, putting together moves that made my jaws dropped. I talked to him later that night and it turns out it was Rodney Mullen of the Bones Brigade! Rodney Mullen and me at Foo Camp Rodney told me that Stacy Peralta just completed a...

Frugal Innovation in India: Aravind + Women in Delhi

May 31, 2012 Comments (0)

I wanted to share a couple of great segments from Al Jazeera's 101 East: both of these recent segments contain several examples of innovations that would translate in many other countries. Aravind Eye Care in Madurai has been the subject of numerous business school case studies, but if you want an introduction to this amazing organization, the video below is a great place to start. This should be required viewing for anyone in the US Health Care sector: The second story gives an overview of...

Much to like about #HBasecon

May 26, 2012 Comments (0)

I decided to attend #hbasecon at the last minute and was pleasantly surprised by the size1 of the conference and the enthusiasm around the topic. The fact that it was the first formal conference could explain the demand, but judging from the sessions I attended and conversations I had, I do think that a sizable portion of the Hadoop community is coalescing around HBase. There are other distributed technologies (e.g., Cassandra) that fill the need for real-time, atomic, high-performance...

Private Equity 30-year performance: Buyout and Venture Capital

April 15, 2012 Comments (0)

A recent paper inspired me to put together a series of charts that detail the market-adjusted and absolute performance of private equity (both buyout and venture capital). I have to say the performance numbers for Venture Capital were unimpressive: most of the gains over the last three decades were from late 1990's vintage funds. The average VC underperformed the S&P 500 in 16 of 29 years covered in the data!Details over at Verisi Data Studio.

Hedge Fund profits flow mainly to Industry Insiders

February 6, 2012 Comments (0)

I published a new article over at Verisi Data Studio this weekend:Just as I emphasized dollar-weighted returns in an earlier article, I think it's imperative that investors use the metric defined above, when evaluating (alternative) investment opportunities: share of total profits captured by insiders.

When evaluating Investment Funds, use Dollar-weighted Returns

February 1, 2012 Comments (0)

New article over at Verisi Data Studio:Investors, particulary ones who employ investment professionals (e.g., institutional investors & pension funds), should be using dollar-weighted returns in their fund/manager selection process.

Sarah Palin and machine-translation

January 25, 2012 Comments (0)

I just came across this incomprehensible quote from Sarah Palin, that at first blush I thought was a misquote:“I think what Rick Perry having dropped out and that patriot having done well for the front-runner, whom I will call Newt Gingrich now, being the front-runner, having endorsed him, was a good smart move,” Palin said on Fox News. “He kind of took one for the team there, the conservative team, when he dropped out.”But then the same article contains an embedded video that shows the above...