2. Perspectives on
Active and Passive
• Give an example of a Relative return and
an Absolute return vehicle
• Explain the difference between Alpha
• List the four stages of the top-down
fundamental analysis process
• Describe seven anomalies the Efficient
Market Hypothesis does not explain
• Summarize the three explanations of
how information becomes incorporated
into securities prices
3. Active & Passive Investor
Passive investors buy and hold stocks for the long term.
They construct portfolios or choose investment vehicles that
minimize costs, including research costs, trading costs, administrative
costs, performance fees, and taxes on realized gains.
The most popular types of passive investment vehicles include
“index” mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs),
Active investors, however, seek to outperform the indexes by
identifying individual stocks to buy and sell.
Active investors turn their portfolios over more frequently than
passive investors and usually incur higher costs
4. Relative versus Absolute Return Investing
Relative return vehicles seek to outperform a benchmark index
where “outperformance” is measured as a combination of either
earning higher returns and/or achieving lower risk exposure.
Absolute return vehicles seek to deliver returns that are less
risky but are also usually lower than the returns of most index
benchmarks. Many equity hedge funds are absolute return
5. Alpha and Beta: Excess Returns and Market Risk
Alpha refers to the excess returns earned by relative return investors, either above or
below the market index to which their performance is benchmarked.
When a portfolio outperforms its benchmark index, the percentage return by which
the portfolio exceeds the index return will be termed positive alpha.
If a portfolio underperforms its benchmark index, we'll say it earned a negative alpha
Beta is a measure of risk that can apply to an individual stock or to a portfolio of
stocks. The average market beta = 1.0.
In the case of an individual stock, beta measures how much risk, or volatility, that
stock is expected to contribute to the overall volatility of a diversified portfolio.
High-beta stocks usually exhibit a more volatile reaction to market-wide or
macroeconomic news, on both the upside and downside.
Low-beta stocks tend to be less volatile, however, and therefore contribute less
volatility to a diversified portfolio
When applied to a well-diversified equity portfolio, beta is a measure of the market
risk, or volatility, of the portfolio. High-beta stock portfolios should outperform low-
beta portfolios, as higher returns compensate investors for bearing greater risk
6. The Top-Down Fundamental Analysis Process
Analysts divide the stock market into 10
determine the stocks with the best
prospects to overweight within each sector
The decision to buy a stock and hold it in a
portfolio indicates confidence, or
conviction, in the security
highest-conviction stocks receive the
highest weight and the lowest-conviction
stocks receive the lowest weight.
The active investor's weighting scheme will
be called active portfolio weights.
7. Why Stocks with Solid Fundamentals Outperform
over Long Horizons
Step I – Stock Selection
1.Stocks with steadily growing revenues, profits, free cash flows, and dividends.
2.Stocks that achieve this growth by making prudent capital investments.
3.Companies with strong competitive positions that allow them to defend and
maintain their market presence,
Step II - Beta
recall the idea of beta—the index of how volatile a stock is likely to be & how
much volatility it will contribute to a diversified portfolio
when markets correct or enter a bear phase—and they always do—stocks with
superior fundamentals tend to decline in value much less than their high-beta
counterparts. Moreover, after the market correction is over, these stocks usually
resume following the market's next upward trend.
8. Example of Active Managers
• Decoupling of Stocks
• During market corrections, investors sell
many of their risky, high-beta stock
positions and invest the proceeds in
stocks with superior fundamentals. The
prices of these stocks are supported by
their fundamentals, which makes them
most attractive to investors during the
market's darkest moods.
• Graph shows Bristol-Myers rises during
Spring 2012 market correction with plots
for S&P 500 index and Bristol-Myers
squib company on year versus
cumulative percentage return.
9. Example of Active Managers
• Notice how the stock initially follows
the market's downward move, but
investors only allow it to fall so far
before it offers compelling value in a
• Toward the end of the three-month
market correction, JNJ has
outperformed the market by almost 6
• And, in the world of investing, not
losing 6 percent is just as good as
gaining 6 percent.
• This is how stocks with solid
fundamentals contribute to superior
portfolio returns and lower volatility
over long horizons.
10. Example of Active Managers
• Despite Citigroup's strong showing in the
first quarter, Wal-Mart handily outperforms
Citigroup through spring, summer, and
most of the fall, albeit in a sort of tortoise
• Fundamental investors might have felt a
little nervous early in 2012 when Citigroup
was bounding ahead, but in the slow and
patient buy-and-hold race, the stock with
the superior fundamentals eventually won
out—as most often happens.
• Moreover, Wal-Mart outperformed with
lower volatility, taking investors on less of a
roller-coaster ride. Wal-Mart's beta versus
the S&P 500 equals only 0.35, versus
Citigroup's beta of approximately 2.0.
11. The Record of Professional Money Managers
Standard & Poor's Indices vs. Active Funds (SPIVA) 2009 : 2004–2008,
63 percent of large-cap mutual funds, 74 percent of mid-cap funds, and 68
percent of small-cap funds underperformed their benchmarks.
Hulbert is also a columnist for the New York Times and Dow Jones Market
watch. In 2008 After accounting for fees, the vast majority of active
mutual funds had negative returns. But these authors also conclude that
the proportion of zero alpha mutual funds is higher than previously
thought. They find that 75 percent of funds earn zero alphas, implying that
the pros earn just enough to cover their fees and other costs. Less than 1
percent of funds delivered positive alpha in a way that is consistent with
12. Why Do Active Managers Underperform?
If the analyst believes the market is mispricing a stock today, why
shouldn't it be the case that this mispricing will continue to persist?
Identifying a mispriced security (an irrational valuation by the overall
market) is a necessary but insufficient step in the fundamental
The final step is to anticipate the catalysts that will help the rest of
the market recognize the true value of the under- and overvalued
securities identified by our fundamental process.
13. Market Efficiency, Behavioral Finance, and Adaptive
Efficient markets hypothesis(EMH), is the oldest, known for
emphasizing a high level of rationality in investor behavior and aggregate
Behavioral Finance, which allows investor emotions to play a larger role in
securities pricing. Behavioral finance recognizes that pricing errors can not
only exist but sometimes persist for long periods.
The AMH views the interactions among investors, securities, markets,
and institutions as a dynamically evolving ecosystem. Within the AMH
framework, winners are determined by their ability to both compete and
adapt to constantly changing circumstances.
14. Market Efficiency
Understanding market efficiency is a useful first step in understanding and
exploiting deviations from efficiency. When information is not accurately
reflected in a stock's price, there may be an opportunity to buy or sell the
mispriced security and earn excess returns.
The academic perspective says: “A securities market is informationally efficient
when news is rapidly and accurately reflected in the prices of financial
The practitioner perspective, however, asks the question: “Are there any
trading strategies based on historical and/or publicly available information that
outperform the market with reasonable consistency after adjusting for risk?”
15. Securities Prices in an Efficient Market
The prices of stocks & securities in an efficient market will react rapidly and
accurately to news
News is defined as information that is (1) relevant to the value of the security and (2)
unanticipated by the market .
Markets are thought to be efficient due to the research conducted by rational,
wealth-maximizing analysts and investors.
The large potential profits from making the right call motivate analysts to work hard
to identify new information, assess its relevance for securities prices, and immediately
trade on the results of their analysis
It's the diligent efforts of investors that keep prices efficient.
16. The Three Levels of Market Efficiency
1. Weak-Form EMH
The weak-form EMH implies that the market is efficient, reflecting all market information. This
hypothesis assumes that the rates of return on the market should be independent; past rates of
return have no effect on future rates. Given this assumption, rules such as the ones traders use
to buy or sell a stock, are invalid.
2. Semi-Strong EMH
The semi-strong form EMH implies that the market is efficient, reflecting all publicly available
information. This hypothesis assumes that stocks adjust quickly to absorb new information. The
semi-strong form EMH also incorporates the weak-form hypothesis. Given the assumption that
stock prices reflect all new available information and investors purchase stocks after this
information is released, an investor cannot benefit over and above the market by trading on new
3. Strong-Form EMH
The strong-form EMH implies that the market is efficient: it reflects all information both public
and private, building and incorporating the weak-form EMH and the semi-strong form EMH.
Given the assumption that stock prices reflect all information (public as well as private) no
investor would be able to profit above the average investor even if he was given new
17. The Three Levels of Market Efficiency
Weak Form Tests
Statistical Tests for Independence - In our discussion on the weak-form EMH,
we stated that the weak-form EMH assumes that the rates of return on the
market are independent. Given that assumption, the tests used to examine the
weak form of the EMH test for the independence assumption. Examples of
these tests are the autocorrelation tests (returns are not significantly correlated
over time) and runs tests (stock price changes are independent over time).
Trading Tests - Another point we discussed regarding the weak-form EMH is
that past returns are not indicative of future results, therefore, the rules that
traders follow are invalid. An example of a trading test would be the filter rule,
which shows that after transaction costs, an investor cannot earn an abnormal
18. The Three Levels of Market Efficiency
Semi-strong Form Tests
Given that the semi-strong form implies that the market is reflective of all
publicly available information, the tests of the semi-strong form of the
EMH are as follows:
Event Tests - The semi-strong form assumes that the market is reflective
of all publicly available information. An event test analyzes the security
both before and after an event, such as earnings. The idea behind the
event test is that an investor will not be able to reap an above average
return by trading on an event.
Regression/Time Series Tests - Remember that a time series forecasts
returns based historical data. As a result, an investor should not be able to
achieve an abnormal return using this method.
19. The Three Levels of Market Efficiency
Given that the strong-form implies that the market is reflective of all information, both public
and private, the tests for the strong-form center around groups of investors with excess
information. These investors are as follows:
Insiders - Insiders to a company, such as senior managers, have access to inside information.
SEC regulations forbid insiders for using this information to achieve abnormal returns.
Exchange Specialists - An exchange specialist recalls runs on the orders for a specific equity. It
has been found however, that exchange specialists can achieve above average returns with
this specific order information.
Analysts - The equity analyst has been an interesting test. It analyzes whether an analyst's
opinion can help an investor achieve above average returns. Analysts do typically cause
movements in the equities they focus on.
Institutional money managers - Institutional money managers, working for mutual funds,
pensions and other types of institutional accounts, have been found to have typically not
perform above the overall market benchmark on a consistent basis.
20. The Behavior of Securities Prices in an Efficient
Let's say that news is released
regarding a large, unexpected change
in the profit outlook for a firm.
In an efficient market we would
expect to see the stock price react
immediately upon release of that
Since the market is so competitive,
only the investors who receive the
news first and immediately act on it
will earn excess returns.
Everyone else will be too late to use
the news profitably, as the trades of
the first investors cause the stock's
price to quickly correct to fair value.
21. Anomalies the EMH Cannot Explain
Correlations in security returns . Individual security returns are negatively
correlated on a daily basis, positively correlated over intermediate horizons, and
negatively correlated over long horizons. Consistent correlation patterns would
not exist in highly efficient markets.
Mean reversion or a reversal effect in securities prices . Portfolios of stocks
with the best records over the past two to three years subsequently
underperform the market, and portfolios of stocks with the worst records over
the past two to three years go on to outperform the market.
Under reaction to news . There is significant short-term “drift” in prices
following both good and bad news announcements (drift is the tendency for
stock prices to keep moving in the same direction).
The size effect . Small stocks outperform large stocks by more than would be
expected based on their higher volatility. From 1931 to 1975, the 50 smallest
stocks on the NYSE outperformed the 50 largest by 1 percent per month.
22. Anomalies the EMH Cannot Explain
The price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) or value stock effect . Studies show that the risk-
adjusted returns of the lowest P/E stock portfolios are as much as 7 percent per year
larger than the risk-adjusted returns of the highest P/E stock portfolios.
The January effect . Stocks of small-cap companies experience unusually high returns in
the first two weeks of January, then their returns revert to average for the rest of the
Patterns in volatility . Returns are more volatile during bear markets, market volatility is
greater at the open and the close than during the trading day, and overall market
volatility is excessive relative to changes in the fundamentals affecting stocks' intrinsic
Neglected Firms :Neglected firms are firms that Wall Street analysts deem too small to
cover. As a result, these firms tend to generate larger levels of return, negating the EMH.
Price-Earnings/Growth (PEG) Ratio :Investing using the PEG valuation metric has been
anomaly against the EMH. It has been shown similar to the P/E ratio that investors profit
by investing in companies with low PEG ratios.
23. Behavioral Finance
Behavioral finance, a theory of information, securities prices, and investor
behavior that competes with and frequently contradicts the highly rational
premises and predictions of the efficient markets hypothesis.
Behavioral finance maintains that investors suffer from cognitive biases, or
inefficiencies in the way they process information and draw conclusions
Individuals are not consistently rational and frequently make cognitive errors.
Behavioral finance adds to our understanding of markets because it alerts us to
the many intellectual errors that investors and traders are capable of
committing, and allows that aggregate market outcomes can reflect these
errors (such as systematic market mispricing's, or bubbles)
24. Behavioral Finance Biases
Overconfident : people tend to be overconfident regarding their abilities, which leads
to mistakes such as too little diversification and too much trading.
Hindsight error, which tricks people into thinking they can foretell the future because
they can easily observe the past.
Confirmation errors occur when investors place too much weight on information that
confirms their prior opinions (Cognitive Consonance) & Underweight or completely
disregard evidence that contradicts their opinions (Cognitive Dissonance)
Heuristics : mental “rules of thumb” can lead to biased reasoning and suboptimal
investment decisions, however, especially when circumstances are changing
Extrapolation errors : which occur when investors assume that current and recent
conditions will prevail well into the future, also cause them to ignore evidence of
Misunderstanding randomness : which involves seeing patterns where none exist,
Vividness Bias : which causes investors to overweight particularly memorable
experiences, even though they may not be relevant given current circumstances.
25. The Adaptive Markets Hypothesis
The adaptive markets hypothesis (AMH) views financial markets from a biological
It combines principles of the well-known and often controversial Efficient Market
Hypothesis with principles of behavioral finance
Investor behaviors such as loss aversion, overconfidence and overreaction are
consistent with evolutionary models of human behavior, which include actions such as
competition, adaptation and natural selection.
Humans make best guesses based on trial and error. For example, if an investor's
strategy fails, he or she is likely to try a different strategy. If the strategy is successful,
however, the investor is likely to try it again.
Adaptive Market Hypothesis applies the principles of evolution and behavior to
Adaptive Market Hypothesis considers both as a means of explaining investor and
26. John Bogle: An Index Fund Fundamentalist (2002)
John Bogle is the founder of Vanguard Investments and the creator of the
equity index fund.
Bogle shows that for almost all types of equity portfolios (various combinations
of large versus small and growth versus value stocks), passively managed index
funds earn higher returns with lower risk versus actively managed funds.
This finding holds for every category except small-capitalization growth stocks,
implying that active managers were able to add value only for stocks that
require the most research to fully understand.
Minor makes a clever argument: If investors increasingly believe in market
efficiency, they will engage in more indexing and less active investing.
Bogle argues that even if active investors earn higher gross returns, after
considering the fees they charge, their clients would still have been better off
27. Charles Ellis: “Levels of the Game” (2000)
In his 2000 article “Levels of the Game,” Ellis cites Bogle's earlier
research, which shows that over the most recent 10-year period (at
the time the article was published), 89 percent of all actively
managed U.S. mutual funds had underperformed their benchmarks.
Ellis points out that over the past several decades, professionals
have become the market.
Well over 90 percent of all trading volume is now generated by the
pros, with over 50 percent generated by the top 50 firms.
if a firm raises its rating on a stock from hold to buy and wants more
shares, they're probably buying from another professional who
wants to sell
28. Charles Ellis: “Levels of the Game” (2000)
Ellis also classifies investing activities
Level 1: Asset Mix : Determining the optimal proportion of equities, bonds,
currencies, commodities, real estate and cash to hold in a portfolio or fund.
Level 2: Equity Mix : Establishing a “normal” policy of growth versus value
stocks, large-cap versus small-cap, and domestic versus international stocks.
Level 3: Active versus Passive Management : This level involves further
implementation of the normal policy established in Levels 1 and 2, specifically
addressing the proportion of an investor's assets that should be in active versus
Level 4: Specific Manager Selection : Deciding which investment firms will
manage each component of the investor's portfolio.
Level 5: Active Portfolio Management : Deciding when to change portfolio
strategy, the selection of specific securities or assets, and how to execute
29. Charles Ellis: “The Winner's Game” (2003)
Ellis provides in his 2003 article “The Winner's Game” is to partition life's
activities into one of two categories: winner's games and loser's games. In
loser's games, outcomes are most often determined by participant mistakes—
like amateur tennis.
In winner's games, however, outcomes are usually determined by decisive
winning moves, as is the case In most high-level professional sports.
Ellis's point is that individuals are the amateurs in the game of investments,
and should focus more on minimizing mistakes instead of attempting higher-
level winning moves versus professional investors.
Ellis brings to the active investing debate is his belief that active investing
triggers a higher error rate, and that this is the most plausible explanation
regarding why actively managed equity funds underperform their benchmarks
30. Charles Ellis: “The Winner's Game” (2003)
Ellis is also well versed in behavioral finance, as illustrated by the following advice
regarding which mistakes to avoid:
1. We are confirmation-biased—we seek out and overweight the significance of data
that support our initial impressions.
2. We allow ourselves to use an initial idea or fact as a reference point for future
decisions even when we know it is “just a number” (the behavioral error known as
“framing” or “anchoring”).
3. We distort our perceptions of our decisions, almost always in our favor, so that we
believe we are better than we really are at making decisions (cognitive consonance).
4. We have a tendency to be overconfident.
31. Dorn, Dorn, and Sengmueller: “Why Do People
Investors who indicated on surveys that they “enjoy investing”
and “enjoy risky propositions” traded twice as much as peer
“Entertainment appears to be a straightforward explanation for
why … active traders trade much more than others, and why
active traders underperform their peers after transactions costs.”
He also agree Ellis's advice: sticking to a simple game plan and
avoiding cognitive errors should be an important part of an
32. John Maynard Keynes: Chapter 23 of the General
Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money is an inarguable classic
in the economics literature.
Keynes's anticipates both the efficient markets and behavioral finance theories,
which would be further developed by economists and psychologists decades later.
Long-Term Expectations and Stock Values
Keynes Says Markets Can't Be Efficient
Groundless Expectations Are the Source of Excessive Volatility
Investment Professionals and Market Efficiency
How the Pros Play the Game
Keynes's Famous Beauty Contest Analogy
The Reduced Role of Fundamental Investors
Keynes's Warning for Long-Term Investors
Keynes on Bubbles
33. Long-Term Expectations
Keynes begins with a thought experiment on how investors form their
expectations regarding the future.
Keynes writes that it would be foolish to put too much weight on matters that
are highly uncertain
Humans have a habit of taking the current situation—whatever it is—and
extrapolating it into the future, until they see definite evidence that they need
to change that expectation
Keynes goes on to write that our long-term expectations should not depend
only on the best forecast we can make, but also on the certainty with which we
can make this forecast.
Predictions regarding the future are usually made on an extremely precarious
basis, but investors are overconfident regarding their ability to forecast
Keynes, earning high returns was not their primary focus; they were more
concerned with building something.
34. Long-Term Expectations and Stock Values
How long-term expectations are formed and the way modern financial markets
allow for investment valuation to be determined by those who are far removed
from the operations of the businesses.
Stock values may often reflect irrelevant concerns and ideas, and not the close
knowledge of the people actually running the companies. Keynes not only
anticipates the efficient markets hypothesis with this statement but goes on to
criticize the idea.
Keynes asserts that in both cases prices remained on a trend determined by
people who don't really know what's going on in the businesses they are
Keynes is working on the problems of asset bubbles and market crashes over
half a century before the dot-com, credit, and residential real estate bubbles
wreaked havoc on modern markets.
35. Keynes Says Markets Can't Be Efficient
Keynes reinforces his point that market valuations cannot be correct most of
the time because they result from a flawed expectations-forming process
conducted by people who are far removed from the businesses they are
The element of real knowledge in the valuation of investments has declined.
Day-to-day fluctuations in the profits of existing investments, which are
obviously of an ephemeral nature, have an excessive—even absurd—influence
Keynes says these conventions persist because people like the appearance of
stability and continuity in their daily lives. This makes people feel that, at least
in the short term, they are not exposed to excessive risk, because stock values
must at least be close to their fair value (cognitive consonance).
36. Groundless Expectations Are the Source of
Keynes asserts that investors' “groundless expectations” are actually the
source of this excess market volatility:
A conventional valuation that is established as the outcome of the mass
psychology of a large number of ignorant individuals is liable to change violently
as the result of a sudden fluctuation of opinion due to factors that do not really
make much difference to future returns, since there will be no strong roots to
hold it steady
Keynes goes on to say that during abnormal times when things are changing
fast, and investors are deprived of the comfort of believing in the “indefinite
continuance of the existing state of affairs,” markets will be subject to waves of
optimistic and pessimistic sentiment that is irrational, but also somewhat
legitimate, because no solid basis exists for reasonable calculations of any sort.
37. Investment Professionals and Market Efficiency
We might suppose that competition among expert professionals, who are
supposed to have knowledge beyond that of the average private investor,
would correct the pricing mistakes committed by ignorant individuals
Professional investors are not concerned with what an investment is
worth to a man who buys it “for keeps,” but rather what the market will
value it at, under the influence of mass psychology, three months or a year
Moreover, this behavior is not the result of a wrong-headed propensity …
it is not sensible to pay $25 for an investment you believe is worth $30 if
you also believe the market will value it at $20 in three months.
38. How the Pros Play the Game
Professional investor is therefore forced to concern himself with the
anticipation of impending changes—in the news or in the atmosphere—that
most influence the mass psychology of the market.
This is an inevitable result of investment markets organized with the goal of so-
called “liquidity” (which Keynes calls a “fetish”).
Keynes goes on to say that the game of investing might be called “beat the
The investors he knows are more concerned with outwitting the crowd and
passing the “bad, ever-depreciating half crown to the other fellow.”
Keynes further notes that this game can be played by professional investors
39. Keynes's Famous Beauty Contest Analogy
He compares professional investing to newspaper competitions that were
popular in his day in which readers voted for the prettiest faces from a hundred
Keynes says that the stock market works just like this game. Intelligent investors
don't simply pick the stocks they think are best, but the winning strategy
instead involves anticipating which face will get the most votes.
If your card is not in the right jar—determined by popular opinion—then you
cannot win the contest: We have reached the third degree where we devote
our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average
opinion to be.
40. The Reduced Role of Fundamental Investors
Keynes adds that there are several factors that jeopardize the predominance
of such individuals in modern investment markets:
Investment based on genuine long-term expectation is so difficult today that it
is basically impractical.
He who attempts it must surely lead more laborious days and run greater risks
than he who tries to guess better than the crowd how the crowd will behave;
and, given equal intelligence, he may make more disastrous mistakes.
This statement echoes Ellis's advice about the importance of avoiding mistakes.
41. Keynes's Warning for Long-Term Investors
Notice that it is the long-term investor—he who most promotes the
public interest—who will in practice come under the greatest
criticism whenever investment funds are managed by committees or
boards or banks.
For it is the essence of his behavior that he should appear eccentric,
unconventional and rash in the eyes of average opinion.
If he is successful, that will only confirm his rashness; and if in the
short run he is unsuccessful, which is very likely, he not receive much
Keynes has a little career advice for us as well: “Worldly wisdom
teaches that it is better for one's reputation to fail conventionally
than to succeed unconventionally.”
42. Keynes on Bubbles
Speculators may do little or no harm when they are only bubbles on
a steady stream of long-term investors; but they can be seriously
harmful when long-term investors become the bubble on a whirlpool
When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of
the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.
And Keynes coins a term—bubble—that has remained in the
investor's lexicon ever since.
43. Animal Spirits
A large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism
rather than on a mathematical expectation.
Our decisions to do something positive are usually taken as a result of animal
spirits—a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction—and not as the
outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by
If the animal spirits are dimmed and the spontaneous optimism falters,
leaving us to depend on nothing but a mathematical expectation, enterprise will
fade and die.
44. Morgan Stanley Focus Growth Strategy Profile (2013,
Permitted market capitalization: within the market capitalization of the benchmark
Sector concentrations result from security selection; no specified minimum or
Security weight: 1 to 5 percent of the portfolio
Typical number of holdings: 20–30 securities
Invest in high quality established and emerging companies
The investment team seeks companies with:
Inherent sustainable competitive advantages
Favorable return on invested capital trends
Long-term capital appreciation rather than short-term events
Stock selection is informed by rigorous fundamental analysis
Guiding principles combined with intellectual and process flexibility are critical to
strong decision-making in pursuit of attractive investments
45. Morgan Stanley Focus Growth Strategy Profile (2013,
When assessing businesses :
Relative lack of coverage: Companies transitioning from one market capitalization
Conventional valuation bias: There is a tendency to view companies with low price-
to-earnings (P/E) ratios as more attractive than those with higher ratios.
Coverage bias : Experts typically use traditional valuation rules of thumb to assess
companies in their coverage areas—rules .
Short-term bias : The team believes that it can exploit inefficiencies stemming from
the fact that market participants increasingly focus on short-term considerations.
46. Investment Process
Idea Generation: The team generates investment ideas through an
ongoing set of activities conducted individually and collaboratively,
(1) involvement in contact networks across industries and in the investment
(2) its reading network;
(3) its focus on ROIC and free-cash flow yield;
(4) team discussions;
(5) the identification of patterns;
(6) conventional-valuation and coverage biases, among others; and
(7) continual research on current company holdings.
47. Investment Process
◾Bottom-up analysis and valuation. The team narrows its idea generation
by seeking stocks that reside in the intersection between its views of a
company's business quality, growth quality, and risk/reward characteristics
(see diagram, Figure 22.11). Valuation focuses on free-cash-flow yield three
to five years in the future.
48. Investment Process
Disruptive change Research :To complement its in-depth, bottom-up
research, the team's disruptive change researcher investigates big ideas
and emerging themes that typically may have far-reaching consequences,
such as nanotech, infrastructure and the global water shortage.
Portfolio construction and implementation : The team's portfolios are
actively managed and built to maximize expected value. The team
anticipates holding between 20 and 30 securities.
Culture :The team's culture is shaped by four core values that are
cultivated and reinforced in many ways: intellectual curiosity and
flexibility, perspective, self-awareness, and partnership.