The Correlation Conundrum

This isn’t intended as a rant against the practice of diversification – nothing could be further from the truth. But, like all popular investment tools, there’s a mythology that’s been created around modern portfolio theory to suggest a panacea to cure all ills. It’s peddled as a fairy tale that ends with investor & portfolio happily ever after – together on a horse, riding off into the sunset. My argument is that the benefits of diversification depend on having appropriately calibrated priors. And when those priors are dramatically altered, it’s time to reassess – not double-down.

Ebb & Flow: Tidal Forces in Markets

There’s a pattern & predictability to tides that make them easy to forecast. But, on very long timescales, that doesn’t mean they are constant by any measure. At a celestial level, the amount of force produced depends on the mass of the objects involved, the distance, the eccentricity of the orbits, and the radius of the bodies – for starters. The push & pull that’s observed in financial markets is analogous: different assets exhibit similar ebb & flow as correlations oscillate.

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