Attain presents Why Alternatives?: Global Debt Panel at CFA

The CFA conference continued yesterday at gale wind speed, leaving us with little time to collect our thoughts until today. Things started out with a bold opening panel that included Barry Ritholtz, John Mauldin, David Rosenberg and Anatole Kaletsky. The topic du jour was the global debt crisis, and if you’ve ever seen any of these folks speak or read their work, you know you can’t do much better than this group on that topic. What are we looking at on the global stage moving forward?

  • The Possibility of a Broken EU – Rosenberg believes that the continued isolation of Germany may be a warning sign of rough waters ahead and the dissolution of the EU. Mauldin believes that there are too many people with a strong interest in keeping the union together, and that the ECB will need to step up. Kaletsky had a decidedly sunnier view, arguing that the downside risk in Europe is known, and that it’s the U.S. we should be more worried about. So, sort of sunnier… at least for Europe.
  • Japan Still Sucks – The panel was in resounding agreement on one issue – the mess that is Japan. With nonexistent GDP growth, Mauldin aptly described the country, as far as investing is concerned, as a “bug looking for a windshield.”
  • The JOBS Act is Going to Shake Things Up – Mauldin was the champion of this topic, arguing that the new regulatory changes would create a world that rivaled the introduction of money markets and mutual funds, with a slew of new products hitting the street. Ritholtz was not as rosy on the topic, believing that the disclosure issues would complicate an already complex issue.

We’ll be honest, though. The best part of the presentation came from a tidbit of wisdom out of Ritholtz, as he harped on the fact that we shouldn’t worry about what we can’t control. The goal, instead, should be to figure out what is happening now. It definitely got us thinking. On one hand, the man has a point. We spend a lot of time speculating on what the future holds, but the reality is, figuring out what’s happening in the moment is difficult enough as it is. Focusing on the current climate is important, and likely more fruitful.

That being said, we can’t give up on speculation altogether (I mean, we are managed futures people). Can’t there be a happy medium? Think about it like this – you’re deciding to go out for a Sunday picnic, and are trying to figure out whether it’s a good idea. It’s sunny out, the weather is nice, but realistically, it could always start raining. If you were to choose to stay in, despite the current sunny weather, because there was some unknown risk of rain… well, under that logic, you’d probably never leave your house. Ritholtz is essentially arguing that you should go on that investing picnic if the weather right now is nice, and we agree. Investing based on known variables may make a lot of sense, but at the same time… it can’t hurt to bring an umbrella.

2 comments

  1. […] (Economix) see also America’s idiot rich (Salon) • Why Alternatives?: Global Debt Panel at CFA (Attain Capital Management) • Analytical Trend Troubles Scientists (WSJ) • Twitter ‘will be more valuable than […]

  2. […] My morning reading material: • The one article that explains the JPM trade that blew up: Whale-Watching Tour: Too Big To Hedge (FT.com) and The unconventional hedge, redux (FT.com) • Gas prices: Down and headed lower (CNN Money) • Twitter Rent Surge Makes San Francisco Best Office Market (Bloomberg) • The Case for Global Accounting (NYT) • Goldman Hoards Italy’s Debt (WSJ) • Bartlett: How the Rich Make Us All Better Off (The Fiscal Times) • Leaked DHS memo: Pornoscanners don’t work (BoingBoing) • The Washington Post Co.’s Self-Destructive Course (Columbia Journalism Review) • Gay marriage, Obama and the fierce urgency of now: Why did he do it this week? (Yahoo News) • Attain presents Why Alternatives?: Global Debt Panel at CFA (Attain Capital Management) […]

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The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

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