Capital Allocators Book Release By Ted Seides
Author Ted Seides released a book titled “Capital Allocators” that features a section all about Alpha Theory. Read more about it here.
Our friend Ted Seides has recently released a great book titled “Capital Allocators” and WE’RE IN IT! The book distills the learnings and best practices of his 180+ podcasts and is a treasure trove of great insights. There are four things that make the book special:
1. Ted gets amazing people.
2. Many of these people don’t publish their thoughts and this is our only access to them
3. Ted has distilled the best of these learnings into a “toolkit” you can apply to your own investing.
4. ALPHA THEORY IS INCLUDED!
See below for the section on Alpha Theory (italicized paragraph is edited to focus on Alpha Theory):
Cameron Hight was a frustrated former hedge fund manager at a smaller shop who felt he did not have the requisite tools to improve their own skills. He set aside managing money to create a software company that would help portfolio managers.
Cameron Hight had an insight that has helped hedge fund managers big and small optimize portfolio construction. He believed markets move so quickly that a portfolio manager cannot consider all the variables to optimize position sizing in real time. His business, Alpha Theory, strives to make the implicit explicit by putting numbers and probabilities on position sizing decisions.
Alpha Theory uses the investment team's research to calculate risk and reward in real time. A thorough analyst already has models and probability scenarios for the potential path a stock might take. Absent new Information, each movement in the stock price changes the attractiveness of risk and reward. Alpha Theory models conviction-weighted sizing based on the investment team's research and compares the result to the actual portfolio position size. Over 15 years of operation, Cameron has teams of data showing that his seemingly simple tool has added substantial returns for clients who employ it in their practice.
His data also revealed an important conclusion about many fundamental managers. Good active managers perform far better in their larger positions than they do in smaller names. Alpha Theory wrote “The Concentration Manifesto," preaching that managers and allocators would both be better served if managers focus on more concentrated portfolios of their best ideas.
Data analysis almost never gives an allocator the answer, but the tools employed are useful in measuring risk and return at the portfolio and manager level, and in making informed judgements about manager selection. The availability of data and the entrepreneurs at the forefront of assessing it enable CIOs to be more informed. Asking the right questions may reveal managers who eschew modern technology and are a step behind the pack.