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Flirting with Models

May 30, 2019

In this episode I chat with Ben McMillan, a founding partner of IDX Insights, a firm offering "indexing as a service."

Ben cut his teeth in manager analysis at a fund-of-hedge-funds and we spend a considerable amount of time discussing how this experience impacted his research in building hedge fund replication strategies.

As it turns out, a naive replication strategy is very easy to implement. A robust one, however, is deceptively difficult.  One of the most interesting insights I gleaned from this conversation is that the edge in replication may not be in applying more sophisticated math, but rather in the data sets applied.

We discussed where replication might work, where it doesn't, and the dependent nature these liquid replicators have in crowd-sourcing their allocations from their less-than-liquid peers.

Finally, we discuss how these sorts of replicators might be further enhanced by replacing standard beta factors with more customized index solutions.

Ben is full of insights and this one runs long.  So let's not waste any more time and let's dive in.