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Flirting with Models

Jun 26, 2018


In this episode, I am joined by JD Gardner, founder and managing member at Aptus Capital. In his time in the industry, JD has served in the role of associate financial advisor, analyst to a deep-value equity fund, and analyst at short-term, systematic, managed-futures fund.

These varying experiences have mixed to culminate into JD's ultimate philosophy: it's all about the investor's return, not the investment return.

I like to say, "No pain, no premium" as pithy shorthand for the notion that long-term outperformance requires short-term pain along the way. For JD and the team at Aptus, their funds are first and foremost governed by the question of achievability. For them, the contest is not in the theoretical purity of your factor exposure, but rather whether the investor can stick around long enough to harvest it.

A theoretically sub-optimal solution can be best if it helps the investor bridge the behavior gap.

In light of this philosophy, the team at Aptus has launched two strategies. We discuss their Fortified Value index, one of the more unique spins on value investing that I have come across. Not only does the strategy aim to employ a measure of value that leads to greater investor returns, but it also rolls out-of-the-money put options in effort to protect the portfolio against sudden, short-term declines in value that may otherwise invite client misbehavior.

Classic Graham and Dodd value this is not. But for some, JD argues, a much more achievable alternative.