AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

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matjen
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AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by matjen »

I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.

Rubenstein, Koch, Asness and More on the Best Investment Advice They've Received
https://youtu.be/ViACUGRP4II?si=izIP1t75YwTgi6HA&t=25
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by Gaston »

matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nisiprius »

Cool, thanks for posting. That is obviously not Asness' full remark, I don't suppose you know where to find the entirety?
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by absolute zero »

nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
He was never chased off. He has had a Bogleheads account for a decade and makes (maybe) one post every 2 or 3 years. I bet he has made maybe 5-10 posts max. Doesn’t seem like he’s ever been interested enough to seriously participate in the forum.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

absolute zero wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:27 pm
nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
He was never chased off. He has had a Bogleheads account for a decade and makes (maybe) one post every 2 or 3 years. I bet he has made maybe 5-10 posts max. Doesn’t seem like he’s ever been interested enough to seriously participate in the forum.
I was there when it happened, I saw the comments and he said in reply that Bogle was his hero and he was out of here.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by absolute zero »

nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:40 pm
absolute zero wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:27 pm
nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
He was never chased off. He has had a Bogleheads account for a decade and makes (maybe) one post every 2 or 3 years. I bet he has made maybe 5-10 posts max. Doesn’t seem like he’s ever been interested enough to seriously participate in the forum.
I was there when it happened, I saw the comments and he said in reply that Bogle was his hero and he was out of here.
Yes I remember reading along when that thread took place a few years back. I just looked it up and found it and read his posts again. Here it is. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewt ... 6#p5862866

He disagreed with one poster and defended both Jack Bogle and also AQR. I know it doesn’t matter one way or another, but i don’t think a single lame comment from a random person on the internet (Steve321 in this case) is enough to “chase off” Cliff Asness. He regularly has extended arguments with people on Twitter - I’m pretty sure Cliff has very thick skin, and even enjoys arguments. Wouldn’t be surprised if he swoops in again at some point to post again on the forum. I hope he does. I’m a big Cliff fan.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by antiqueman »

Dont forget ,Larry Swedroe left as well, because of the way he was treated.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

absolute zero wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:50 pm
nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:40 pm
absolute zero wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:27 pm
nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
He was never chased off. He has had a Bogleheads account for a decade and makes (maybe) one post every 2 or 3 years. I bet he has made maybe 5-10 posts max. Doesn’t seem like he’s ever been interested enough to seriously participate in the forum.
I was there when it happened, I saw the comments and he said in reply that Bogle was his hero and he was out of here.
Yes I remember reading along when that thread took place a few years back. I just looked it up and found it and read his posts again. Here it is. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewt ... 6#p5862866

He disagreed with one poster and defended both Jack Bogle and also AQR. I know it doesn’t matter one way or another, but i don’t think a single lame comment from a random person on the internet (Steve321 in this case) is enough to “chase off” Cliff Asness. He regularly has extended arguments with people on Twitter - I’m pretty sure Cliff has very thick skin, and even enjoys arguments. Wouldn’t be surprised if he swoops in again at some point to post again on the forum. I hope he does. I’m a big Cliff fan.
I hope he does too. I enjoy him very much. What we have here is a difference in perception over what happened. As I read the thread again, it does seem milder than what I remembered. There is the broader context of other discussions where folks said the AQR funds were essentially a rip-off and that somehow Asness unfairly enriched himself. He started a business, had success with it, and got rich in the process. That is a pretty typical American success story. I don't own AQR funds but I enjoy his commentary.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by matjen »

nisiprius wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 7:47 pm Cool, thanks for posting. That is obviously not Asness' full remark, I don't suppose you know where to find the entirety?
I haven't watched yet but I presume it was a quick hit taken during this conference.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2 ... s-in-video

EDIT: Have now watched this and full of typical pearls of wisdom. :-)
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

antiqueman wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:29 pm Dont forget ,Larry Swedroe left as well, because of the way he was treated.
Some financial "gurus" prefer venues where they won't be challenged.

Swedroe had pretty sharp elbows. He got pushback, but he wasn't a shrinking violet himself. If he (or Asness, or others) want to post on this platform, fine. But don't expect a lot of deference - prepare for your opinions to be challenged (as are other opinions, of non-guru posters).
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by ScubaHogg »

nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
He used to post here?! Oh man that’s a loss. What was his username?
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

ScubaHogg wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 10:16 am
nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
He used to post here?! Oh man that’s a loss. What was his username?
It is CliffA I think.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by ScubaHogg »

psteinx wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:51 am
antiqueman wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:29 pm Dont forget ,Larry Swedroe left as well, because of the way he was treated.
Some financial "gurus" prefer venues where they won't be challenged.

Swedroe had pretty sharp elbows. He got pushback, but he wasn't a shrinking violet himself. If he (or Asness, or others) want to post on this platform, fine. But don't expect a lot of deference - prepare for your opinions to be challenged (as are other opinions, of non-guru posters).
Well to be fair a lot of posters on here will routinely challenge the motivations of posters, especially those in the business. Combined with a tendency to not engage with serious arguments and to blindly repeat mantras it probably gets old trying to have a contrarian opinion
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by SubPar »

Wow. I'm currently reading The Quants. Pretty crazy to have had someone of his stature hanging out here. A loss, indeed.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

Don't confuse high public visibility/profile with successful outcomes for those who do or have followed a particular financial adviser's recommendations, or invested in their funds.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by garlandwhizzer »

Great post, thanks for posting it--not just Asness. but the others as well. Interestingly these experts come from various different backgrounds and points of view but their pearls are mostly just simple common sense. Definitely worth listening to.

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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by 3wood »

nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
Echo chambers are unhealthy in general, leading to less understanding of the world around us and biases. A lesson that seems to escape many.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by garlandwhizzer »

I think Asness is brilliant, an accomplished student of the market, and an honest and creative expert. He is also a quant who admires of Bogle, my number one investing hero, and I applaud that. There is much to admire about Cliff, but I have not invested with AQR in the past and do not intend to do so in the future. He is highly competent in academically based factor approaches and he constructs very theoretically appealing and sophisticated portfolios and ETF offerings, state of the art in factor investing along with DFA and Avantis IMO. My own personal preference, however, has been for decades, remains, and will continue to be very low cost broadly diversified simplicity.

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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by marcopolo »

3wood wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 4:51 pm
nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
Echo chambers are unhealthy in general, leading to less understanding of the world around us and biases. A lesson that seems to escape many.
The notion that he got "chased off" is kind of absurd.
He posted a grand total of 10 messages across 3 or 4 threads over a 10 yr period.

There was one post being mildly critical, the poster apologized shortly thereafter.

He did make a post with the word "bye" at the end.
But, then he made another post shortly after that. So, he didn't really leave after saying "bye". That was about 3 years ago. He has had other gaps in posting longer than that. He may just be taking another break.

It's not like we lost a significant contributor because people were close minded. But, i guess claiming so fits some narrative.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

Here's the last thread I'm aware of analyzing actual performance of AQR funds. It's a little dated at this point, but anyways...

The nutshell is that AQR's performance (through August, 2020) versus benchmarks (that I guess AQR chose) was uh, not good. At all...

viewtopic.php?p=5497456&hilit=aqr#p5497456
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

marcopolo wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:31 pm
3wood wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 4:51 pm
nedsaid wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 8:09 pm
Gaston wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 10:04 am
matjen wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:24 am I'm sure someone will find a something to criticize but Cliff's business model isn't straight indexing yet he rarely fails to give it and Jack accolades.
I don't invest with Cliff, but I find him a clever and entertaining guy. And you are correct, he routinely credits Jack and indexing as the surperior investing model for most people.
I like Cliff Asness. Too bad he got chased off here, what a loss to the forum. You don't have to agree with someone in order to learn from him, a big lesson a lot of Bogleheads need to learn. He made a valiant attempt to contribute here only to run into the hammerheads. We are the poorer for that. He was from what I heard Gene Fama's best student.
Echo chambers are unhealthy in general, leading to less understanding of the world around us and biases. A lesson that seems to escape many.
The notion that he got "chased off" is kind of absurd.
He posted a grand total of 10 messages across 3 or 4 threads over a 10 yr period.

There was one post being mildly critical, the poster apologized shortly thereafter.

He did make a post with the word "bye" at the end.
But, then he made another post shortly after that. So, he didn't really leave after saying "bye". That was about 3 years ago. He has had other gaps in posting longer than that. He may just be taking another break.

It's not like we lost a significant contributor because people were close minded. But, i guess claiming so fits some narrative.
The comment that was made was not mildly critical. It is still in the thread within Cliff's response so you can read it for yourself. I choose not to quote it. Where I come from, that is called a broadside or letting someone have it with both barrels. That is why the Mods intervened and the thread cleaned up. Going back through it, the flow of the conversation seemed choppy.

In fairness, the fellow that posted that deleted the post. He then said this below giving Asness credit for good points raised in Asness's paper:
edit.

Managed to read some of the paper which is quite cool: I had more peace and clarity of mind today than yesterday. Also saw a video by Ilmanen on long-term returns; quite interesting and he seems like a really nice guy.

So your point is taken and I take back my earlier post (yesterday wasn't a good day for me). In a crazy world where people are bidding millions to own an Nft for a tweet available to everyone your rational + scholarly approach to the markets might well bear its fruits in the long term

cheers
Again, pointing out there is a broader context than just this one thread. Other threads where AQR and Asness were thrashed and trashed. You would have thought that Mr. Asness was one of the biggest villains in the financial industry. My foggy memory banks recall words like "rip-off". He acknowledged that AQR went through three really tough years performance wise.

My point is that you can learn from someone with whom you disagree. Not to say AQR or Asness are above criticism or need to be treated with kid gloves. It is the thing of assigning sinister motives to people unfairly.

Also pointing out there are a couple of deleted posts there and the Mods removed another. This is why rereading the thread it seemed different from what I remembered. I also participated in the thread so I ought to have recall of what happened. My memory isn't flawless but I find that it is pretty darned good. The thread just isn't what it was when I experienced it for myself. And yes, Mr. Asness made one very short post after that but hasn't posted since.

So no, I am not just selectively pointing things out to maintain a narrative. I was there.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

There some pretty interesting exchanges on different threads that discussed AQR and its Liquid Alternative mutual funds. I participated in a lot of these discussions. The factors are calculated long/short and thus the way to fully capture their premiums was to invest in funds that utilized a long/short strategy. The AQR Funds were an attempt to bring Hedge Fund like strategies to retail investors at much lower costs. Some folks thought Asness was providing a service to retail investors, Hedge Funds for the masses and in a liquid form. Most here didn't buy into that, a nice try but these folks believed that the manager fees and trading costs were too high of a hurdle to overcome.

Most of us here that use factor tilting strategies are long only investors.

A lot of the equity factor strategies attempted to be Market Neutral, the problem with that is that most of the returns from Stocks come from the Market factor itself. For example, a Market Neutral Value fund would have returns of maybe 3% a year, that is during the years there really was a positive Value premium, the way to get equity like returns from such a fund was to use leverage. So all kinds of risks with long/short combined with leverage.

Those Bogleheads who have had margin accounts realize the risks of leverage with equity investments. There was a more distant family member who had a margin account and practiced day trading, the person did fairly well for a while and then took big losses when the markets turned, that did affect the marriage relationship to say the least.

There were folks who thought these strategies were worth considering, particularly when Bond yields were so very low. I really thought about this and concluded that most of these funds had returns similar to bonds after all the effort the managers made, it just seemed to me that if you wanted a diversifier to Stocks, why not just invest in plain old bonds?

I did own a couple Liquid Alternative funds in a managed account, one was an Equity based Alt fund and the other was based on Fixed Income. The Equity based ones that were used were better than the Fixed Income based fund which was a disaster. At the end of the Liquid Alt experiment, I owned a Value Market Neutral fund that was a decent fund but the managers sold the Liquid Alts and the firm exited the Alternative strategies business. Nice try but didn't quite work out.

There was a really good thread discussing QSPIX (AQR Style Premia Alternative I), which was recommended by a prominent poster here. The fund had a good start, then three difficult and disappointing years, and then in 2021 went on a tear: returning 24.83% in 2021, 30.64% in 2022, 12.81% in 2023, and 18.57% year to date in 2024. Dang! Looking back, I wish I had been able to buy this fund and had it in my portfolio. It really shined as Value came back and as the US Bond Market has performing so terribly. This was precisely the type of diversifier that I was looking for but I did okay without it. The fund started working again at the time folks were giving up on these type of funds.

I did research on Liquid Alts when I worked as an Advisor's assistant. There were two that the Advisor used in client portfolios, one was based on Equity based options and the other used a Tactical Fixed Income strategy, both funds did a good job. The Equity based options strategy was accessible to retail investors with A shares and an up front load, the Institutional shares took an Advisor to access. There was another Alt that was very good that used what Morningstar called a Macro Trading strategy and the fund wholesaler told me this fund utilized Artificial Intelligence, a rules based trading strategy. When I looked at the Macro Trading fund, its returns looked a lot like those of a High Yield Bond fund. In other words, its returns were somewhere in the middle between Stocks and Bonds. I found a couple others with decent ten year records but their asset bases were small. At the time, I looked at the AQR funds and didn't find anything compelling enough to present to the Advisor.

I also looked at the so-called Buffer ETFs and Equity funds that used an options strategy, these funds were designed to limit volatility for the investor. My conclusion was that these strategies were worthwhile for very risk adverse clients but it was sort of go big or go home. A 10% or 15% slice of the portfolio invested in these products didn't affect the portfolio enough to have a worthwhile effect, particularly when you considered the expenses. One needed a slice of at least 20% of the portfolio and probably more to provide meaningful downside protection. The options based strategies had promise but they did have their extra costs to execute, as I remember the Buffer ETFs had expense ratios of about 75 basis points. Such a fund should probably be the only equity based investment for someone who was very risk adverse. I had mixed emotions regarding the options strategies but felt they had promise.

So whatever you think of AQR and the different Liquid Alt strategies that are out there, Cliff Asness is a good writer and very knowledgeable about the markets and he is worth listening to even if you don't agree with his investment approach. My thinking was that I was open to these ideas but chose not to adopt them for my own portfolio other than the Liquid Alts that were in my managed account for 2-3 years. I was rooting for Cliff and his funds though personally I had my doubts that the strategies would work well enough long term.

The classic Boglehead approach of using plain old boring Investment Grade and Intermediate Term Bonds as a diversifier to Stocks still looks darned good except for the 2022 Bond Bear Market.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by rule of law guy »

ScubaHogg wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 10:17 am
psteinx wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:51 am
antiqueman wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:29 pm Dont forget ,Larry Swedroe left as well, because of the way he was treated.
Some financial "gurus" prefer venues where they won't be challenged.

Swedroe had pretty sharp elbows. He got pushback, but he wasn't a shrinking violet himself. If he (or Asness, or others) want to post on this platform, fine. But don't expect a lot of deference - prepare for your opinions to be challenged (as are other opinions, of non-guru posters).
Well to be fair a lot of posters on here will routinely challenge the motivations of posters, especially those in the business. Combined with a tendency to not engage with serious arguments and to blindly repeat mantras it probably gets old trying to have a contrarian opinion
this is not a site for independent critical thinking. which is important for investment analysis imo.

there are too many mantra repeating, kool aid swigging acolytes here. I say this while thinking that Bogle made extraordinarily important contributions to investors, so I acknowledge that you could do far worse than being a Bogle acolyte.

administrators seem too eager to be the preserver/bearer of the Bogle flame than allow even the slightest creep of contrarianism.

so this site while valuable for even sophisticated investors can be something of a turn off for those with a questioning mind.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by Jack56 »

I agree with Rule of Law Guy - and the narrow range of opinions and topics leads to a lot of repetition and tedious debates.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

I too would prefer to see the mods allow a wider range of discussions.

That said, IIRC, the mods were rather PROTECTIVE of, say, Swedroe, who in later years was quite un-boglehead-y. Gushing praise for him was generally given a free pass, criticism was tightly modded...
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

To be a little more specific - in later years, Swedroe was pushing a lot of quite pricey alts (2%+ in total fees) that were, to many of us, rather dubious.

Sometimes threads debating these would push back hard, and yeah, sometimes elbows were a little sharp (both ways, IIRC). Then Swedroe would make some comment about taking his ball and going home (he was unappreciated or whatever), say this was his last post, then make some more posts, etc. Then many of his fans would gush about his presence and value, and those who critiqued him/his arguments/the products he was pushing were modded. Effusive praise - allowed. Criticism - tightly modded.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by whodidntante »

I dislike many of the products Swedroe advocates for. I don't want them for myself and can articulate why if they are being discussed. Still, I benefit from hearing different points of view. I think many people are quick to shove off once their motives are questioned, and from incessant harkening back or appeal to authority that lead to an air of intellectually dishonest discussion.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

whodidntante wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 2:44 pm I think many people are quick to shove off once their motives are questioned, and from incessant harkening back or appeal to authority that lead to an air of intellectually dishonest discussion.
Appeal to authority is the MO of some of these "gurus". Then, when their authority is questioned (often combined, yeah, with casting aspersions on their motives, because yeah, they're often talking their book), they get huffy. They prefer venues where they and the products they push don't get criticized.

But if Cliff A, Swedroe, or any of the rest of 'em want to post here - groovy. Just don't expect a free pass from the peanut gallery.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

And it should be noted that other guru-ish posters do post here, from time to time, including Ferri, Bernstein, Bogle himself (a little) while alive.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by unwitting_gulag »

Here's a longer interview (not sure if it's already been linked): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJgdw918SpI . As others noted, Cliff Asness is clearly an intelligent and decently forthright interviewee. He agrees with core BH precepts more than he disagrees. But that doesn't render the disagreements insignificant.

The interview looks to be from early 2023, freshly coming off of the comparative outperformance by Value in 2022 (and the much higher outperformance that year by AQR funds). Such interviews tend to be done, after the contrarian has been vindicated. Longer term, the record isn't so favorable. Growth has been beating value for a long time, 2022 being just a blip. "Factor" investing seems to be doing poorly, more or less across every factor (especially market-cap!)... for a long time.

Where many of us get skeptical, is in the observation, that funds (hedge or otherwise) earn money for their insiders via fees, and not necessarily via outperformance. Outperformance is good, but the fees put food on the table, in good years or bad. To a skeptic, the outperformance has to be REALLY good, to justify the fees. Otherwise, elide the fees by rolling-your-own.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by ScubaHogg »

unwitting_gulag wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 3:33 pm Such interviews tend to be done, after the contrarian has been vindicated. Longer term, the record isn't so favorable.
If you think cliff asness only talks about his belief in the value premium after value has a good year you aren’t paying attention to cliff asness.

Which is fine. You don’t have to. But I wouldn’t not pay attention and then make claims about when he advocates for a particular style of investing
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by ScubaHogg »

psteinx wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 2:59 pm Then, when their authority is questioned (often combined, yeah, with casting aspersions on their motives, because yeah, they're often talking their book), they get huffy.
You think multi-billionaire Cliff Asness was on BH “talking his book” trying to drum up business so he could add some insignificant AUM to his company?

Is that your serious position?
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

An important lesson that I have learned is that things change and sometimes we have to be open to rethinking things. Many of us like stability in our lives and we don't like to rethink the framework from which we view the world and upon which we make our decisions. Some of the changes I like and others not so much but it is sort of get with the program or get left in the dust. So I have endeavored to keep an open mind to new things and try not to be too dogmatic, I have discovered that a strong opinion on my part doesn't make a thing true. Reality is reality and it is better to be open to re-evaluation of my opinions that to be in denial that some old rules just don't hold true anymore.

If I had this to do all over again, I would have done things differently, that is if I knew then what I know now. I knew that technology was revolutionizing our lives and I knew this was going to have positive effects on the markets but I underestimated how much wealth that High Technology companies would generate and overestimated how inflated the markets were. The US Stock Market had strong gains, particularly in the Tech sector, in some cases seemingly insane valuations; this was happening because certain Tech companies were generating insane amounts of cash. I simply didn't understand how powerful the effects of productivity improvement and wealth generation from High Tech was going to be. In fairness, I think few people really did.

So yeah, I have faced some painful truths. This ain't the seventies, this ain't the eighties, or even the nineties. I can't go back to the world of the past, at some point I have to admit to myself that things have changed. For one thing, I don't think Deep Value strategies work any more. For another, Book Value is still an important metric but it is of declining importance. As far as the Value discipline, there is still Growth At A Reasonable Price and buying Quality companies at a discount whenever that might happen. But I am beginning to wonder if the more traditional Value discipline works in today's world, I am getting to be satisfied at buying financial assets at a fair price which might be as good as it gets.

Another painful truth as that I am getting older. I look back on life, did some good things, helped some folks along the way, was generous to good causes but I didn't win the Super Bowl, cure cancer, achieve great fame, significantly affect the marketplace of ideas, or achieve other grand accomplishments. A good life but I have to face the fact that I am 65 and not 25. I have to make some changes in my way of thinking and the way I get things done. I made shifts in my life as many of the dreams of my youth didn't materialize, rather than be disappointed I had to make shifts.

I also learned that I didn't know as much as I thought I knew. The more I learned, the more I realized how little that I really knew. Can't tell you how many new concepts that I learned here, some of them were uncomfortable but I swallowed my pride and decided I was going to learn.

A big example of this was when Bobcat2 aka BobK was posting about such topics as duration matching, the funded ratio, and matching strategies. It was a departure from the orthodoxy that I had learned and my reaction was negative. I had to get over myself and force myself to open my mind, I didn't have to agree with Bob on every topic to learn something from him. I made some changes based upon what he and Vineviz and Bill Bernstein and NiceUnparticularMan had said, I don't like everything they said or always how they said it but I had to realize that on a few things I was w-w-w. I was w-w-w-w-w. Let me try again, I was w-w-w-w-w-r-o-o. Couldn't get it out. One more time. I was wrong. Okay, I got it out, I said it, I feel better now.

Bob was not in my tribe, he had differing views on certain things than what I had. The thing was, am I here to learn or am I just here to spout my opinion on whatever my opinion was at the time whether I knew anything about it or not? I chose to decide that I am here to learn. Jeez, it isn't like I have this great big reputation or image that I have got to uphold. Only three maybe four people here know my real name, so I am just only defending the brand and reputation of a Charlie Brown avatar. In other words, if it was proven that everything I ever posted here was wrong, it would be a little embarrassing but there is really little to lose here. So I might as well learn and admit there is a lot that I don't know.

Then there is that John Bogle guy. What a fine man he was and what a fine legacy that he left behind. But dang it! That guy annoys me because he has that annoying habit of being right about things a little bit too often. Dang it to heck anyways. I have to realize that I am here to learn and I am never going to outsmart John Bogle. It is humbling but it is essential to realize that my opinions, no matter how strong they are, make a thing true. Ouch!!!

So I will probably never write that great investment book, or discover a new concept that revolutionizes the investment industry, or possess an insight into the markets that no one else ever had. I was alas, totally human, full of foibles and faults, and a little bit too sure of myself. I feel like the Wizard of Oz bellowing into a microphone and hiding behind a curtain. A big front but behind the curtain just like everyone else.

It was also very humbling to realize that I wasn't this gigantic tower of virtue, even on this forum, that I thought I was. I have been unkind to people, I have said things that I wish I hadn't said, and I haven't always been fair to those with whom I disagreed. And yes, there were times I treated people arrogantly. I have teased people perhaps a bit too much.

I also came to the great revelation that just because somebody was shown to be wrong on one topic, he or she might be very right on others. I don't even have to like somebody in order to learn something from them.

So I am rethinking a whole lot of things. I am realizing that to go where I want to go in life, I have to let some things go, I have to make some changes. I have to realize that most everything in life is vastly imperfect but one has to make the best out of whatever position one finds themselves in.

One final point to make here. There are things that are timeless, there is wisdom that is forever but there are things that aren't so we have to be firm on certain things and flexible on other things. Problem is, it isn't always so easy to tell the difference. Not so easy to tell the difference between what has really changed and what is just a fad. Hopefully, I and others here will get most of that right.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

ScubaHogg wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 4:47 pm
psteinx wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 2:59 pm Then, when their authority is questioned (often combined, yeah, with casting aspersions on their motives, because yeah, they're often talking their book), they get huffy.
You think multi-billionaire Cliff Asness was on BH “talking his book” trying to drum up business so he could add some insignificant AUM to his company?

Is that your serious position?
I don't think I participated in any of the conversations with Cliff, though I did look at them quickly over the last couple days during this current discussion. So I don't really have much opinion on Cliff's motives for the whopping 10 posts he made here.

But, in general, *any* financial guru is typically always going to be *on* (when discussing financial topics in public). What *on* is depends on the individual in question.

Do I think Cliff would come to BH, reflect a little that maybe AQR's products are overpriced and underperform? No.

Is Cliff's "fame", such as it is, more correlated with:

1) His proven long term outperformance, net of fees
or
2) His ability to make news, write columns, go on podcasts and videos and whatnot, generally talk up his company (i.e. talking his book) and gather assets

I am in camp #2. Perhaps you are in camp #1. If so, we have a difference of opinion - so be it.

That said, if I *did* participate in a thread where Cliff was also posting, I'd try to stick mainly to the arguments, not the personalities, as I think I generally did with Swedroe (who I did spar with, some), and perhaps others. But I don't grant deference just because someone has a big megaphone.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by ScubaHogg »

psteinx wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 5:33 pm
I am in camp #2. Perhaps you are in camp #1. If so, we have a difference of opinion - so be it.

That said, if I *did* participate in a thread where Cliff was also posting, I'd try to stick mainly to the arguments, not the personalities, as I think I generally did with Swedroe (who I did spar with, some), and perhaps others. But I don't grant deference just because someone has a big megaphone.
I’m neither a fan nor not a fan. As a layman who intellectually curious about the topic of finance I will say categorically having posters with serious academic backgrounds combined with serious industry experience makes the board a richer, more interesting place. Losing them makes the board more sterile and less interesting. Indeed many of the non-professional posters I found most interesting have more or less been driven away (willthrill81, Vineviz, HEDGEFUNDIE, etc.) through the board’s sometime Luddite-like intellectual nihilism. Never minding people like swedroe and apparently CA. I’m thankful Wbern and Rick Ferri still post.

And it’s not about deference. It’s about when a serious person makes a serious argument with logic and evidence to make a better counter argument than, “you’re wrong and just trying to make a buck.”

You yourself could barely go a couple posts without saying they were “talking their book.”
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

ScubaHogg wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 5:48 pm You yourself could barely go a couple posts without saying they were “talking their book.”
They're not in this thread, and this thread has gone meta, so yeah, I think talking about the pros and cons of "gurus" partipating in BH discussions is fine, and I stand by my point.

If you want to see when I actually sparred with Swedroe, in-thread, you can read this thread, especially the latter parts:

viewtopic.php?t=290988
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

John Bogle retired from Vanguard at 70 years of age but was more or less a goodwill ambassador for Vanguard until the end of his life at age 89. He gave speeches, wrote articles, did many interviews, and wrote books promoting his ideas. Bogle even has an internet forum named in his honor but no one here challenges his motives for getting out there with his informed opinions. Did he help Vanguard? Probably. Note he was doing all of these things when he was running Vanguard as well, I remember his appearances on Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by psteinx »

On Bogle himself, we are in agreement. His work was tremendously beneficial to investors, and his advocacy in latter years was also sound and pro-investor.

Unfortunately, Bogle is ~one-of-a-kind in the investment world. Don't assume that all other financial gurus are as (relatively) selfless as Bogle...
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

psteinx wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 6:26 pm On Bogle himself, we are in agreement. His work was tremendously beneficial to investors, and his advocacy in latter years was also sound and pro-investor.

Unfortunately, Bogle is ~one-of-a-kind in the investment world. Don't assume that all other financial gurus are as (relatively) selfless as Bogle...
So Vanguard got no benefit from Bogle making media appearances when he was still CEO? He not only got his name out there but also directly and indirectly got Vanguard's name better known. I don't question Bogle's motives, my gosh part of the CEO's job is to show the flag, in this case the Vanguard flag. He did great public relations for Vanguard, which is exactly what I would have done where I in his position. It doesn't hurt to build your personal brand and that of the firm you are representing. It is good business and smart marketing.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by Badinvestor »

Curious -- Asness preaching the Gospel? Wikipedia tells us that Asness is Jewish.

If he preached the Gospel, I imagine he would preach on the Parable of the Talents and not, for example, on Jesus' saying that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by nedsaid »

Badinvestor wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 1:10 pm Curious -- Asness preaching the Gospel? Wikipedia tells us that Asness is Jewish.

If he preached the Gospel, I imagine he would preach on the Parable of the Talents and not, for example, on Jesus' saying that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Making an analogy to make a point is a time honored literary device. I remember trying to explain that certain things in language are not to be taken absolutely literally to Vineviz, who by the way is well educated and was a respected contributor to the forum. Analogy is making a comparison of one thing to another to help illustrate a point someone is trying to make in written or oral communication. Then folks will say the analogy is imperfect and thus your point is wrong. My gosh, all analogies are imperfect but ordinary people get the point that the author is trying to make.

There is another device that some people don't always get is the use of hyperbole, the use of exaggerated language to drive home a point, sometimes it is like a mild form of shock therapy, saying things in a way to attract attention to drive home a point.

There are also such things as figures of speech and slang. When it is raining hard, we might say that it is raining cats and dogs. We all know that animals aren't falling out of the sky, we all know this means it is raining very hard. There is formal and a more informal language, common slang is an example of an informal language.

The point is, there are a lot of nuances to language and what the Original Poster did was one of them.

I only have a Bachelor's Degree in Business, no post graduate work. Not an English major, don't have a classical education and don't speak other languages but I do get these things. Did a search and found a good article on grammerly that explains some of these devices:

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/figure-of-speech/

It was a good article and I learned something.
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by matjen »

ScubaHogg wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 5:48 pm
I’m neither a fan nor not a fan. As a layman who intellectually curious about the topic of finance I will say categorically having posters with serious academic backgrounds combined with serious industry experience makes the board a richer, more interesting place. Losing them makes the board more sterile and less interesting. Indeed many of the non-professional posters I found most interesting have more or less been driven away (willthrill81, Vineviz, HEDGEFUNDIE, etc.) through the board’s sometime Luddite-like intellectual nihilism. Never minding people like swedroe and apparently CA. I’m thankful Wbern and Rick Ferri still post.

And it’s not about deference. It’s about when a serious person makes a serious argument with logic and evidence to make a better counter argument than, “you’re wrong and just trying to make a buck.”

You yourself could barely go a couple posts without saying they were “talking their book.”
Totally agree. And let's not forget perhaps the greatest poster of all time Robert T. So incredibly knowledgeable, so non-confrontational, so helpful, and so humble. He is no longer around these parts for exactly these reasons and was selling nothing.

IMO, the greatest post in the history of Bogleheads. viewtopic.php?t=7353
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Re: AQR's Cliff Asness Preaching the Gospel

Post by ScubaHogg »

matjen wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 9:29 am Totally agree. And let's not forget perhaps the greatest poster of all time Robert T. So incredibly knowledgeable, so non-confrontational, so helpful, and so humble. He is no longer around these parts for exactly these reasons and was selling nothing.

IMO, the greatest post in the history of Bogleheads. viewtopic.php?t=7353
That’s an excellent post that I had not seen before

I believe Robert T still posts over at Rational Reminder
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