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Artificial Intelligence: AI May Provide Early Warning of Heart Damage Due to COVID

May 20, 2020

The National Science Foundation has issued a grant of $195,000 to researchers at John Hopkins University to study the use of AI algorithms for detecting heart disease amongst COVID-19 patients. There is increasing evidence that COVID-19 damages a patient’s cardiovascular system, causing “cardiac events” such as heart attacks, abnormal heartbeats, and death

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Artificial Intelligence: AI is Making Oil Rigs Safer

May 19, 2020

Oil rigs are one of the most dangerous places to work for human beings with a constant risk of injury or harm. Huge mechanical systems mesh together to keep these huge rigs afloat above the ocean surface and continue drilling deep beneath the ocean floor. The risks of fire, explosion, accidents from hazardous machinery, and falls are always round the corner on oil rigs. Artificial intelligence (AI) can make these danger-prone work areas much safer.

FinTech: Post-COVID-19, Fintech To Emerge Stronger, Says Dubai Future Foundation

May 18, 2020

“Life after Covid-19: Financial Technologies,” a report issued by the Dubai Future Foundation, examines the impact of the pandemic on the UAE and the Arab world, and in particular, the fintech sector. The report reassuringly concludes that the sector would emerge stronger from the crisis as people take to digital services to run their lives.

Venture Capital: The Indian VC Industry Deployed a Record $10B in 2019 (Report)

May 15, 2020

2019 was a banner year for the Indian VC industry, says the IVCA-Bain India Venture Capital Report. Investors deployed a record-breaking $10 billion, up 55% from 2018, with deal volume surging 30%. The average deal size rose by 20% in 2019. Further, average deal ticket sizes surged across all stages of investment.

Liquid Alternatives: Fed to Launch Corporate Bond ETF Purchases Today

May 12, 2020

“Fallen angel” corporate bonds that have taken a rating hit may be supported by the corporate bond ETF purchase program envisaged in the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF). The facility is scheduled to kick in today. ETFs holding these fallen angels, whose ratings fell from investment grade to speculative or junk grade due to COVID, maybe the earlier targets in the program. The Fed could buy up to $750 billion under the SMCCF, as well as the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF).

Artificial Intelligence: The AI That Powers Walmart’s Express Delivery

May 12, 2020

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has an inventory of 160,000 items offered through its Express Delivery service that launched last month. The service is already on offer at 100 stores in the U.S. as a pilot test and will be extended to 2,000 stores this month. The system relies heavily on AI.

Private Equity: Recapping the KKR Q1 Conference Call

May 7, 2020

The KKR conference call for the first quarter occurred on Wednesday morning. Executives at the firm revealed that although they were stung a little by the economic upheaval, KKR continues to prove its business model.

The company exited some businesses early in the quarter at an average of 3.5 times the initial cost. Although they are working remotely like the rest of us, KKR, in the 2-month window from March 1 through May 1, has closed on or in legal documentation on over $10 billion of new commitments across our fund platform.

Alternative Investments: An Interview With Tobias Carlisle, Founder of Acquirers Funds

May 7, 2020

This week, Tim Melvin sat down with Tobias Carlisle, founder of The Acquirer’s Multiple®. Tobias Carlisle is best known as the author of the #1 new release in Amazon’s Business and Finance The Acquirer’s Multiple: How the Billionaire Contrarians of Deep Value Beat the Market.

Alternative Investments: An Interview with Jeffrey Chang of CBOE Vest.

May 6, 2020

Last week, Tim Melvin talked with Jeffrey Chang of CBOE Vest. His firm offers investment strategies called “defined outcome portfolios.”

These strategies help investors structure their portfolios to provide defined levels of growth, income, and risk.

Venture Capital: ApplyBoard, an Edtech Startup, is Canada’s Newly Minted Unicorn

May 6, 2020

ApplyBoard is an online platform that assists international students from around the world with their applications to study abroad. It’s a SaaS-enabled recruitment platform that was recognized in 2019 by Deloitte as Canada’s fastest-growing tech company.
ApplyBoard scored a phenomenal 12,525% GAAP revenue growth between 2015 and 2018.
On Tuesday it announced the closure of its series C funding round worth C$100 million (US$75 million).

Digital Assets: Bitcoin Rallies as Halving Approaches

May 5, 2020

With halving now just a week away, is BTC repeating the script from its previous two halvings? On both the two previous occasions, bitcoin enjoyed sharp rallies post the halving event, though, in 2016, there was a dip before the rally commenced.

Liquid Alternatives: Why the Risk-Reward on Grain ETFs Makes Sense

May 1, 2020

Speaking to Tom Lydon at the Inside ETFs conference, Sal Gilbertie, CEO, Teucrium, observed that agricultural commodities such as grains were an excellent diversifier.

Alternative Investments: A Conversation with Meb Faber of Cambria Investments

April 30, 2020

This week, we sat down with Meb Faber of Cambria Investments to discuss his investment approach and how it can help investors miss the massive sell-offs that occur in the stock market. We also discuss his tail risk strategy that uses Treasury Bonds and options to hedge equity portfolios in turbulent times. Meb Faber is the author of seven investment books and the host of The Meb Faber Show Podcast. Cambria Investments offers 11 different Exchange Traded Funds based on Meb’s investment philosophy.

Liquid Alternatives: “ETFs’ Finest Hour” – Dave Nadig

April 27, 2020

Are stock ETFs a source of risk in the current environment? How did they perform under the weight of enormous flows, both in and out? These and other issues figured in a chat on “The Compound” between ETF Trends CIO and Director of Research Dave Nadig and Barry Ritholtz, Chairman and CIO of Ritholtz Wealth Management.

Private Equity: Northwestern Studies Industry’s Crisis Reaction

April 24, 2020

Filippo Mezzanotti, an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, has been studying how private equity fares in a crisis.

He examined data from nearly 500 PE-backed companies in the United Kingdom before and after the Great Recession. He and his research team found that d that PE-backed companies weathered the crisis better than other companies.

Alternative Investments: Insider Buying Recap for March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020

Most analysts expect private equity and activist investors to become very active in buying companies at depressed stock prices. The activists will be urging many companies to make drastic changes deigned to force the stock price higher, giving them outsized profits. When an activist takes a position of 5% or more in a particular company and intends to engage with management on an active basis. Tracking those filings each day can help us determine which companies and industries are attracting buying from these investors.

Alts and Financial Education: Industry Group, Financial Writers Society Announces 2020 Board of Directors

February 26, 2020

The Financial Writers Society has named its 2020 Board of Directors. FWS is a tax-exempt trade association open to those with an interest in financial writing. Its members include reporters, editors, financial authors, bloggers, content developers, and aspiring writers. The organization specializes in all things finance, from Wall Street, banking and personal finance to fintech and cryptocurrency.

Private Equity Industry

The Private Equity Dilemma: There’s Simply Too Much Money on the Sidelines

January 7, 2020

The private equity industry has a problem. A big one. Dry powder, or uninvested cash, at private equity firms, totaled $1.45 billion at the end of 2019.

Hedge Fund AQR Asset Management Report Talks “Risk On”

December 11, 2019

AQR Asset Management researchers have put out a new paper that looks at fixed income investing.

As rates have declined over the past 20 years, active fixed income managers have outperformed their benchmark index

James Simons

Review of The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman.

November 9, 2019

Renaissance Technologies and its founders have received a worthy biography. The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution is the latest book by Gregory Zuckerman. 

This is How Much China’s Mutual Fund Industry Could Grow

November 7, 2019

The Chinese mutual fund market could jump 10-fold over the next decade. This prediction comes from Hua An Fund Management portfolio manager David Hu. The manager said that index-tracking mutual funds could reach 6 trillion Yuan in 10 years (or $857.29 billion.)

McKinsey Report

McKinsey: North American AUM Hit $43 Trillion Last Year

November 6, 2019

A new McKinsey report puts total North American AUM at $43 trillion. The market hit that figure saw a 7% jump from the previous year. That said, industry profits (not-including alternative investments) declined by 3.7% to just $42.6 billion. 

CEM Benchmarking: How REITs Match Up Against Other Investments

November 5, 2019

In October, CEM Benchmarketing compiled a study for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT).

The study is called “Asset Allocation and Fund Performance of Defined Benefit Pension Funds in the United States, 1998-2017.”

Melvin: Are Community Banks an Alternative Investment?

October 15, 2019

Are community banks alternative investments? That question requires a deeper understanding of liquidity, structure, and broader market correlation. Before we start, it’s worth noting that the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association has a specific definition for alternative investments.

Liquid Alternatives

SEC Increases Teacher Investment Outreach

October 15, 2019

The SEC announced a new investment outreach effort for public school educators. The agency has launched a series of podcasts, educational tools, and more to help provide insight into retirement planning. Below is the press release from the agency’s site.