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Despite Turbulence, Hedge Funds Achieve Q2 Gains

July 10, 2020

Hedge Funds Up Amid Volatile Markets.   Hedge funds were up nearly two percent in the month of June.  This means that the industry faced its third monthly gain in a row.  Although the industry aggregate  — as measured by the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index — is still down, hedge funds are doing well considering…

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Private Equity: Real Estate Firms Eye J.C. Penney

June 8, 2020

Private equity firm and Real Estate Investment Trusts are having discussions about buying J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) if the bankrupt retailer does not reach an agreement with creditors.

The department store filed for bankruptcy in May after the spread of the coronavirus forced the retailer to close more than 800 stores across the country. J.C. Penney had been struggling to survive for the past few years, and the virus was the final nail in its coffin.

Digital Assets: Russian Blockchain-based Trade Finance Platform Factorin Clocks $500M Turnover

June 5, 2020

In its first year, Factorin, a Russian blockchain-based trade finance platform has processed 246,000 invoices and supplies and chalked up a transaction turnover above $ 500 million. 30 banking organizations and factoring companies are already on-board the platform, and numerous small and medium-sized businesses are grateful customers.

FinTech: Mastercard Launches Fintech Express for Emerging European Startups

June 3, 2020

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) announced Tuesday the launch of its Fintech Express, a program to facilitate the launch and expansion of emerging European fintechs through tailor-made solutions.

DailyAlts Playbook: America on Fire, Goldman Shorts the Dollar, a $41 Trillion Hole, and the Death of Pensions.

June 1, 2020

Friday morning, I was out for dental surgery and now I have another surgery in two weeks. Three days ago, I would have told you that the biggest threat to the market rally was the renewed tensions between the United States and China.

Liquid Alternatives

Alternative Investments: Ares Management Agrees to SEC Settlement

May 27, 2020

Ares Management (NYSE: ARES) agreed to settle a complaint from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Ares is paying a $1 million settlement to the SEC. This will resolve a complaint that Ares failed to implement and enforce policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent the misuse of material nonpublic information.

Liquid Alternatives: RIP 60:40. Liquid Alts Solve the New Equation

May 22, 2020

Volatile equity markets and declining fixed income yields have turned the traditional 60:40 portfolio allocation between stocks and bonds on its head. According to one study, an investor would today need to allocate 83% to equity, 15% to real estate, and only 2% to bonds to earn a similar rate of return as a couple of decades ago. Unfortunately, such a high component of equity would push up the portfolio’s volatility and risk to unacceptable levels. Liquid alts can be the solution to this dilemma.

Liquid Alternatives: Insurance-Linked Securities Attractive Amid Covid-19 Economy

May 21, 2020

S&P Global Ratings said in a recent report that the COVID-19 pandemic had “showcased” the value of publicly traded catastrophe bonds (cat bonds) to investors. The bonds formed a liquid asset class that was not correlated with the current volatile financial markets.

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

FinTech: The PPP Loan Program Helps Kabbage Bounce Back

May 19, 2020

Kabbage, the online fintech lender for small businesses, announced Monday that it processed more than $3.5 billion in SBA-approved PPP funding to 110,000 small businesses. It claimed the loans helped restore over half a million jobs at America’s smallest businesses.

Private Equity: Blackstone Group Filings Update for Q1 2020

May 18, 2020

Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) continued to deploy capital as the market declined in the first quarter of the year. On the private side, Blackstone has been investing in life sciences deals, casino operators, energy companies, and, of course, more warehouses.

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.

iCapital Network: The Potential Benefits of Investing in Private Equity Secondaries

May 15, 2020

In this guest post from Kunal Shah and Tatiana Esipovich at iCapital Network, the authors explain how secondary funds offer the potential for diversified private equity exposure and an attractive risk profile.   By: Kunal Shah and Tatiana Esipovich The secondary private equity market comprises the buying and selling of preexisting investor commitments to private market funds….

Fintech: Swedish Loan Refinancier, Anyfin, Raises $30M Series B

May 14, 2020

Anyfin is a fintech that refinances consumers’ loans and is regulated by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. It refinances consumer credit loans up to 200 000 kr, such as unsecured debt, payments, credit cards, installments or other credits. However, mortgages are not included. The firm raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by EQT Ventures.

Artificial Intelligence: AI Algorithm Diagnoses Alzheimer’s Disease Better Than Experts

May 13, 2020

Alzheimer’s Disease is extremely difficult to diagnose with symptoms varying from patient to patient and opinions differing from doctor to doctor. Diagnosis typically involves the analysis of data such as the patient’s medical and family history, MRI images of the brain, and cognitive abilities. The inherent subjectivity in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease leads to errors and resulting fatalities in the range of an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 annually. However, an AI algorithm can now diagnosis Alzheimer’s Disease much more efficiently.

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.

Digital Assets: Paul Tudor Jones to CNBC on Bitcoin: “It’s a Great Speculation”

May 11, 2020

Paul Tudor Jones, the founder, and chief executive at Tudor Investment Corp. told CNBC that Wall Street could be having a grandstand seat at the historic “birthing of a store of value” in bitcoin. The storied investor trashed fiat currencies for the destruction in their purchasing power due to incessant money printing by central banks.

Digital Assets: Bitcoin Nudges the $10,000 Mark, Fans Bullish Targets

May 8, 2020

On Thursday, Bitcoin briefly flirted with the $10,000 mark. That’s a very fast rebound from the massive sell-off Bitcoin suffered in March due to the impact of the coronavirus. At the time, it touched a low of $4,017, in what appears in hindsight to be a mouth-watering price. It is now trading at $9,850, showing an appreciation of 145%. According to Coindesk, high volume buying on spot exchanges such as Coinbase triggered the crypto’s lunge at $10,000.

Digital Assets: Bitcoin, the First-Born Crypto, is Highly Bullish (Bloomberg Report)

May 6, 2020

The Bloomberg Crypto Outlook, May 2020 edition, issued by Bloomberg Senior Commodity Strategist Mike Mcglone, is unreservedly bullish on the prospects of Bitcoin. The “firstborn cryptocurrency” seems to be firing on all cylinders, being supported by favorable supply, demand, and macroeconomics.

Alternative Investments: Carlyle Group Reports Loss in First Quarter

May 5, 2020

Like most of the other publicly traded private equity firms, the Carlyle Group (NYSE: CG) recorded an accounting loss for the first quarter.

The loss is a result of mark to mark accounting rules than none less than Warren Buffett has labeled ridiculous. Without the markdowns, Carlyle had Distributable Earnings of $175 million for Q1 2020 on a pre-tax basis or $0.48 per common share on a post-tax basis. Over the last 12 months, the alternative asset manager had distributable earnings of $721 million, or $1.93 per common share.

DailyAlts Playbook: Buffett Ditches Airlines, Wall Street Movies, Black Swans, and Stimulus Estimates.

May 4, 2020

This morning CNBC is covering the Berkshire Hathaway meeting the same way that ESPN covers the day after “The Last Dance” on ESPN. The big focus is on Buffett’s message “Nothing can basically stop America.” But my two key takeaways – as I assess Buffett’s career and philosophy – center on Berkshire’s decisions during March. My generation is one that looks at Buffett as a nice grandfather who likes to spend time with the family – not the ruthless businessman who was able to get General Electric to pay him 10% in 2008 on top of $3 billion in stock. It’s one of the reasons why people say “You mean the guy getting ice cream with his grandkids in HBO’s Too Big to Fail.”

The DailyAlts Playbook: Two Years of COVID? ,The Meb Faber Interview, Amazon’s Coronavirus Shift, and Tesla Tussles…

May 1, 2020

The coronavirus has now officially affected more than 3.27 million people, with nearly 234,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Last night, China announced that the Hubei province – where officials first detected COVID-19 – will start to relax its lockdown rules starting tomorrow. The province’s health commission announced Friday that it will decrease its emergency response level to its second-highest grade tomorrow. Elsewhere around the globe, Iran, Russia, and Singapore reported an increase in cases. Meanwhile, in the U.S., major airlines have announced plans to require passengers to start wearing face masks or facial coverings from check-in to departing the plane.

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.

DailyAlts Playbook: Chinese Firms Hit the Exits, Musk’s Rant on “Fascism”, Hedge Fund Returns, and Unemployment Totals

April 30, 2020

This morning, all eyes are on the U.S. Department of Labor as it reports the latest figure on unemployment benefits across the United States. More than 30 million people are now seeking unemployment benefits across America. The news comes a day after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that we are facing the worst economy in history. Powell said after the two-day FOMC meeting that Americans can expect to see terrible economic data during the second quarter. He also said that the Fed is prepared to provide more liquidity to the market and suggested that small businesses may need additional funding to keep their lights on.

REITs: Green Street Warns COVID-19 Will Eliminate Half of Malls

April 29, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic could mean the end of the line for many malls around the United States. Green Street Advisors, one of the best real estate and REIT research and investment firms in the country, says that more than half of all the department store anchored malls could be closed by the end of 2021. More than 60% of the anchor tenant space in these malls will likely empty by then as well.