Tag: systematic-investing

An Alternative to Liquid Alternatives - Updated

Posted by Jon Robinson and Joe Crawford on 4/11/19 10:25 AM

Nearly a year and a half ago, we published an original piece entitled “An Alternative to Liquid Alternatives.” At the time, we wrote: “many of the currently investible vehicles have not been truly tested in a dramatic drawdown environment like 2008.” Since publication, the investing landscape has changed substantially; interest rates are rising, the S&P 500 has endured a 20% drawdown, and the yield curve has inverted, to name just a few of the many notable developments.

Given the path of global markets since Oct 2017, there has been ample opportunity for liquid alts to prove their mettle, so we thought it was time to update the data for one of our most popular blogs. Let’s look at the revised story…

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Topics: Behavioral Finance, Systematic Investing

Does Zero Equal Free?

Posted by Jon Robinson on 3/13/19 10:03 AM

The race to zero in the ETF world has its first winner.  On February 25th, online personal financial services company Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi) announced the industry's first zero-fee ETFs. The filing consists of four ETFs in total, with two of the funds (SFY, SFYX) having fee waivers in place until at least March 27, 2020, effectively bringing their total fund expenses to zero for the first year of operation. But much like a buy one get one free offer, it is not immediately evident that a zero fee ETF is always a good value. We believe there is more to the story, and make the case below.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance, Systematic Investing

Diversification: Time Frames Matter

Posted by Tommy Mayes on 2/20/19 10:53 AM

As anyone who has read Blueprint insights over the last few years knows, we believe in two types of diversification.  First, asset diversification is a keystone of investing and we embrace the benefits.  Second, we add time diversification using trend following techniques to mitigate the vagaries and cycles of markets. Why? Because, historically, when given enough time (say 20 years), asset diversification (buy and hold) has been almost unbeatable. However, humans do not naturally invest or even think that long term and struggle with staying the course when the market inevitably course corrects either in a short-lived correction or sustained drawdown. This in turn reduces the probability of achieving their long-term financial objectives. Please allow me to elaborate.

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Topics: Systematic Investing

Have We Reached Peak Passive?

Posted by Jon Robinson on 12/20/18 10:34 AM


The active vs. passive debate reached a fever pitch on Monday when Jeff Gundlach referred to passive investing as a ‘mania.’  As expected, Vanguard quickly defended passive index funds by saying that “the data simply does not support his claims.” There is certainly nothing new about this debate.  It’s been escalating since the first index funds were launched in the mid-70’s.  However, moments like this remind the Blueprint team why we utilize passive index funds in the first place –they are the tools we use to build portfolios on behalf of our clients.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance, Systematic Investing

Our Latest White Paper: The 60/40 Problem

Posted by Jon Robinson on 11/28/18 11:01 AM


The movie “Moneyball” has an interesting scene in which General Manager Billy Beane is debating his scouts on how to best replace two key players lost in free agency given the team’s limited budget. The scene contains a back and forth between Beane and several scouts discussing and clearly disagreeing about “the problem.”

“You’re not even looking at the problem”, Beane declares. 

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Topics: Behavioral Finance, Systematic Investing

Forbes interview with Blueprint
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