A process-driven approach to investment management that lets you achieve the same high gains as the most successful portfolio managers, but at half the cost
What do you pay for when you hire a portfolio manager? Is it his or her unique experience and expertise, a set of specialized analytical skills possessed by only a few? The truth, according to industry insider Jacques Lussier, is that, despite their often grandiose claims, most successful investment managers, themselves, can't properly explain their successes. In this book Lussier argues convincingly that most of the gains achieved by professional portfolio managers can be accounted for not by special knowledge or arcane analytical methodologies, but proper portfolio management processes whether they are aware of this or not. More importantly, Lussier lays out a formal process-oriented approach proven to consistently garner most of the excess gains generated by traditional analysis-intensive approaches, but at a fraction of the cost since it could be fully implemented internally.
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Investors, be they high-net-worth individuals, institutional investors or other large entities, are often convinced to entrust their portfolio management to a team or individual with seemingly unique experience or expertise, and they then incur significant costs for the knowledge, analysis, and resources associated with that expertise. However, as Jacques Lussier reveals, many successful portfolio managers improperly attribute their success in the long term to their ability to forecast which security, sector or asset class will outperform, when the successes may be explained by their risk structuring and risk management processes.
Understanding why some processes lead to outperformance allows investors to design portfolios whose excess performance will be statistically reliable. Successful Investing is a Process is all about investment processes and transparency of investment processes. It is about learning from more than half a century of theoretical and empirical literature and about learning from our experiences as practitioners.
The approach is based on an overall investment framework that seeks to increase long-term returns by using a combination of processes that are likely to have a persistent impact on performance. This approach can also simplify the complexity of portfolio management and make it more transparent, reduce its cost, exploit the inefficiencies of traditional benchmarks, introduce efficient portfolio management and rebalancing methodologies, exploit the behavioral biases of investors and of corporate management, structurally incorporate LDI (liability-driven investments) concerns, maximize the benefits of efficient tax planning and effectively use the concept of diversification whose potential is far greater than what is usually achieved in most investment programs.
The book is divided into four parts:
Successful Investing is a Process demonstrates that the objective is not so much to outperform the market, but to let the market underperform. It offers a disciplined, process-oriented approach that is easier and less expensive to implement and follow—and more likely to produce superior results—than the traditional knowledge-based model.From the Back Cover:
Praise for Successful Investing is a Process
"Should I want advice about the construction and the dynamic management of an investment portfolio, Jacques Lussier would be my first telephone call."
— NASSIM N. TALEB, essayist, risk scientist, and former derivatives trader; author of The Black Swan and Antifragile
"For the serious investor, Jacques Lussier provides a careful and clearly written analysis of what can and should be done to manage investments in a professional market where fees are large relative to value added. Successful Investing is a Process is always clear, always interesting and always educating."
— Charles D. Ellis, founder of Greenwich Associates, Chair of the CFA Institute, associate editor of The Journal of Portfolio Management and Financial Analysts Journal; author of 16 books including Winning the Loser's Game
"Successful Investing is a Process. It's not just a book title but an often-ignored reality. Jacques Lussier has done a superb job of synthesizing many of the developments in modern finance theory and practice into a well-crafted 'owner's manual' for building a successful investing process. This is an important book for any investor or fiduciary who wants to weather the likely challenges that the coming years seem likely to impose on us."
— Rob Arnott, founder of Research Affiliates, former chairman of First Quadrant, editor of the Financial Analysts Journal; co-author of The Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest
"Jacques Lussier is quite right. Investing IS a process, and not a formula. There is something for every kind of investment professional in this useful book. I rediscovered much I had learned over thirty years in this profession, but had perhaps forgotten. I appreciated, too, much that I do remember; it's good to have it all in one place. But most of all I appreciate the large amount of material that I had missed. The scope of Jacques' book is encyclopedic. This is one of those rare books that will command a permanent place on the limited real estate available on an investor's trading desk."
— Vinay Pande, Partner at Brevan Howard, former Chief Investment Advisor at Deutsche Bank
"Lussier offers credible new views on benchmarking and outperformance, gleaned from his own experience and his broad and critical survey of current academic and practitioner research, in particular the insight that investors should let the market underperform their investment protocols instead of attempting to beat the market at all costs. Lussier's book is an impressive achievement written by an accomplished veteran of the asset management industry."
— Yves Choueifaty, founder of TOBAM, former CEO of Credit Lyonnais Asset Management
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