Time flies … it is almost 3 months since my business partner and I ventured into the e-learning space. It has always been one of our mission to promote quant investing to as many people as we can. We talked about this for years but never got started then due to other commitments. Eventually, we took the plunge. There are no surprises here. We teach quantitative investment stuff. Well, that is what we do for a living as former portfolio managers and private practitioners.
Being new and unknown in the education scene, there are tons of pain and sweat. We kicked off with just a couple of friends and family members as our first batch of students. The organic enrollments came at barely a trickle at first. But with all the marketing push coupled with favorable reviews, we climbed our way up into people’s radars. Thereafter, momentum picked up. This month, we hit our first milestone of more than 1000 students.
Alright, enough of self-congratulations. Now, let me share a couple of thoughts here.
Quants have come a long way
Quant investing only picked up steam after 2008. When I first joined an asset management firm in 2006, there are hardly any quants around. By and large, most portfolio managers are discretionary investors. They speak the “fiery” language of intuition which connects with people. As a quant, I was a rare species. I speak the “dull” language of math, statistics, evidence … My world is either black or white. I have no sexy stories about what is happening or the future.
Let me share a “funny moment” with a prospective hedge fund client. Or at least it seemed funny now that I looked back. I had a meeting where I spent a good amount of time educating the client about our quant approach — we are systematic, driven by tested models, we hold NO MARKET VIEWS, we DON’T PREDICT, so on and so forth. And guess what is his very next question? “I would like to know what is your market view of the US and China situation now? And where do you think the market will be at the end of the year?” So that says it all. The traditional way of thinking still flows in everyone’s blood just like it did in mine. Acceptance will take time.
Quants gained traction after beating their discretionary counterparts during the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) in 08–09. Today, one-third of all the hedge funds’ assets are managed by quants, they make up a quarter of all the managers, and the largest hedge funds are dominated by quants. Results certainly help but ultimately emotions rule. Yes, we are still the minority. No doubt about that. But we have come a long way.
Dreams Or Knowledge?
Investing courses are everywhere today. Unlike fund management which is regulated, no one polices investment education. It is common nowadays to see ostentatious ads featuring someone in front of a flashy sports car touting some sure-win magic formula that will make you a multi-millionaire. Why? Because it is easier to sell dreams. Just ask yourself this: Did you pay and study for a degree to land your dream job, or did you really do it for the knowledge?
We don’t do such marketing. Because dreams alone don’t work. Knowledge does. With more than 3 decades of experience in the markets, we have seen enough to know holy grail strategies don’t exist. There is only the right strategy at the right time. Our objective is simple. We focus only on what is real, what is practical, and what works. We look to impart all that you need to know from concept to implementation through a systematic process about specific investment strategies. And I think we are also probably among the few who give out complete models. The end goal is for our students to be able to take charge and run their investments independently. They are free to pursue what they want. That should be the purpose of education.
Our Online Courses
We have today an increasingly tech-savvy generation that is hands-on, craves knowledge, and eager to take charge of their own investments. Rather than paying hefty fees to others to manage their money, they prefer to take control. And with everything turning digital these days, e-learning is undisputedly one of the best and most cost-effective platforms in terms of reach. That is why we went with Udemy to launch our courses. We currently have 5 courses under our belt — a foundation course and 4 investment strategy courses. Visit our Online Courses section to find out more.
That’s the end of my ramblings for now. See you in the next post!
Originally published at https://investmentcache.com on September 2, 2020.