Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Alfidi Capital Airs Grievances For Festivus 2015

Attention Wall Street and the rest of the financial services sector. Today is Festivus and you know what that means. I've got a lot of problems with you people, and you're going to hear about it! You have all disappointed me very much this past year. I was spewing lots of Festivus grievances this morning on my Twitter account and now here comes the main event.

First of all, financial commentators who should know better kept casting the Federal Reserve's prospective interest rate change as something either "hawkish" against inflation or "dovish" for GDP and employment growth. Nobody even bothered to track the shift in the Yellen Fed's thinking as something where any change would lead to a return to normalcy. Wall Street disappoints me when its public mouthpieces can't slice the "layer cake" messaging.

Fund management companies continue to roll out garbage securities products. All of the leveraged and inverse ETFs out there can't possibly outperform the simpler passive ETFs but hardly anyone wants to state the obvious. I'm happy to say it myself. Simple, passive, broad market ETFs are cheap and efficient. Boutique but still passive ETFs for sectors and commodities have their place as hedges. Complex, leveraged, and "active" ETFs are expensive wastes of time.

The sector is still hooked on active management as an excuse to charge an arm and a leg for "outperformance" that never happens. Come on, folks, indexing sounded the death knell for active investment management decades ago but fund managers are still in denial. Robo-advisers are now completing the circle by cutting the costs of personalized risk management down to a few basis points. Financial advisers and their back offices will still be in denial long after AIs have taken their jobs.

Enough with the hedge fund craze already. It was cute to watch math PhDs play with algorithms for a couple of years, but now an entire enabling subculture has grown up around these stupid products. Hedge funds are nothing more than elaborate schemes for transferring wealth from dumb rich people to clever rich people. Cheap capital helps enable this stupidity. Illiquidity in a market crisis will end it.

I would gladly challenge any Wall Street CEO to a Festivus feat of strength because I know I'll win. I train for this stuff day and night. Alfidi Capital exists to shove a shiny Festivus pole right up Wall Street's crawl space.