It’s not easy piecing together a narrative to understand global markets. But it is necessary.
Humans think in stories. Our narrative-based cognitive abilities help us take extremely complex scenarios, in which we never have complete information, and create flowing stories that are easily understandable. This narrative process cuts through complexity and is one of our greatest strengths. But it also comes with a number of weaknesses. When creating these stories we tend to inject our own biases that quickly warp things from objective to subjective. This creates blind spots in our analysis that are very difficult to protect for.
But that’s why we don’t stop at just creating a narrative for you. Once we’ve completed that task, we take a step back and strip out our human biases by analyzing our story with pure data — ones and zeroes.
The Quant Review attacks our narrative from a data angle to help spot what we’re missing.
Sure, our narrative analysis may tell us that US equity markets should rise over the next 6 months. But what do our purely quantitative S&P studies say? Considering factors such as the number of days equities have risen in a row without a pullback, seasonality, correlation studies with other markets, etc, does that quantitative information match up with our qualitative assessment? If not, why?
We absolutely do use a significant amount of data to create our original narrative. But the process of reverse engineering that narrative from a pure quant perspective helps solidify our thesis further. It roots out the biases and blind spots, while often providing insights into trades we may have missed otherwise.
One of our main focuses in the Quant Review is the VIX volatility index. The VIX is useful because it helps take our entire global assessment and distill it into a single “fear” index. If investors are complacent in regard to global risks, the VIX will be low. If investors are worried, it will be high.
Through the VIX we can directly combine our global analysis with investor sentiment. The question is never just what we believe, but what other investors believe as well. That’s how we play the game at the second and third levels. We use various tools like the VIX Futures Curve and Volatility Term Structure to find opportunities where we can bet on either higher or lower volatility. This diversifies our total investment strategy and opens up an entire new way to profit from global markets. You’ll see it all done in the Quant Review.