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Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Link Dump

It's back in the saddle again in the Unknown Household. The Unknown Kids and Unknown Wife are at the beach, and I'm here working on research (ah, to be tenured). Since stuff has been piling up in my feed reader, it's time for a link dump to get rid of all the things I didn't post over my vacation:
Investing
The DK report has a good piece on market timing indicators. I question their usefulness, but it's interesting nonetheless.

The Aleph Blog is fast becoming one of my favorite sites. In this piece, it presents
twenty five ways to reduce investment risk. It also has nice piece explaining the Fed Model and Price-Book/ROE analysis.

Bespoke Investing has been researching patterns in analyst upgrades and downgrades over the last few years.

The NY Times reports on the rising popularity of 130/30 funds.

Here's a macabre but very interesting example of financial engineering - "Death bonds". The actual industry-preferred term is "life settlement backed securities". They are securities backed by the death benefits of life insurance polities. I think they're a good thing.

Academic Research

Keeping up with the Jones also seems to happen in the investing world. The NY Times reports on research by Illinois professors Zoran Ivkovich and Scott Weisbenner. They find that your investment choices are affected by what your neighbors are doing.

How does politics affect the stock market? According to this study by Tomasz Wisniewski titled "Can Political Factors Explain the Behavior of Stock Prices Beyond the Standard Present Value Models?", stocks tend to be overvalued (undervalued) when Democrats (Republicans) hold the Presidency, and high (low) when Presidential approval ratings are high (low). (HT: CXO Advisory Group)


Private Equity and Hedge Funds
In what's probably not a good sign for the PE market, there are increasing numbers of financing deals that are getting postponed or cancelled. TheDeal.com reports.

Marketbeat lets us in on a technique activist investors use to bring more pressure on target firms. They increase their voting power over and above their actual stock holdings levels by using swaps and other derivatives.

Here's a new term (for me at least) - Pier Loans, compliments of Calculated Risk.
Enough for now. Back to work.

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