Quantitative modeling took a tremendous hit during the credit crisis, and investors who favored such systematic investment strategies are, once again, favoring active stock pickers, The Wall Street Journal reports.
U.S. large-cap equity quant funds lost 37.53% of their value in the trailing 12 months ended March 31, slightly behind, by 1.4 percentage points, actively managed U.S. large cap equity funds. Long-short equity quant funds did miserably worse, losing 43.37% over the period, a full 16.3 percentage points behind non-quants.
Indeed, many consultants to pension plans say they are no longer recommending, or at the least, wary of, quantitative investments to their clients, including giant Watson Wyatt.
Of particular concern is the inability of many quant funds to exit their investments quickly, due to less credit from banks to hedge funds, and the fact that quant funds tend to invest in the same securities.
As a result, quantitative managers are trying to rely less on publicly available, or generic, information, and develop more proprietary tools, including individual insights, market research and risk management.