Viewpoints

April 10th, 2019 | by

Andrew Ang: The Great Factor Summit

  • Andrew Ang, a leading figure in quantitative factor investing, sheds light on the field in “The Q Factor.”
  • He views factor investing as “democratizing excellence” for investors, and is exploring areas such as designing factor-oriented portfolios for retirees.
  • To learn more about data and quantitative investing, listen to one of the great experts in the industry.

So far in my “Q Factor” podcast series, I’ve explored how big data is changing our world with experts in fields ranging from education to criminal justice and politics. In my latest podcast, I focused on a subject very dear to my heart: the world of quantitative investing. To explore the rapidly expanding and evolving field of factor investing, I recently hooked up with one of the leading lights in the field—Andrew Ang, head of factor-investing strategies at Blackrock and formerly a business professor at Columbia Business School.

Ang is a bona fide quant who speaks English. In one of his analogies, he describes the relationship of factors to investments as akin to what nutrients (such as protein or carbs) are to food. He describes successful quantitative investing as requiring three elements: data, technology, and the human element of judgment (kind of like the chef in a kitchen working with recipes and ingredients). To him, the evolving field of factor investing is “democratizing excellence in investing” for the ordinary person—not just for institutional investors.

Some areas in which he’s working on applying and adapting factor investing are in response to particular stages of the economic cycle and to construct retirement portfolios. To hear this important interview with Ang, I invite you to listen to my podcast, “The Great Factor Summit”.

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