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​How should we invest?

​How should we invest?

Chiente Hsu is an acclaimed author, globe-trotting professor, accomplished Economics doctorate and managing director at Credit Suisse’s New York office. Hsu’s expertise in financial econometrics has led her to found Alpha Systems Advisors, a money management firm . Hsu’s 2013 publication, Rule-Based Investing summarizes the key elements for designing the ideal investment strategy, building on quantitative modeling.

There are four rules establishing the core structure of Hsu’s approach, two Dos and two Don’ts:

#1 - Be an investor, not a gambler. Seek persistent returns based on understanding the risk and volatility premia that your investment entails. Be aware of why you are earning specific returns, and the level of risk associated with these returns.

#2 - Look ahead, but don’t forget your rear-view mirror. Before venturing into the investment unknown, historical data and forecasts are essential, as input factors and indicators respectively. These provide a comprehensive picture of what you’re diving into. The ultimate goal of using data is to maximize the utility of statistical models as investment guides and risk assessors.

#3 - Don’t go surfing into the storm. Pay extremely close attention to market anxiety levels, in order to measure your own ability to react to a crash, and avoid it above all.

#4 - Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Portfolio diversification is a leading maxim in investing, to alleviate losses during market crashes or industry crises. There are many baskets to choose from, ranging across countries, assets classes and investment strategies.

Ultimately what makes a good strategy? Simplicity. Common sense remains essential to pursuing all ventures, and in designing the investment models. Don’t crowd the process with overabundant parameters.