With rising interest rates hurting bond prices, investors and financial advisers are scrambling for other options to provide stability to their portfolios. Some of them have turned to "alternative" funds, many of which claim to offer bond-like stability without exposure to interest-rate rises. Alternative funds use hedge-fund-like strategies to try to capture returns that aren't tied to broad markets. Some funds use options to limit their market exposure, for example, or place bets that certain stocks will drop in value. Professor Andrew Lo comments on the use of alternative funds.
Economists and financiers are thinking creatively about investing in cancer research, in desperate need of funding. Earlier this week, some of America's top cancer doctors convened in Boston for some intensive brainstorming about future research into the disease. But this particular gathering, organized by the MIT Sloan School of Management and known as CanceRX, featured a novel twist: next to the oncologists, there were renowned economists such as Andrew Lo and Robert Merton. More unusual still, there were bankers and financiers too.
Can financial engineering cure cancer? It is an outlandish question, and many might find it distasteful, but the answer might be "yes". It is worth trying to find out. This is the argument of Andrew Lo, a brilliant and entrepreneurial finance professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Mangement, who convened a conference to float his idea for a cancer-fighting "super fund" this weekend, following a tour to London to present his ideas.
In a question and answer with Business Insider's Rob Wile, Professor Lo speaks about the state of the markets, why investing must now be treated like exercise, and what we can expect from his latest work.
After a global economic slump caused by seemingly reckless financial market activity, a period of calm might appear welcome. But moribund markets spell bad news for bank employees, and schadenfreude by others would be misplaced if they were being lulled into a false sense of security.