Can you match the market with less volatility and lower drawdowns? That is the question Harindra de Silva of Wells Fargo Asset Management has been researching over much of his career. He leads Well’s Analytic Investors group, running quantitative strategies that have $20 billion in client assets under management.
After studying mechanical engineering at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, he ended up in the U.S. due to the civil war that had broken out in Sri Lanka, his home country. He earned a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and a master’s degree in econometrics from the University of Rochester, and a doctor of philosophy degree in finance from the University of California, Irvine.
de Silva is a pioneer in low volatility and factor-based investing, and has won various CFA Institute Graham & Dodd Awards for Excellence and several Institutional Investor Bernstein Fabozzi awards. He explains why building a portfolio of low beta stocks generates similar performance returns over the long-term as do high beta stocks only with less volatility and drawdowns. He uses the example of Amazon which (up until recently) was a low beta stock. Now it has a high beta score and trades with the market.
A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.
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Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Brad Stone author of the new book, Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire.