The Facts Are In: Factor Investing Works

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About the Episode

Mike Hunstad, head of Quantitative Strategies for Northern Trust Asset Management, was recently featured in an article in Institutional Investor magazine that was titled Why Factor Investing Isn’t Working? We at Advisor Perspectives subsequently ran an article, Factor Investing Works (Despite What Some May Say), by Larry Swedroe, director of research for BAM Alliance, in which readers might have been led to believe that Northern Trust does not believe in factors when, in fact, Mike is going to tell us that the exact opposite is true. As Mike will explain, a complete read of the Institutional Investor article shows that while he pointed out that many factor-based strategies have performed poorly, he attributed this to flawed utilization of factors, and noted that decades of academic research offers evidence that a handful of factors can generate higher risk-adjusted returns than the market. We’d like to give Mike an opportunity to further set the record straight.

Show Notes


For more information about Northern Trust Asset Management, here is a link to its site. Here is a link to the research paper mentioned by Mike and which claims that factor-based investing dispels a good deal of Modern Portfolio Theory. Here are links to fact sheets on the Flexshares ETFs from Northern Trust that Mike mentioned: QLV, QLVD, QLVE, QDEF and IQDE