Barclays Quant Commentary: Worst Returns Environment For Disciplined Stock Pickers In 60 Years

We present another great review of market dynamics from the eyes of a quant, this time coming yet again Barclays' Matt Rothman. With Risk On, Risk Off the dominant regime since QE2 speculation, and likely to last into the end of the year, throw away all fundamental textbooks, and focus on what it is the momo machines are chasing. Which is simple: to outperform in this market, load up on high beta stocks and high short interest names. The rest is noise. Which means a bloodbath for "disciplined stock pickers" - as Rothman says "the investment managers who are suffering are the truly disciplined stock pickers. Those managers who are diligent about having no style tilts or theme tilts or sector biases are finding it nearly impossible to generate returns. There are no investment opportunities returns for these managers to capitalize on. There are no idiosyncratic  returns available in the market for them and the situation has, essentially, never been worse, anytime in the past 60 years." Then again, there are no traditional stock pickers left anymore - everyone now does the same as Pimco - stay one step of the Fed (and just imitate what everyone else is doing), or risk losing your job. In the meantime the biggest groupthink trade ever is getting bigger by the day, as everyone hopes and prays profit taking never occurs.