Finding Certainty

  • Rand Low

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Period1 Dec 2012

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleDiscovery at UQ 2012 Report
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletUQ Discovery
    Media typePrint
    CountryAustralia
    Date1/12/12
    DescriptionInvesting money in the stock market is not something many people associate
    with safety and certainty in recent years, but UQ Business School PhD student
    Rand Low hopes his research will change that outlook.

    “When you get on a plane, you feel
    safe and secure because the aircraft
    has been designed to get you to your
    destination regardless of whether it is
    sunny or stormy,” Mr Low says.
    “Investors should have that same feeling
    of safety when they invest their money,
    whether it is a bear market or a bull
    market.
    “My research is about designing and
    testing new portfolio management
    strategies that can generate a better risk
    adjusted return, regardless of market
    conditions.”
    Investing money in the stock market is not something many people associate
    with safety and certainty in recent years, but UQ Business School PhD student
    Rand Low hopes his research will change that outlook.
    Mr Low, who has presented
    internationally at institutions in Great
    Britain and the United States, says
    stock markets have an asymmetrical
    dependence structure that largely
    nullifies strategies designed to protect
    investors from steep losses.
    “Asymmetrical dependence can be
    explained by the news that we hear on
    television or read in the newspapers
    where stocks drop excessively during
    bad times, but don’t rise in the same
    way during good times.
    “Last year we heard about the market
    losing $26 billion in a single day, but we
    never hear of the opposite happening.
    “Asymmetrical dependence reduces the
    effectiveness of portfolio diversification,
    which is what we have been told
    protects us from the volatility of the
    market, but as we know, it doesn’t
    always do that.”
    Mr Low, who is a qualified Chartered
    Professional Engineer (CPEng) and
    worked for a multi-national technology
    firm for several years before commencing
    his PhD, used his professional
    background as a way of looking at
    the issues within financial markets in a
    unique way.
    “I specialised in control systems
    engineering, and from that perspective,
    I saw my research as finding a way of
    reducing the effects of any excessive
    anomalies in a defined system.
    “As engineers, we are given problems
    and have to find tools to solve them. I
    looked at this research topic in largely
    the same way.”
    “I harness tools and models from the
    areas of computer science, computer
    engineering, actuarial science and
    statistics, and use them to solve complex
    contemporary problems in financial
    research and portfolio management.”
    Mr Low says he also focused on
    behavioural, not just traditional, finance.
    “Incorporating behavioural finance is
    new. I include the behaviours we hear
    about from friends and family who tend
    to hold onto shares that are losing
    money, but quickly sell ones that are
    making small gains.
    “The practical outcomes of the research
    are the development of a financial model
    that can be used as a decision-making
    tool for portfolio managers in the asset
    allocation process.”
    Simply put, Mr Low would like us all
    to feel as good about investing as we
    do about getting on a plane to go on a
    holiday.
    PersonsRand Low