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CFAH, CAIA and TXWSW Joint Event - "Finding Simplicity in a World of Dangerous Markets and Overwhelming Choice"

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"Finding Simplicity in a World of Dangerous Markets and Overwhelming Choice"

The market for investment products has never been more confusing. Not only are tens of thousands of funds available, there is a marked trend toward increased complexity as categories like liquid alternatives, smart beta, and active ETFs begin to fill the shelves. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods available to cut through the noise. In this talk, we will discuss one unified method for making sense of all funds, ranging from basic mutual funds to esoteric hedge funds. That method relies on a small number of penetrating questions and a novel framework for understanding investment risk. These steps will help us navigate complex markets, accepting that while simplicity is a worthy goal, it is not necessarily easy to achieve.

Speaker: Brian Portnoy, Ph.D., CFA, Head of Alternative Investments and Strategic Initiatives

Brian Portnoy has been successfully researching, advising, and investing in hedge funds and mutual funds for the past fourteen years. He is currently the Head of Alternative Investments and Strategic Initiatives for Chicago Equity Partners, a $10 billion asset manager. In this role, Brian oversees the firm’s hedge fund offerings and is also charged with acquiring other asset management firms. Brian was formerly the head of global hedge fund research at Mesirow Advanced Strategies, one of the world's largest fund-of-funds. He also spent four years as a senior fund analyst at Morningstar, where he wrote more than a thousand commentaries on mutual funds and the mutual fund industry. 

In early 2014, Brian published his first book: The Investor’s Paradox: The Power of Simplicity in a World of Overwhelming Choice – an application of behavioral finance to the peculiar vocation of manager selection. Earlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission invited Brian to lecture on the history and practice of hedge funds and liquid alternatives, as part of the Commission’s "Leading Authors" series. Brian is also a monthly contributor to Forbes, where he writes about investing and behavioral finance. Prior to his investing career, Brian pursued his research and teaching interests in political economy at the University of Chicago, where he earned his Ph.D. in 2000. Brian is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. Brian lives on the north side of Chicago with his wife and three children.

Moderator:Carla Knobloch, CFA , Manager, Owners Fund Chief Investment Officer, The Brown Foundation

Carla Knobloch, CFA, currently serves as the Chief Investment Officer of the Brown Foundation, Inc. in Houston. Her previous experience includes founding of The Owners® Fund, a fund of concentrated funds, as well as positions at Production Operators Corporation (an oilfield services company), First Wachovia Investment Management, and Chemical Bank.

Carla received her BA in Economics from Yale College. Her volunteer efforts focus on the great outdoors, the arts, and education reform. Carla serves on the Board of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and chairs its Finance Committee, the Board of Houston Wilderness, a number of investment committees and is active in Education Reform including YES Prep Public Schools and Texans for Education Reform.


Check-in:  11:30 am

Seating:  12:00 pm

Presentation:  12:15 - 1:15 pm

Event Type


Education Topic


Start Time

5/14/2014 11:30 AM

End Time

5/14/2014 1:15 PM





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Location Info

Houston City Club
1 City Club Dr.
Houston, TX 77046



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Register Now!

Registration & Fees  -
  registration closes NOON, Monday, May 12th
FREE       CFA Houston Members
$40.00     Guests or Non-Members

Cancellations must be received at prior to NOON, Monday, May 12th   to qualify for a full refund and avoid the No-Show fee.  Substitutions are welcomed.  Non member substitutions must pay non-member or guest rate.  Payment difference will be required at door via credit card, check or cash.
All Member No-Shows will be billed $40.00. Thank you for honoring the reservation system!

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Content Type: MyCFA Custom Calendar
Created at 2/12/2014 10:50 AM by Dileep Jose - CFA461
Last modified at 5/12/2014 11:11 AM by Dileep Jose - CFA461