Riley: Magaziner’s “Back to Basics” Investment Choice Bombs

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

 

View Larger +

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner

Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner has been touting his “Back to Basics” pension strategy.

It turns out that the Treasurer either didn’t understand the “CPC” (Crisis Protection Class) trend following strategy that he chose as his hedge fund substitute or he was talked into this bad investment by highly paid consultants.

Either way, the new strategy caused one of the largest single month pension losses on an investment in decades.

The total program lost -8.3% in February alone. CPC Trend lost -13.6% in a single month. This is back to basics?  This is not a second guess on our part or backseat driving. The decision to shift hedge fund money to trend following strategies as a back to basics solution, was laughable on its face. We cited the vulnerability several weeks back. 

This enormous loss shows that the entire edifice of decision making led by Magaziner is prone to poor decision-making befitting of a rookie who seeks a career in politics and not one as a financial professional. I challenge the team led by Magaziner to show me a worse single month performance in any product or asset class since 2008. And this performance may not get any better as March has been nearly as volatile as February.

View Larger +

 

Here’s what Rhode Island said about CPC :

View Larger +

Here’s what Riley said about CPC:

“Close inspection of the “Back to Basics” portfolio shows that our Treasurer may have surprisingly and unwittingly taken on more risk after jettisoning $600 million in hedge fund holdings since September 2016.

Mr. Magaziner managed to fully fund this trend following CTA strategy, known as Crisis Protection Class (CPC) at year-end. 2017 was an ideal year for this strategy with record low volatility and persistent trend.

It is critically important to see how this Crisis Protection Class manager handled the deep sell off a few weeks ago. If the CPC lost money in that environment, then what’s the point? Both Raimondo and Magaziner told us the hedge funds purpose was to dampen sudden downdrafts, not to exacerbate them.

Now Magaziner says that was a mistake and trend following reduces risk. I think he is dead wrong and has it backward. So now this is the perfect opportunity for Magaziner to show us how well his “protection" worked. He already has the real-time results but likely won’t tell us.”

What is Magaziner going to do?

Well, the performance of CPC was so awful in February of 2018 that Mr. Magaziner was forced to address the losses just one month after praising the program.

View Larger +

View Larger +

Michael G. Riley is vice chair at Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity and is managing member and founder of Coastal Management Group, LLC. Riley has 35 years of experience in the financial industry, having managed divisions of PaineWebber, LETCO, and TD Securities (TD Bank). He has been quoted in Barron’s, Wall Street Transcript, NY Post, and various other print media and also appeared on NBC News, Yahoo TV, and CNBC. 

 

Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017

View Larger +
Prev Next

Sponsor: GoLocalProv

Sample: N=403

Rhode Island General Election Voters Margin of Error: +/- 4.9% at 95% Confidence Level

Interviewing Period: October 9-11, 2017

Mode: Landline (61%) and Mobile (39%)

Telephone Directed by: John Della Volpe, SocialSphere, Inc.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Are you registered to vote at this address?

Yes: 100%

View Larger +
Prev Next

When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

Unaffiliated: 49%

Democrat: 32%

Republican: 15%

Moderate: .4%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?

Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...

Definitely be voting: 78%

Probably be voting: 13%

50-50: 9%

View Larger +
Prev Next

In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?

Right track: 39%

Wrong track: 45%

Mixed: 10%

Don't know/Refused: .6%

View Larger +
Prev Next

What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?

Jobs and economy:  21%

Education: 12%

Taxes: 12%

Roads: 12%

State budget: 9%

Corruption/Public integrity: .8%

Healthcare: 3%

Governor: 3%

Homelessness: 2%

Immigration: 2%

Other: 7%

Don’t know: .9%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Over the past three years or so, would you say the economy in Rhode Island has improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

Changed for the better: 35%

Changed for the worse: 16%

Not changed at all: 43%

Don't know/Refused: 5%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Over the same time, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

Changed for the better: 26%

Changed for the worse: 19%

Not changed at all: 54%

Don't know/Refused: 1%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?

Net: Approve: 28%

Definitely approve: 15%

Probably approve: 14%

Net: Reject: 67%

Probably reject: 19%

Definitely reject: 48%

Don't know: 4%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Could you please tell me your age?

18-24: 7%

25-34: 15%

35-44: 15%

45-54: 20%

55-64: 17%

65+: 25%

Don't know/refused: 1%

View Larger +
Prev Next

What was the last grade you completed in school?

0-11: 2%

High school grad: 16%

Technical/Vocational school: 1%

Some college: 23%

College grad: 34%

Graduate degree: 24%

Don't know/refused: 1%

View Larger +
Prev Next

The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).

$50,000 or less: 27%

More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%

More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%

More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%

$150,000 or more: 13%

Don't know/refused: 17%

View Larger +
Prev Next

What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?

American/None: 21%

English: 13%

Italian: 13%

Irish: 12%

Black or African American: 6%

Latino/Hispanic: 6%

French: 6%

Portuguese: 3%

Jewish: 3%

German: 1%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Donald Trump has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as President?


Excellent: 13%
Good: 12%
Fair: 14%
Poor: 57%
Never heard of:  0%
Cannot rate: 3%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Jack Reed has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

Excellent: 22%
Good: 29%
Fair: 23%
Poor: 15%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate: 6%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Sheldon Whitehouse has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

Excellent: 17%
Good: 22%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 28%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate: 7%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that David Cicilline has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

Excellent: 9%
Good: 29%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 27%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate:  8%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that James Langevin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

Excellent: 7%
Good: 30%
Fair: 20%
Poor: 18%
Never heard of: 13%
Cannot rate: 11%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Gina Raimondo has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Governor?

Excellent: 6%
Good: 28%
Fair: 30%
Poor: 31%
Never heard of: 1%
Cannot rate: 3%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Daniel McKee has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Lieutenant Governor?


Excellent: 3%
Good: 16%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 8%
Never heard of: 26%
Cannot rate: 25%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Peter Kilmartin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Attorney General?


Excellent: 3%
Good: 20%
Fair: 28%
Poor: 17%
Never heard of: 13%
Cannot rate: 19%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Seth Magaziner has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as General Treasurer?

Excellent: 4%
Good: 18%
Fair: 24%
Poor: 13%
Never heard of: 21%
Cannot rate: 21%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Nellie Gorbea has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Secretary of State?

Excellent: 5%
Good: 21%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 10%
Never heard of: 20%
Cannot rate: 23%

View Larger +
Prev Next

Would you say that Jorge Elorza has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Mayor of Providence?

Excellent: 4%
Good: 24%
Fair: 24%
Poor: 22%
Never heard of: 9%
Cannot rate: 15%

 
 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
 

Sign Up for the Daily Eblast

I want to follow on Twitter

I want to Like on Facebook

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email