Quantitative and fundamental analyses were thought to be mutually exclusive. However, since 2012 there is a new breed of models and strategies emerging that goes by the name “Quantamental.” When an investment manager has fundamental conviction on a security and quantitative models agree, the subsequent performance is superior to either discipline alone. The reason why combining these two approaches increases overall risk-adjusted return is that there is generally low correlation of returns between fundamental strategies and quantitative strategies.
Originally used for stock valuation, both quantitative and fundamental analysts basically share the same underlying factors such as company financials, price/earnings ratios, credit ratings, and measures of market sentiments. That is the reason why these two distinct analytical styles can be combined together. But what does the world of capital flow, interest rates, and exchange rates look like from the vantage point of a 'quantitative + fundamental' currency trader or a central banker?
Modern macroeconomic models are designed to be mathematical formalization of the entire economy. This ambitious approach could be frustrating for many outside the field of econometrics. Many economists prefer verbal intuitions as a way to convey understanding. Verbal intuition can be helpful in understanding bits and pieces of macro models. However, it is almost always misleading about how they fit together. It is exactly the imprecision and incompleteness of verbal intuition that forces macroeconomists to include the entire economy in their models.
We anticipate a trend toward quantamental trading among institutional currency traders. Quantitative macroeconomic models driven by real-world databases shall have an important role to play in every quantamental trader's toolkit. After all, there is a strong need to understand the greater macroeconomic context of exchange rate movements, given the unusual exchange rates volatility of recent months. If anyone has one to recommend, we certainly would love to hear about it!
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