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As 2014 comes to a close, CFA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the CFA Society Chicago Newsbrief a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6.


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11. Top venture capitalists leave Silicon Valley, bet their careers on Midwest
Forbes
From May 13: In San Jose or Mountain View there would be nothing notable about venture capitalists Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen in a glass-walled room debating whether or not to write a multimillion-dollar check to Aver Informatics, a startup that shows businesses where health care is cheapest. But the trainloads of coal crawling by outside are a stark reminder: This isn’t California.
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12. Power network draws rich families to Chicago banker Byron Trott
Bloomberg
From Aug. 12: Carol Bernick, executive chairman of Alberto-Culver Co., was facing the decision of a lifetime. She was going to sell the Melrose Park, Illinois-based shampoo maker her father had started in 1955 or she was going to plunge into foreign markets — Japan and Brazil — to keep up with competitors. To help make her choice, she called just one banker: Byron Trott, chief executive officer and chairman of BDT Capital Partners LLC in Chicago.
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13. Chicago Fed calls for curbs on high-frequency trading
Bloomberg
From July 15: The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago entered the debate over whether financial markets are fair, proposing limits on high-frequency trading firms and incentives to bring more buying and selling into public view. Recommendations in a recent working paper include breaking up the trading session into a series of half-second periods, a snail’s pace in an era of microsecond trading.
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14. CBOE to cut costs amid weak trading volumes
Chicago Tribune
From Aug. 5: CBOE Holdings Inc. recently became the second exchange operator to say it will cut expenses in the face of declining trading volumes that are eating into profits. Chicago-based CBOE, which runs the largest U.S. stock-options market, reduced its outlook for core operating expenses in 2014 to a range of $186 million $190 million, from a previous range of $191 million to $196 million.
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15. Top anecdotal signs of a market bubble
CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor
From Feb. 11: At the risk of further inflating the bubble in discussion about whether or not global equity markets are in a bubble, Jason Voss, CFA thinks it is worth discussing the topic from a qualitative point of view. Most of the talk of bubbles is data-driven analysis focusing on things like multiples, profit margins, revenue growth, historic equity market tops, equity risk premiums, and so forth. But having worked as a professional money manager through two market bubbles — dot-com and real estate — Voss can attest that qualitative signs are often more persuasive than the quantitative signs.
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16. How the Fed learned to talk
The New York Times
From Feb. 4: In his nearly 19 years as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan was notorious for speaking in an elliptical, oracular, even mystifying style. Mindful that a single errant syllable might cause markets to soar — or tumble — Mr. Greenspan mastered a language, “Fed-speak” so turgid that it made economics textbooks seem like children’s literature by comparison. Those days are long gone.
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17. The wealthy have good news for Chicago, but (much) less of it for startups
Chicago Business Journal
From Sept. 23: Some good news for Chicago. The city's very rich are bullish on Chicago's economic future. But about the state of Illinois as whole, much less so, according to a new survey of 326 high net-worth investors in the Chicago area conducted between May and July of this year by Morgan Stanley's Wealth Management unit. For the purposes of this survey, Morgan Stanley defined "high net worth investor" as one with $100,000 or more in investable financial assets.
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18. National venture capital firms invest in Chicago tech
Medill Reports Chicago
From Jan. 21: Investments in Chicago’s digital start-up sector nearly doubled in 2013 as angel investors and venture capitalists invested in technology companies around the city. Funding increased to $1.06 billion from $391 million in 2012, according to a report by Built In Chicago, a local online start-up community. “This is our biggest year since Groupon in 2011,”; said Maria Katris, Built Inc.’s CEO. “This isn’t about just one company choosing to build in Chicago.” Groupon Inc. closed a $972 million investment round in 2011, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the total tech investment for that year.
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19. Alternative thinking vs. alternative assets
CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor
From Jan. 14: If you’ve sat in on any presentations on alternative assets, or picked up any of the marketing materials, you will have heard all the reasons why financial advisers and portfolio managers should own alternatives.The checklist of potential roles that alternatives play in a portfolio goes something like this: Low correlations, which lead to better diversification, great inflation hedge, capital protection in down markets, pure alpha (i.e., great return potential) and strategic allocations — or a dedicated "slice."
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20. Over a third of Chicago's national banks still have issues
Crain's Chicago Business
From May 20: The Chicago area's community banks are slowly healing from the Great Recession, but more than 1 in 3 with national charters still aren't healthy by the standards of federal regulators. Eighteen of 50 local banks regulated by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were low-rated, meaning that their condition isn't strong enough to permit them, for example, to buy other banks. A few of those are likely to fail, OCC officials said in a recent briefing.
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CFA Society Chicago NewsBrief

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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