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PUBLICATIONS

Athena in the news

Recent Coverage



Jun 21, 2024

CFA Institute – Enterprising Investor

Behavior of Crowds not Wisdom of Crowds

The efficient market hypothesis (EMH) says that active equity management is a waste of time. Because stock prices incorporate all relevant information, it is not possible to consistently beat the market, according to EMH true believers. That’s because EMH is based on the concept of the wisdom of crowds. Behavior of crowds is a superior lens for viewing market activity. With this lens, you can replace “active management delusion” with stock market opportunity.


Jun 20, 2024

Proactive Advisor Magazine

Follow the money supply

Participants in capital markets have been fixated on inflation and the Federal Reserve’s decisions regarding interest-rate policy over the past few years. Investors and the media are trying to anticipate how labor market reports, economic health, and inflation readings will influence the Fed’s actions. A simpler and effective way of looking at these issues is to focus on the money supply.


May 31, 2024

The Journal of Investing

Practice What You Preach: Strategy Consistency and Mutual Fund Performance

We propose a novel predictor of equity mutual fund performance, “strategy consistency,” defined as the degree to which a fund picks stocks most chosen collectively by managers with a similar self-declared principal investment strategy. Using a proprietary strategy classification based on textual analysis of fund prospectuses, we show that high-consistency funds earn significantly higher abnormal returns than low-consistency funds. Moreover, high-consistency funds with the strongest prior-month performance earn significantly positive abnormal returns of 4% per year. Our results provide a possible explanation of why most mutual funds underperform their benchmarks: they pick stocks that do not closely align with their primary strategy.


Mar 11, 2024

VettaFi Advisor Perspectives

Why Good Managers Invest in Bad Stocks

How many attractive stock ideas does Naomi, an institutional active equity fund manager, have at any one time?

“Oh, I think between 10 and 20,” she told me.

So, why did her fund hold so many more times that number of stocks?

“To round out the portfolio,” she said.


Dec 13, 2023

Proactive Advisor Magazine

Do markets predict recessions?

We can expect continued market uncertainty—imminent recession or not. A disciplined, rules-based investment process can help guide clients through a variety of market and economic conditions.


Jun 21, 2023

Proactive Advisor Magazine

A different kind of bear

Anticipating annual volatility and returns is always difficult. For long-term investors, the most likely way to succeed is to invest based on managing risk and probabilities, driving emotion and speculation out of the equation.


May 1, 2023
Investments & Wealth Institute

Investments & Wealth Institute Awards Recognize Best of the Best in Investment and Wealth Management Industry

Journal Research Award

The Journal Research Award honors the author(s) of an original article representing the best writing for the previous year, is germane to investment consulting and/or private wealth management, and was published in the Journal of Investment Consulting or the Retirement Management Journal.

The 2023 recipient is C. Thomas Howard, Ph.D., for his article, “Predicting Returns Using Behavioral Market Barometers,” which appeared in the Journal of Investment Consulting. Howard is Professor Emeritus at the Reiman School of Finance, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer at AthenaInvest, Inc.


Jan 30, 2023

VettaFi Advisor Perspectives

Performance Persistence Matters

Conventional wisdom has it that active investment managers, while capable of outperforming at times, are unable to generate persistent alpha. Among the studies supporting this belief was one conducted by the Wall Street Journal. Its 2017 article, The Morningstar Mirage, was based on Morningstar’s “star” ratings of active mutual funds.



Full Archive


DateLink to Publication
Dec 13, 2023Proactive Advisor Magazine  “Do markets predict recessions?”
Jun 21, 2023Proactive Advisor Magazine  “A Different Kind of Bear”
May 1, 2023Investments & Wealth Institute  “Investments & Wealth Institute Awards Recognize Best of the Best in Investment and Wealth Management Industry”
Jan 20, 2023Advisor Perspectives  “Performance Persistence Matters”
Jun 15, 2022Investments & Wealth Institute  “Predicting Returns Using Behavioral Market Barometers”
Aug 20, 2021Proactive Advisor Magazine  “Building Wealth by Avoiding Emotional Errors”
Apr 18, 2021CFA Institute  “Active Equity: “Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated”
Apr 14, 2021Proactive Advisor Magazine  “Bear Market Behavioral Biases—Are You Sure About That?”
Feb 17, 2021Investments & Wealth Institute  “How Behavioral Finance Is Delivering Alpha”
Jul 15, 2020Proactive Advisor Magazine  “Behavioral finance applied: Strategies, not style boxes”
Jun 22, 2020Advisor Perspectives  “The Dawn of a New Active-Equity Era”
May 6, 2020Proactive Advisor Magazine  “Managing investments in emotionally charged markets: A behavioral framework”
Sep 11, 2019ThinkAdvisor  “Who Loses in a Trade War? Both Sides!”
Jun 24, 2019ThinkAdvisor  “We Don’t Have to Have a Recession”
Feb 18, 2019Advisor Perspectives  “Strategy Based Framework Improves on Style Grid”
Jan 14, 2019ThinkAdvisor  “Strategy Preference Can Indicate Expected Stock Market Return”
Oct 15, 2018ThinkAdvisor  “Don’t Waste Time Predicting the Next Recession”
Oct 1, 2018ThinkAdvisor  “When Does Stock Picking Work?”
Aug 13, 2018ThinkAdvisor  “Identify the Best Active Equity Funds”
Jul 24, 2018ThinkAdvisor  “Strategy-Based Portfolio Construction”
Jul 23, 2018Advisor Perspectives  “Proven Tactical Allocation Strategy Driven by Behavioral Crowds”
Jun 25, 2018ThinkAdvisor  “Think Outside the Style Boxes”
Feb 12, 2018Advisor Perspectives  “How to Know When Active Management Performs Best”
Dec 13, 2017Financial Advisor  “The Economy And Stock Market—The Best Of Times”
Aug 14, 2017Financial Advisor  “Don’t Fear Market Peaks, Enjoy Them!”
Jun 12, 2017Advisor Perspectives  “Life after MPT”
May 26, 2017CFA Institute “C. Thomas Howard Urges Practitioners to ‘View the Markets as They Are'”
May 23, 2017CFA Enterprising Investor  “The Active Equity Renaissance: Renaissance Investment Management Firms”
May 18, 2017CFA Enterprising Investor  “The Active Equity Renaissance: Renaissance Portfolio Management”
May 17, 2017WealthManagement.com  “Shining a Light on “Dark” GDP”
May 9, 2017CFA Enterprising Investor  “The Active Equity Renaissance: Behavioral Financial Markets”
Apr 20, 2017CFA Enterprising Investor  “The Active Equity Renaissance: New Frontiers of Risk”
Apr 17, 2017Financial Advisor  “Rising Rates Bode Well For Stocks”
Apr 7, 2017WealthManagement.com  “The Myth of Low Returns”
Apr 5, 2017CFA Enterprising Investor  “The Active Equity Renaissance: The Rise and Fall of MPT”
Mar 22, 2017CFA Enterprising Investor  “The Active Equity Renaissance: Understanding the Cult of Emotion”
Mar 14, 2017CFA Enterprising Investor  “The Active Equity Renaissance: Rejecting a Broken 1970s Model”
Feb 21, 2017Fund Intelligence  “Behavioral Finance Favoring Stock Market Bullishness”
Feb 17, 2017ThinkAdvisor  “Can the Trump Stock Rally Last?”
Jan 25, 2017Financial Advisor  “Janet Yellen: The Head Groundskeeper Of The U.S. Economy”
Jan 25, 2017MoneyLife Radio  (Audio Download) “Chuck Jaffe interviews Tom Howard”
Dec 20, 2016401(K) Specialist  “Sending Out An SOS: Active Managers Need Help (Or Do They?)”
Dec 16, 2016Bezinga  “Good Behavior With This Active Dividend ETF”
Nov 17, 2016CFA Institute  “Relationship Strain: The Sins of the Active Manager”
Oct 26, 2016Financial Advisor  “Keep Your Politics Out Of Your Portfolio”
Oct 21, 2016The Motley Fool  “Stock-Pickers Rejoice: Markets Aren’t Efficient, Investors Aren’t Rational”
Oct 20, 2016Financial Planning  “Handling the emotion of market declines”
Oct 17, 2016MarketWatch  “Don’t let your emotions over this election influence your investment decisions”
Aug 28, 2016Goldstein on Gelt  (Video) “Dr. C. Thomas Howard – AthenaInvest – Goldstein on Gelt”
Jul 26, 2016CFA Institute  “Is Active Management Dead? Not Even Close”
May 18, 2016401KSpecialist  “The Single Biggest Problem With 401k Product Performance Is…”
Apr 14, 2016MarketWatch  “This is why mutual fund managers can’t beat a stock index more often”
Mar 30, 2016Zacks Equity Research  “5 Global ETFs Beating SPY in Q1”
Jan 26, 2016Advisor Perspectives  “Why Most Equity Mutual Funds Underperform”
Nov 23, 2015Modern Trader  “Active managers actually do outperform if…”
Jul 7, 2015MoneyLife Radio  (Audio Download) “Chuck Jaffe interviews Tom Howard”
Jul 2, 2015AdvisorShares Alpha Call  (Audio) “Behavioral Finance Part 2”
Mar 20, 2015Money  “Are Your Stocks Too Popular?”
Feb 10, 2015ValueWalk  “Are Some Decisions to Allocate to U.S. Equities Due to Survivorship Bias?”
Jan 21, 2015MarketWatch  “90% of fund managers beat the market — but their shareholders don’t”
Jan 19, 2015Ozy  “To Get Rich, Tell Your Emotions to Shut Up”
Jan 14, 2015MoneyLife Radio  (Audio Download) “Chuck Jaffe interviews Tom Howard”
Jan 4, 2015ValueWalk  “Behavioral Bias: How It Affects One’s Investments”
Dec 27, 2014ValueWalk  “Behavioral Portfolio Management [Book Review]”
Dec 23, 2014ValueWalk  “Thomas Howard’s Five Radical Rules For Behavioral Investing”
Dec 11, 2014Money Management Executive  “Is Active Management Best Kept Small?”
Nov 5, 2014Bloomberg Radio  (Audio) “Analyst Calls”
Nov 2014AAII Journal  “Selecting Active Equity Mutual Funds: Don’t Get Caught in the Middle”
Nov 2014Investment & Pensions Europe  “Active Management: The portfolio tax”
Nov 2014Investment & Pensions Europe  “Active Management: Passive skeletons in the active closet”
Nov 2014Investment & Pensions Europe  “Active Management: Diluting by concentrating”
Nov 5, 20149News Denver  (Video) “Taking the emotion out of investing”
Oct 7, 2014The Times  “Stone age rules don’t apply to the stock market, so forget about them”
Oct 3, 2014ETF Trends  “Take A Moment Before You Choose A Dividend ETF”
Oct 3, 2014Horsesmouth  “Behavioral Portfolio Management”
Sep/Oct 2014CFA Institute Magazine  “The Next Paradigm”
Sep 17, 2014Stockopedia  “Do you need to be a psychopath to be a successful investor?”
Sep 9, 2014Advisor Perspectives  “Growing Income and Wealth with High-Dividend Equities”
Sep 2014AAII Journal  “Driving Emotions From Your Investment Process: A 12-Step Program”
Aug 25, 2014ETF Trends  “Different Strokes With Dividend ETFs”
Aug 25, 2014Investors.com  “ETF Managed Portfolio Landscape Sees Consolidation”
Aug 22, 2014Forbes  “Choosing The Right Dividend ETF”
Aug 15, 2014ETF Trends  “An Active Guru ETF with a Dividend Focus”
Aug 15, 2014The Street  (Video) “AthenaInvest Bear ETF Benefiting From Market’s Bad Behaviors”
Aug 14, 2014Bloomberg Radio  (Audio) “Taking Stock: Sansoterra, Murray, Howard”
Aug 13, 2014Forbes  “High-Conviction Dividend Investing: Athena High Dividend ETF”
Aug 13, 2014Zacks  “AdvisorShares Launches Unique Active Global Dividend ETF”
Aug 5, 2014Advisor Perspectives  “The Wealth-Builder Model”
Aug 3, 2014ETF Trends  “Bearish ETFs Help Hedge Against Corrections”
Aug 2, 2014InvestorPlace  “Athena High Dividend ETF – An Unusual Path to Quality Income”
Jul 30, 2014Seeking Alpha  “High Stock Dividends: A Competitive Retirement Income Solution”
Jul 30, 2014etfexpress  “AdvisorShares launches Athena High Dividend ETF”
Jul 30, 2014ETF Trends  “AdvisorShares Introduces New High Dividend ETF”
Jul 25, 2014MarketWatch  “Buy-and-hold investing is impossible”
Jul 23, 2014MarketWatch  (Audio) “Consistency leads to successful investing”
Jul 8, 2014CFA Institute  (Video) “BPM: A New Paradigm for Managing Investment Portfolios”
Jun 18, 2014Forbes  “Managers find bad investment behavior can yield better returns”
Jun 3, 2014Alpha Banker  “Fund manager are star buyer and dunkey seller”
May 24, 2014Stamford Advocate  “Handling volatility for long-term investors”
May 21, 2014Financial Times  “Hard sell: why fund managers underperform”
May 15, 2014Financial Times  (Video) “Behavioural finance wins playing blind”
May 15, 2014Alpha Banker  “Why Behavioral Finance May Be the Future of Stockpicking”
May 8, 2014Seeking Alpha  “Reject The Model, Not The Real World”
May 7, 2014Financial Times  “Use psychology to beat professional stockpickers”
May 3, 2014Morningstar  “5 Cures for Rocky Market Fever”
Apr 2014IMCA Investments and Wealth Monitor  “Behavioral Portfolio Management”
Mar 12, 2014ETF Trends  “ETF Managed Portfolios Gain Traction”
Mar 11, 2014Financial Times  “Specialist ETF managers attract strong inflows”
Feb 28, 2014Reuters Insider  (Video) “Wealth Strategies: Canadian banks weigh on fund performance”
Feb 27, 2014Think Advisor  “Portfolio Managers Are Victims of Bias, Too”
Dec 2013Financial Advisor  “Prepare For The Bear”
Fall 2013Daniels Business Review  “Revolutionizing the Investment World”
Sep 18, 2013Financial Advisor  “Behavioral Finance Understanding Improves Portfolio Performance”
Jun 4, 2013CFA Institute  “Behavioral Portfolio Management: An Alternative to Modern Portfolio Theory”