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Howard Zhang

Howard Zhang

Vice President, MSCI Research

Howard Zhang is a member of MSCI’s Equity Core Research team. His areas of expertise include equity factor models, data science and machine learning. Howard holds a master’s degree in mathematics of finance from Columbia University. He is a CFA® charterholder and certified FRM.

Research and Insights

Articles by Howard Zhang

    Eyeing the Crowds from Multiple Perspectives

    6 mins read Blog | Jul 8, 2021 | George Bonne , Jay Yao , Howard Zhang

    We observed historically notable crowding across factors, industries and stocks through the first half of 2021. Examining crowding from multiple perspectives and incorporating multiple data elements provides investors a more holistic view. 

    Machine Learning Factors Capturing Non Linearities in Linear Factor Models

    Report | Mar 26, 2021 | Howard Zhang , George Bonne , Jun Wang

    It is not etched in stone that relationships between factor exposures and returns must be linear. We found machine-learning algorithms could identify nonlinear relationships and be used to construct a factor showing significant explanatory power. 

    Is There a Hedge-Fund-Crowding Factor?

    6 mins read Blog | Mar 10, 2021 | Howard Zhang , George Bonne

    Hedge funds held heavy, relatively illiquid short positions in crowded stocks before the January 2021 short squeeze. We created a risk factor that added explanatory power and may provide insights into potential short squeezes and other risks.

    Are (Stock) Bubbles Rising?

    6 mins read Blog | Feb 11, 2021 | George Bonne , Howard Zhang , Jay Yao

    How does one identify or quantify a bubble? We propose a framework for assessing the “bubbliness” of stocks and portfolios, rooted in the idea that bubbles are driven by the same forces, and share characteristics with crowded trades.

    Measuring Firms’ Remote-Workforce Abilities

    Blog | Jul 14, 2020 | Howard Zhang , Daniel R. Barrera , Manuel Rueda

    It’s clear that some companies were better positioned to take advantage of a remote work environment than others. We built a hypothetical “remote-operation capacity” factor to seek to measure the effect on different firms.

    Peering Into Peer Selection: Quantifying Company Similarity

    Report | May 15, 2019 | George Bonne , Howard Zhang

    Peer selection plays a central role in many aspects of finance — including valuation, financial and competitive analysis, risk and portfolio modeling and ESG scoring and alpha generation. One common method of peers identification is industry classification, such as the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®). Here we ask if it’s possible to identify and measure relationships between companies from a systematic analysis of various types of data, including fundamentals, news and the...