S1 EP9: ESG: The Good, the Bad, and the Fuzzy

Is “doing good” good, bad or neutral for an investor’s portfolio? Three experts explain how they approach ESG investing, or the consideration of environmental, social, and governance issues.


October 01, 2019


Who Is on the Other Side?


How do we learn from situations where other forces are at play? Former professional poker player Annie Duke looks at decisions when outcomes are beyond our control, and AQR’s Toby Moskowitz delves into who is on the other side in factor investing.

September 18, 2019


Implementation: Food for Thought


Craftsmanship can be just as challenging for investors as it is for restaurateurs. Tom Colicchio, Chef and Owner of Crafted Hospitality, and AQR’s Adrienne Ross talk about how to build a system that works.

September 04, 2019


Can Machines Invest?


Machine learning is thriving thanks to high-powered computing and a flood of data. But when it comes to investing, more data doesn’t necessarily mean better predictions.

August 20, 2019


Calculated Risks


Risk is part of any endeavor, whether you’re managing money or robots on Mars. Steve Squyres, the Scientific Principal Investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Project, and AQR’s Lars Nielsen offer two unique perspectives on managing risk.

July 24, 2019


Why Merger Arb Works


We explain how, why, and when merger arbitrage works – and why knowing this still doesn’t make it easy.

June 25, 2019


Inverted Yield Curves


Conventional wisdom says that when the yield curve inverts, the economy slows down. AQR’s Jordan Brooks and David Kupersmith review the evidence, and discuss what it means for an investor’s bond portfolio.

June 11, 2019


Commodities: Past, Present, and Futures


We talk about commodities as an investment and how one investor shared his rules for trading them successfully.

May 28, 2019


Gaining Momentum


AQR co-founder and Managing Principal Cliff Asness and Alpha Architect CEO Wes Gray discuss momentum—what it is and why it works.

October 03, 2018


Fundamental…or Quant?


Our guests debunk some common misconceptions about two approaches to investing: quantitative and fundamental. And they explain how their differences might actually make them complimentary.

September 26, 2018


ESG: The Good, the Bad, and the Fuzzy


Is “doing good” good, bad or neutral for an investor’s portfolio? Three experts explain how they approach ESG investing, or the consideration of environmental, social, and governance issues.

September 19, 2018


Taking Stock of Stock Myths


There is risk in every investment. This episode delves into three specific kinds of equity risks that tend to weigh on investors: home bias, market timing and inflation.

September 12, 2018


Interest Rate Limbo


We investigate why investors might want bonds in their portfolios, even in a low-yield environment.

September 05, 2018


Rise of the Machines


Quantitative, or data-driven, investing has become increasingly ubiquitous—and many of its technologies have become a necessary part of the investment process. In this episode, we explore the past, present and future of quant.

August 29, 2018


Superstar Investors


Warren Buffett. Bill Gross. George Soros. Peter Lynch. We take a deep dive into some of the most famous track records in finance, specifically to ask if the themes we’ve covered in this show can explain some of their success.

August 22, 2018


Hot Hands and Cold Feet


Sports analogies often help us think about how we make investing decisions. Are there streaks in random data? Do past results affect future ones? How can you get a leg up?

August 15, 2018


Active versus Passive


Vanguard founder Jack Bogle and AQR co-founder Cliff Asness have a lively conversation about one of the most epic battles in investing: Do you stick with the index or do you try to beat it?

August 08, 2018


Face the Factors


Factors are the building blocks of investment returns. We explain what they are, how they work, and how you can use them in your portfolio.

August 01, 2018


Silly Things Investors Do


An all-star lineup, including Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler, joins The Curious Investor hosts to explain some of the most common biases that creep into our investment decisions.

Meet Our Host

Dan Villalon

M.B.A. University of Chicago
B.A. Pomona College

Dan Villalon is a Principal and Global Co-head of the Portfolio Solutions Group at AQR Capital Management. In this role, he oversees the team responsible for advising clients on portfolio challenges, developing custom analyses that range from portfolio construction, to tail risk and capturing alternative sources of returns, as well as creating investor-oriented thought leadership, such as Alternative Thinking and other published research. Additionally, Dan founded, co-wrote and hosted AQR’s podcast, The Curious Investor. Prior to AQR, Dan was a senior business analyst at Mitchell Madison Group and an investment analyst in the private bank at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He earned a B.A. in physics from Pomona College and an M.B.A. with a concentration in analytical finance from the University of Chicago Booth’s School of Business. A paper co-authored by Dan, “Chasing Your Own Tail (Risk),” is part of the curriculum for people seeking to become Chartered Alternative Investment Analysts. He is a CFA charterholder.

The information set forth in the recordings has been obtained or derived from sources believed by AQR Capital Management, LLC (“AQR”) to be reliable. However, AQR does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the information’s accuracy or completeness, nor does AQR recommend that the information serve as the basis of any investment decision. The recordings have been provided to you solely for information purposes and does not constitute a current or past recommendation or an offer or solicitation of an offer, or any advice or recommendation, to purchase any securities or other financial instruments, and may not be construed as such. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.   These recordings are not research and should not be treated as research. These recordings do not represent valuation judgments with respect to any financial instrument, issuer, security or sector that may be described or referenced herein and does not represent a formal or official view of AQR.


The views expressed reflect the current views as of the date hereof and neither the speaker nor AQR undertakes to advise you of any changes in the views expressed herein. It should not be assumed that the speaker will make investment recommendations in the future that are consistent with the views expressed herein, or use any or all of the techniques or methods of analysis described herein in managing client accounts. AQR and its affiliates may have positions (long or short) or engage in securities transactions that are not consistent with the information and views expressed in these recordings.


There can be no assurance that an investment strategy will be successful. Historic market trends are not reliable indicators of actual future market behavior or future performance of any particular investment which may differ materially, and should not be relied upon as such. Nothing contained herein constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice nor is it to be relied on in making an investment or other decision.


The information in these recordings may contain projections or other forward‐looking statements regarding future events, targets, forecasts or expectations regarding the strategies described herein, and is only current as of the date indicated. There is no assurance that such events or targets will be achieved, and may be significantly different from that shown here. The information in these recordings, including statements concerning financial market trends, is based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. The investment strategy and themes discussed herein may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial situation. Please note that changes in the rate of exchange of a currency may affect the value, price or income of an investment adversely.


No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made or given by or on behalf of AQR, the speaker or any other person as to the accuracy and completeness or fairness of the information contained in these recordings, and no responsibility or liability is accepted for any such information. 


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