Alternative Thinking

Strategic Portfolio Construction

When it comes to portfolio construction, many investors seek guidance on “putting it all together.” We discuss our systematic approach and examine how investor-specific beliefs and constraints can inform and interact with formal optimization methods.

White Paper

Asset Allocation in a Low Yield Environment

In 2016, bond yields dropped to unprecedented low levels in major developed markets. Even in a low rate environment, we think it’s important to diversify across many return sources.

Journal Article

Craftsmanship Alpha: An Application to Style Investing

What may seem like inconsequential design decisions can actually matter a lot for style portfolios. In fact, the skillful targeting and capturing of style premia may constitute a form of alpha on its own—one we refer to as “craftsmanship alpha.”

Journal Article

Embracing Downside Risk

This paper shows that downside risk tends to be the main source of long-run returns in equities and other asset classes, and argues that long-term investors may be better off embracing downside risk in certain cases.

White Paper

Portfolio Construction Matters: A Simple Example Using Value and Momentum Themes

We compare two portfolio construction approaches, “mix” and “integrate,” and examine some examples to demonstrate how their differences may have important implications for practice.

Trade Publication

The 5% Solution

Institutional investors commonly target 5% real annual returns, or 7% to 8% nominal returns.

White Paper

Alpha Beyond Expected Returns

Many institutional investors focus primarily on one source of alpha: expected returns. We argue that “alpha” may also becaptured in virtually every other stage of the investment process and discuss seven sources of opportunities.

White Paper

Portfolio Rebalancing, Part 1: Strategic Asset Allocation

We discuss the main considerations when designing a rebalancing process, and use a simple empirical analysis to demonstrate the drivers of relative performance over four decades.

White Paper

Tactical Tilts and Foregone Diversification

Investors tend to forget that tactical timing may incur a penalty: forgone diversification. We discuss that hurdle here, as well as the situations in which we would consider employing tactical timing.