Asset Allocation

2022 Capital Market Assumptions for Major Asset Classes

We update our estimates of medium-term (5- to 10-year) expected returns for major asset classes. We also include an analysis that attempts to reconcile ever-lower expected returns with ever-higher realized returns and suggests practical strategic steps to boost portfolio expected returns.

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Tax Aware

When Fortune Doesn’t Favor the Bold: Perils of Volatility for Wealth Growth and Preservation

Entrepreneurs and executives holding much of their wealth in a highly appreciated single stock face either the high risk of idiosyncratic volatility and potentially catastrophic losses, or selling stock and facing an immediate, punitive tax burden. This paper evaluates this choice and explains how it relates to classic betting strategies and economic theory, finding tax-efficient techniques might strike the balance between the urgency to diversify concentrated risk and aversion to taxes.

In the Press

See where “Investing Amid Low Expected Returns” has been featured in the press.

ESG Investing

Supply Chain Climate Exposure

To manage climate risks, investors need reliable climate exposure metrics, but such risks may be difficult to measure, particularly along the supply chain. Using broadly accessible data, we propose an intuitive metric that quantifies the exposure a company has to customers and suppliers. Our metric is related to scope 3 emissions and captures the strength of economic linkages as well as the overall climate exposure of a firm’s customers and suppliers.

Alternative Investing

Building a Better Commodities Portfolio

Interest in commodities is rising again, thanks to their tendency to be particularly strong diversifiers during periods of rising or volatile inflation. We review what a “best-in-class” commodity portfolio looks like by exploring three potential enhancements to a passive approach to the asset class.

ESG Investing

Looking Forward With Historical Carbon Data

Increasingly many allocators are interested in computing their portfolio’s carbon footprint. We show that historical emissions data are useful despite a substantial 1-2 years’ lag typically to when investment portfolios are built.

Can Your Loss-Harvesting Strategy Still Harvest Losses?

As equity portfolios appreciate over time, opportunities to harvest losses become few and far between. Whether you’ve been invested in a passive equity portfolio or in a Direct Indexing strategy, you’ve likely found that harvesting losses was much easier in the first few years after inception. Beyond that, not only does harvesting losses become a challenge but even keeping up with index reconstitutions might be difficult without recognizing capital gains. Appreciated portfolios—once a benefit—become a liability later in their life-cycle.

Tax Aware

Taxes, Charity, and Hedge Funds: Tax Implications of Charitable Contributions of Leveraged Partnership Interests

As a result of recent Treasury regulations, investors in investment partnerships, such as hedge funds, might end up recognizing capital gains when they contribute their partnership interests to a charity. We explain how such taxable gains upon charitable contributions arise and quantify how punitive they might be.

Tax Aware

Why You Might Defer Your Gains, Even When Tax Rates Are About to Increase

With the current proposals for (and the future expectations of) various tax rate hikes, investors with appreciated portfolios might feel like sailing into a storm and wondering, is it still better to defer gains if tax rates were to increase?

Portfolio Risk and Performance

When Stock-Bond Diversification Fails

The events of 2020 to 2021 have increased uncertainty around the future path of inflation. We review how different inflationary outcomes can impact investor portfolios and evaluate what assets and strategies may enhance portfolio resilience to inflation.

Macroeconomics

Inflation Outlook: the Macro, the Micro, the Transitory

Financial markets have had a relatively muted reaction to the recent bout of higher than expected inflation. We assess what might explain markets’ sanguine response. We explain why we believe there are factors suggesting a return to low inflation readings is unlikely in the near term, and what the investment implications might be of such a scenario.