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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Portfolio Construction

New Rules of Diversification

During the first half of 2022, equity markets tumbled around 20% from their peak, with losses on typical stock/ bond portfolios almost as large. More worryingly, this type of downturn may be unfamiliar to many younger investors: with inflation still high, there is little prospect of central banks riding to the market’s rescue. We assess the prospects for stock and bond markets after the H1 selloff, consider the impact of macroeconomic risks on a range of investments, and explore the use of diversifying investments to fortify portfolios.

Tax Aware

Now You Don’t Have to Choose Between Diversification and Tax Efficiency

The additional requirement for individuals and families is for their diversifying strategies to be attractive not just pre-tax, but also net of taxes.

Tax Aware

Regardless of How You Deal with Low-Basis Stock, Long-Short Strategies Can Help

Most investors recognize that concentrated stock holdings are risky, but the outright sale of a low-basis stock incurs a punitive tax burden. In this post, we highlight several tax-efficient alternatives to an outright sale and explore how long/short strategies can help enhance this tax efficiency.

ESG Investing

A Fireside Chat with Cliff Asness and Institutional Investor on ESG Investing

AQR Managing and Founding Principal Cliff Asness sat down with Institutional Investor Editor-in-Chief Michael Corcoran to answer some of the key questions on ESG investing. The conversation covered how a quantitative manager can effectively engage with companies, how investors can use their portfolios to help address climate change, why shorting is an effective ESG tool, and more.

Portfolio Construction

The Stock/Bond Correlation

For the past two decades, the stock/bond correlation – a fundamental detriment of risk in traditional portfolios – has been consistently negative. However, this hasn’t always been the case, and a positive stock/bond correlation could reappear due to macroeconomic changes. In this article, we assess the broad implications this would have for investors and set out practical steps to prepare for such an outcome.

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.

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.

Tax Aware

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.