Alternative Thinking

Yield Floors and Asset Allocation: When Is the Role of Bonds Impaired?

We explore how different levels of a so-called “floor” for bond yields would affect the return generation and diversification properties of bonds. We find that only very restrictive yield floor assumptions would have the potential to materially impact the role of bonds in a portfolio over the next year.

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Fixed Income

Sustainable Systematic Credit

Interest in sustainable investing is now expanding into fixed income. This paper assesses how measures of sustainability/ESG might be relevant for corporate bonds and analyzes how ESG measures can be incorporated into an investment process to achieve the joint object of maximizing risk-adjusted returns and a sustainability target.

Tax Aware

The Value of Integrating Income and Estate Planning

In this post, we discuss challenges of wealth preservation and growth faced by high net worth families. While a family that invests with income tax and estate tax efficiency in mind is more likely to achieve its financial legacy goals, the numerical advantages of tax efficiency are quite striking. In addition, we show that there is a significant value in integrating income tax efficiency and estate tax planning.

Are Value Stocks Cheap for a Fundamental Reason?

The value spread remains unusually high, which has led investors to be concerned that value may be cheap for a reason. In this short presentation, our Portfolio Solutions Group (PSG) explains how we evaluate this spread and illustrates our view that the current high value spread is forecasting higher expected returns, and not low fundamental growth rates.

Tax Aware

Does Tax Efficiency Just Delay the Tax Burden?

We often hear the sentiment that tax-efficient investing just delays the inevitable: Eventually, a day will come when the tax-efficient investor will have to true up on years of deferred taxes. And, with the proposed Biden Tax Plan sending many investors scrambling to plan for higher taxes, we feel that now is as good a time as any to put this long-standing myth to bed.

Fixed Income

What Drives Bond Yields?

In this overview of the various factors that influence government bond yields, we show that both in theory and in the data, non-monetary policy factors drive significant variation in yields, particularly at longer maturities. Despite the exceptionally low yield environments we have witnessed, fundamentals continue to drive bond markets.

Factor/Style Investing

Pricing Without Mispricing

We offer a novel test of whether an asset pricing model describes expected returns in the absence of mispricing. Our test assumes such a model assigns zero alpha to investment strategies using decade-old information. Prominent multifactor models do not satisfy this condition – while multifactor betas help capture current expected returns on mispriced stocks, persistence in those betas distorts the stocks' implied expected returns after prices correct.

Tax Aware

Improving Direct Indexing: 130/30 and 150/50 Strategies

In this post, we expand on our analysis which studies the tax benefits of a hypothetical tax-aware direct indexing strategy with 1% tracking error.

Factor/Style Investing

What Can Betting Markets Tell Us About Investor Preferences and Beliefs? Implications for Low Risk Anomalies

We relate the low risk anomaly in financial markets to the Favorite-Longshot Bias in betting markets and provide novel evidence to both anomalies. Synthesizing the evidence, we study the joint implications from the two settings for a unifying explanation. Rational theories of risk-averse investors with homogeneous beliefs cannot explain the cross-sectional relationship between diversifiable risk and return in betting markets. Rather, we appeal to models of non-traditional preferences or heterogeneous beliefs.

Tax Aware

Direct Indexing and the Proposed Biden Tax Plan

There are two basic ways to invest in a stock market index: you can buy an index fund, or you can directly buy a stock portfolio that tracks the index. If you are a taxable investor, a benefit of the direct approach is that you can harvest losses on individual positions. But how high are those benefits—and what happens to them under the proposed Biden Tax Plan?