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Alternative Thinking

2021 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 discuss what investors should expect from the stock-bond correlation in the coming decade.

Alternative Thinking

Fire and Ice: Confronting the Twin Perils of Inflation and Deflation

The COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it by governments, central banks and consumers have unleashed both disinflationary and inflationary forces, but we do not know which forces will win over the longer term. We explore the historical inflation sensitivities of a range of different investments and present the benefits of both risk-balanced asset allocations and dynamic directional strategies to prepare for uncertain times.

Alternative Thinking

Was That Intentional? Ways to Improve Your Active Risk

Investors try to outperform their strategic asset allocation benchmarks by taking active risks. Some of these are intentional, but others are low-conviction or even unintentional, which can be a large part of a portfolio’s total active risk. When it comes to beating a strategic asset allocation benchmark, reducing these unintentional active risks may among the clearest sources of “low hanging fruit”.

Alternative Thinking

2020 Capital Market Assumptions for Major Asset Classes (Supplemental Estimates as of March 31, 2020)

This supplement provides a special update to our estimates of medium-term (5- to 10-year) expected returns for major asset classes. This update reflects the large changes in prices for many asset classes due to the impact of COVID-19 in Q1 2020.

Alternative Thinking

2020 Capital Market Assumptions for Major Asset Classes

We update our estimates of medium-term (5- to 10-year) expected returns for major asset classes, and introduce a method for quantifying the expected return on cash.

Alternative Thinking

Responsible Asset Selection: ESG in Portfolio Decisions

We discuss how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations may be incorporated in a portfolio and how they may affect risk and return outcomes.

Alternative Thinking

Inversion Anxiety: Yield Curves, Economic Growth, and Asset Prices

We evaluate the ability of the yield curve slope to forecast future economic conditions, as well as returns on stocks and bonds, using over 50 years of data across six countries.

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.