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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.

Perspective

Now There's Nothing Certain But Death

Over the last few years, we’ve built a considerable effort in tax-optimized investing. Admittedly, this was a little bit of a “if we build it, they will come” venture, given many taxable investors seem to ignore after-tax returns. Thus, it is gratifying to see my AQR colleagues win the Top Graham and Dodd Award for their research on tax optimization, a topic that I’ve long thought deserved a much more prominent place in asset management.

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.

White Paper

Don’t Hate the Asset; Hate the Constraint

What role do bonds play in a portfolio today? We explain why it all depends on investors’ ability to own them in a capital efficient way.

Working Paper

Climate Finance

The paper reviews the literature studying interactions between climate change and financial markets, including various approaches to incorporating climate risk in macro-finance models as well as the empirical literature that explores the pricing of climate risks across several asset classes.

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”.

Journal Article

Tail Risk Hedging: Contrasting Put and Trend Strategies

The sharp market fall and speedy recovery during the eventful first half of 2020 has kept tail risk hedging topical: investors have both fresh memories of a painful loss and renewed fears of a repeat. We try to offer a balanced overview of the strengths and weaknesses of direct and indirect tail hedging strategies.

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.

Journal Article

Portfolio Protection? It’s a Long (Term) Story…

Investors have a natural urge to protect their portfolios from sudden crashes, even though bad outcomes that unfold over longer periods are more detrimental to reaching long-term goals. We show risk-mitigating and diversifying strategies have added value more consistently than options-based hedging over the more important, longer drawdowns.

White Paper

Enhanced Portfolio Optimization

We show how to identify the portfolios that cause problems in standard mean-variance optimization (MVO) and develop an enhanced portfolio optimization (EPO) method that addresses the problems. Applying EPO on several realistic datasets, we find significant gains relative to standard benchmarks.