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White Paper

A Better Alternative: Diversify Your Diversifiers

After the strong performance of stocks and bonds over the last decade may come a long hangover, as investors today face anemic 5-10 year returns in traditional asset classes. Some liquid alternatives represent an attractive option but come with their own challenges. Our solution is to focus on truly diversifying alternatives and diversify across them – resulting in returns that may be less volatile, and a portfolio that may be easier to stick with.

Quick Clips

Quick Clips: New Rules of Diversification

Hear from AQR's Portfolio Solutions Group on the the prospects for stock and bond markets, the impact of macroeconomic risks on a range of investments, and the use of diversifying investments to fortify portfolios.

Alternative Thinking

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.

Journal Article

ESG Ratings: A Compass without Direction

We examine the recent concerns about the reliability of the assessments of ESG ratings providers. We review the demand for ESG information, the stated objectives of ESG ratings providers, how ratings are determined, the evidence of what they achieve, and structural aspects of the industry that potentially influence ratings. We find that while ESG ratings providers may convey important insights into the nonfinancial impact of companies, significant shortcomings exist in their objectives, methodologies, and incentives which detract from the informativeness of their assessments.

Quick Clips

Quick Clips: The Stock/Bond Correlation

For the past two decades, the stock/bond correlation (SBC) has been consistently negative, and investors have been able to rely on their bond investments for portfolio protection when equities sell off. However, macroeconomic changes – like heightened inflation risk – could push this key asset allocation input into positive territory.

Alternative Thinking

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.

White Paper

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.

White Paper

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.

Perspective

Everything and More

My colleague and former classmate Antti Ilmanen is at it again with his second book, Investing Amid Low Expected Returns. Very rarely does a sequel stand up to the original (see Jaws II), but that's certainly not the case here!

White Paper

Time to Diversify – But into What?

The last 10 years were exceptional for traditional stock/bond portfolios. But with stock market valuations near all-time highs and bond yields near all-time lows, prospective returns look bleak. We make the case for diversifying out of equities and explain the valuable role liquid alternative strategies can play.