The Specialty Investments Channel

The Beginning of the End?

The global expansion is either nearing its demand-driven peak or in the early stages of a supply-driven renaissance. We share our assessment and portfolio positioning.

Do Your Target-Date Funds Measure Up to Rising Rates?

Rising US interest rates could pose a challenge for target-date funds (TDFs) that concentrate on “core” US fixed-income exposure. Diversifying across a broad range of bond markets and strategies can create a cushion in a rising-rate environment.

Three Emerging Trends That Are Upending Our Profession

Last year, I made a number of bold predictions about how the advisory profession is evolving, and what firms are going to have to do to stay ahead of the curve. How have my predictions held up? Here are three transformations that will force every advisory firm to adapt.

Retirement Risk: Don't Trade Downside Protection for More Upside

Are Fidelity Investments’ target date funds too risky? We evaluate the short and long-term risks for a typical participant.

Why Convertible Arbitrage Is a True Market Neutral Strategy

Eli Pars explains that convertible arbitrage has performed well in most equity market environments—and that the strategy has done its best in declining equity markets historically. To learn more visit:

Trade Wars are Bad, and Nobody Wins

Inker, the head of GMO's asset allocation team, warns that a full-blown trade war "is probably more dangerous for investors at this time than at any other time in recent history."

With Target-Date Funds, History Does Repeat

Target-date funds played a big part in helping defined contribution (DC) plan participants stay invested through February’s market turmoil. And history does repeat: in the severe 2008–09 financial crisis, these funds kept many participants positioned to take part in a lengthy bull market.

Defined Contribution: Four Themes for 2018 and Beyond

In our view, the prospective low-return environment calls for a capital-efficient approach that pairs actively managed bonds with passive or enhanced equities in target-date, core and retirement-income allocations.

Yes, Rates and Stocks Can Rise Together…. for Now

Think rising interest rates and higher stock prices are like oil and water? Think again, says Russ, at least for the time being.

How We Pursue Superior Returns

Michael Grant, SVP, Senior PM, describes the appeal of long/short equity: to act like a long-only investor when the environment is favorable and yet to have the flexibility to preserve capital when the environment turns. To learn more visit:

On My Radar: The Volatility Flash Crash Explained

One of my big risk concerns is the unknown amount of money in the risk parity trade. Essentially, volatility drives the weighting decisions. If equity market vol is low, then equities get a weighting. If equity market vol picks up, then, by rule, the risk parity strategies rebalance their exposures… in this case, reduce equity market exposure. They are mathematically-driven strategies and all essentially use very similar volatility measurements.

Multi-Alternative Funds: Alts for One and One for Alts

In my most recent blog, I described how choosing the appropriate alternative strategy (Real estate? Market neutral? Senior loans?) could become the biggest challenge for new investors in alternatives. This is one of the most common questions I receive here at Invesco, along with how to identify the best fund managers and how to select specific alt funds for a portfolio.

First Quarter Hedge-Fund Strategy Outlook: K2 Advisors

In their first-quarter (Q1) 2018 outlook, K2 Advisors’ Research and Portfolio Construction teams believe favorable dispersion has created reasons for optimism in three main hedge-fund strategies: Long/Short Equity – Europe, Relative Value and Discretionary Macro. We believe offering these insights will help investors better understand the rationale for owning retail mutual funds that invest in hedge strategies.

Fads, Manias and Bubbles!

It is important to separate mini-manias from true bubbles. Unfortunately, the difference is mostly the amount of money chasing the folly. Millions and even billions of dollars lost (and thousands of jobs) equate to fads, while trillions of dollars lost (and rampant unemployment and recessions) are bubbles.

All Asset All Access, January 2018

In this issue, Research Affiliates provides its outlook for 2018 and discusses where it sees attractive return opportunities across the globe.