By combining a tilt toward companies that display financial discipline and that embrace corporate diversity with the return engine of a fundamentally weighted portfolio, we believe investors in environmental, social, and governance (ESG)–related strategies have the opportunity to earn superior long-term risk-adjusted returns.
Assessing our portfolios’ performance is a necessary activity, but by being aware that measurement over shorter time horizons is dominated by noise, we can better resist the natural human instinct to “do something”—typically selling the underperforming investment at exactly the wrong time—if near-term performance falls below expectations.
When the value trade goes global, investors are poised to benefit. Evidence from the international equity, bond, currency, and commodity markets indicates that the value premium is a global phenomenon that can offer important portfolio diversification. However, the devil is in the details: we argue that the successful implementation of global value strategies critically depends on an economically motivated design.
While somewhat at odds with today’s big-data, warp-speed approach to life and work, thoughtful craftsmanship—the product design and implementation elements that are tangible, measurable, and impactful—can create positive, persistent results in portfolio performance.
Beware the consequences of assuming that elevated CAPE ratios are here to stay, but if they are the "new normal," low future returns are likely to be the "new normal" as well.
Part 3 Building Portfolios: Diversification without the Heartburn The wisdom of diversifying investor portfolios across a wide range of asset classes is indisputable. But diversifying client portfolios beyond mainstream stocks and bonds comes with challenges, starting with clients’ unfamiliarity with diversifying asset classes and a propensity for clients to regret diversifying when results disappoint.
A 10-year US Treasury note yielding just little above 2% does feel expensive. Yet we should not be misled by appearances. Our research shows that, contrary to common wisdom, Treasury bonds are only moderately overvalued. All in all, bonds are not as unattractive as a simple historical comparison of their yields may suggest.
Momentum is one of the most compelling factors in theoretical long–short paper portfolios, but live results of momentum strategies fall short of theoretical returns. Thoughtful implementation, a careful sell discipline, and an avoidance of stocks with stale momentum can narrow the gap between paper and live results.
If we think of expected return as the likeliest long-term “destination” of our investment portfolio, we can then think of risk as the uncertainty in the “journey” to that destination. Advisors serve their clients well by helping them understand the many paths that journey can take, and by establishing a plan of action (or inaction!) for when shortfalls inevitably occur.
Starting conditions matter. Today’s investment yields impact future realized returns. But many still rely on past returns to estimate future returns. Our online Asset Allocation Interactive tool gives you the information you need to look ahead, not just back.