Portfolio Construction Forum Strategies Conference

Debating portfolio construction strategies

Established in 2002, Strategies Conference is THE portfolio construction strategies conference of the year. Presented in Sydney each August, the face-to-face and online learning program features 50+ carefully selected leading investment thinkers - portfolio managers, CIOs, senior investment analyst, investment strategists, economists, research consultants and practitioners - from around the world, offering their best high conviction ideas on contemporary and emerging portfolio construction strategies.

It is a companion program to Markets Summit (February) and Finology Summit (May).

Strategies Conference will challenge and refresh your portfolio construction thinking by debating contemporary and emerging portfolio construction strategies, for you to consider applying in practice to build better quality portfolios.

Mark your diary! Strategies Conference 2022 (17-28 August 2022).

Graham Rich, Managing Partner & Dean



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Strategies Conference is for portfolio construction Practitioners first and foremost.

By that, we mean those whose primary day-to-day role is focused within the spectrum of issues involved in designing and building investment portfolios using (but not necessarily limited to) managed funds from a range of firms. This includes both institutional and wholesale practitioners, as the program is designed with both in mind, and features keynotes and topics relevant to both.

We also recognise and respect the invaluable role of Advocates and welcome them attending, too.

Each year, more than 600 delegates attend the program, 75% or more of whom are portfolio construction practitioners.



Like all Portfolio Construction Forum programs, Strategies Conference has five key differentiators:

  • Focused - singularly focused on debating portfolio construction strategies to meet defined objectives;

  • Specialist - for practitioners first and foremost, with a cohesive theme and a firm emphasis on substance, not sizzle;

  • Independent - independently designed and curated intensive, jam-packed, blended learning program;

  • Effective - a solid base for the year ahead, companion to Markets Summit and Finology Summit, providing a foundation for continuing education planning and consistency of style and delivery;

  • Efficient - great value for money, a strong focus on implementation, very strong CE accreditation.



The Forum's subject matter focus is on five Knowledge Domains – philosophy, markets, strategies, investing and finology. Strategies Conference addresses all five knowledge domains however, as the name implies, the program is focused primarily on our "Strategies" knowledge domain:

Strategies – designing robust investment strategies to meet defined objectives
By applying a robust portfolio construction philosophy and in-depth knowledge of investment markets and theory, practitioners can design quality investment portfolios - including setting objectives, asset allocation, portfolio risk and currency management, selecting and blending specific investments, and analysing the resulting portfolios - capable of meeting investors' long-term objectives, in both accumulation and decumulation.

Strategies Conference is THE portfolio construction conference of the year. The face-to-face and online learning program is designed and curated by our specialist, experienced and independent team. It features our Faculty of 50+ leading investment thinkers - portfolio managers, CIOs, senior investment analyst, investment strategists, economists, research consultants and practitioners - from around the world. Each offers his/her best high conviction ideas on contemporary and emerging portfolio construction strategies.


Like all our blended live and online continuing education programs, Strategies Conference is an integrated learning program with preparation, participation and review.

Before - Prepare

To maximise learning, delegates are provided with pre-reading aimed at boosting their knowledge and getting them thinking about the issues to be addressed in the program. The preparation is assumed prior knowledge.

During - Participate

The program features the 8.5-hour "Critical Issues Forum" (plenary) program and 3.5 hour "Special Interests Forum" (elective) program. At the live program, delegates attend all the CIF sessions and three SIF sessions (each of which features two back-to-back presentations). Afterwards, delegates can attend the remaining SIF presentations via the online webcast (and earn further CE hours).

Strategies Conference is not just a talk-fest. Attendees are challenged to decide whether they agree or disagree with each high conviction thesis presented, which ones they will investigate further, and which they will put into practice when building investor portfolios.

After - Review

After the live program, delegates' learning continues. The presentations are webcast here on portfolioconstructionforum.edu.au – a page per presentation featuring the sync’d video and slides, podcast, presentation slides and paper(s). Delegates can revisit and review the sessions they attended, "attend" the Special Interest Forum sessions they didn't catch at the live program (and earn further CE hours), and review their key takeouts and the portfolio construction implications to determine actions to take to build better quality investor portfolios.



Strategies Conference 2020- It's a whole new world

Covid-19 has disrupted societies, economies, and markets around the world like no other crisis since World War II. Policymakers, health workers, business and investors have been caught flat-footed, and without a playbook. Hard choices are having to be made in an environment of deep uncertainty with consequences likely to be felt for decades to come. Life may never return to what we thought of as “normal”. In short - it’s a whole new world!

Attend Strategies Conference 2020 online

Strategies Conference 2019- 20/20 vision

To design and build quality portfolios capable of meeting the long-term objectives of investors, practitioners need clear vision across a range of issues - setting objectives, asset allocation, portfolio risk and currency management, selecting and blending specific investments, and analysing the resulting portfolio. Of course, hindsight has the benefit of being 20/20 vision, so we can look back with clarity on the past decade and the portfolio construction lessons learned. But more importantly, we need clear foresight of the forces which will influence portfolios in the 2020s and beyond.

Attend Strategies Conference 2019 online

Strategies Conference 2018 - Future proof portfolios?

Investment portfolio construction is, by definition, an exercise in long-term thinking. By creating strategies that blend asset classes to achieve future returns, practitioners seek to meet the distant future financial needs of individuals.

Yet the process is fraught with difficulty due to the inherently uncertain nature of financial markets, powerful secular and structural developments, and clients’ desires to be both certain of meeting their investment goals while avoiding any sting on the downside during the journey. Given these uncertainties and competing priorities, are future-proof portfolios achievable?

Attend Strategies Conference 2018 online

Strategies Conference 2017 - It all adds up

An exceptional tapestry is far more than just the sum of its individual threads, and a masterpiece painting is far more than just the sum of its brush strokes. So too is an investment portfolio far more than just the sum of the many individual investment decisions and strategies that must be made and woven together, based on investment beliefs. And, unlike the past 35 years when equity and bond prices were boosted by declining inflation and interest rates, and rising corporate profitability, in today’s lower return, increased risk environment, practitioners must take even greater care that every investment decision contributes positively to a portfolio meeting its objectives. Every little bit counts.

Attend Strategies Conference 2017 online

Strategies Conference 2016 - The long and short of it

Investing is supposed to be about the incremental replacement of human capital with financial capital over the long term - that's the theory. But today's environment and our behavioural biases conspire against such a pure case. In short - short-termism seems rife! We see the effect in the ever increasing emphasis on fees and reporting of short-term returns for markets, securities, funds and portfolios. Is the concept of long-term investing increasingly irrelevant?

Attend Strategies Conference 2016 online

Strategies Conference 2015 - Crossroads:  Dilemmas | Decisions

Portfolio construction is approaching a crossroads – and critical questions must be answered. Complicating things further, what were only emerging megatrends early last decade have now become entrenched, causing massive structural change and further portfolio construction dilemmas. Critical decisions must now be made.

Attend Strategies Conference 2015 online

Strategies Conference 2014 - Reconnecting the three Rs - Risk & Return (& Relating)

The last decade has seen a distinct disconnect between investment risk and return, versus what we're taught should be the case. How can we reconnect risk and return in portfolios? If that's not difficult enough, how do we best communicate these complex concepts to investors, in a way they can understand?

Attend Strategies Conference 2014 online

Strategies Conference 2013 - Lifecycle Investing

Better quality portfolio construction must take a whole of life focus, considering accumulation and decumulation - and their profoundly complex mix of risks - as equally important phases of one continuous process.

How do we better construct portfolios for the whole of an investor's life?

Attend Strategies Conference 2013 online

Strategies Conference 2012 - tHiNkInG oUtSiDe ThE bOx

For the first time in generations, we're in a new investment regime. Markets are likely to produce modest real returns with significant volatility for the next decade or more. Different (and difficult) times call for different approaches to portfolio construction.

How do we build better quality investor portfolios in this new regime?

Attend Strategies Conference 2012 online

Strategies Conference 2011 - Thinking about the woods AND the trees

For a long time, practitioners could devote themselves to company financials and valuations, with 'set and forget' asset allocation models. But then along came the biggest macro economic shock in more than a generation - suddenly, macro mattered.

What are the key macro AND micro issues - and what they mean for investor portfolios?

Attend Strategies Conference 2011 online

Strategies Conference 2010 - Building shock resistant portfolios

With sovereign uncertainty and global systemic risk at unprecedented levels and likely to remain so for much of the decade, markets are likely to be volatile for years, lurching from one shock to the next, with rallies between.

So how do we build shock resistant portfolios?

Attend Strategies Conference 2010 online


Strategies Conference 2009 - Investing in the new reality

The 2009 Conference was the first post Global Financial Crisis. It was a very different investment environment compared to a year prior - some things had changed forever; others only temporarily. Some things had not changed at all.

But which was which? What WAS the new reality? And what did it mean for portfolios?

Attend Strategies Conference 2009 online


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