Portfolio Construction Forum Markets Summit

Debating the drivers of and outlook for investment markets

Established in 2009, Markets Summit is THE investment markets scene setter of the year. The program is designed and curated by our specialist, experienced and independent team and features a Faculty of 20+ leading investment thinkers - geopolitical specialists, economists, market/asset class experts, and investment strategists - from around the world. Each offers his/her best high conviction ideas on the drivers of and outlook for the markets (on a three- to five-year view) in the context of the program theme.

It is a companion program to Strategies Summit (August).

Markets Summit will help you better understand the key drivers of and outlook for the markets, and the opportunities and risks ahead on a three- to five-year view, to aid your search for return and to help you build better quality investor portfolios.

Join us for Markets Summit 2025, Wednesday 19 February 2025, at our live studio in Sydney, as part of a group at a live site, or via live stream.  Mark your diary!  Meanwhile, watch the highlights and “attend” the sessions from past programs on demand.

Graham Rich
Dean, Portfolio Construction Forum

Overview  Where; Aim; Most suited to; CE/CPD

About the program  Introduction;  Knowledge Domain;  Program structure

Past programs  Watch the highlights and “attend” the sessions on demand

Overview

Where:  Join us in our live studio, at an off-site live site, or via live stream

Markets Summit is a full live “hybrid” program. Essentially, “hybrid” means flexible i.e. you choose how and where it best suits you to participate:

1. at our live studio in Sydney with 200+ peers
Attend the full program in person - mix and network face-to-face with Faculty and fellow delegates at our Live Studio at the University of New South Wales campus (Sydney).

2. as part of a group at an off-site live site with a group
Organise a group of your colleagues, or accept an invitation to join a group organised by one of our Faculty Partners, and attend the live broadcast together at an offsite location (e.g. boardroom or hotel meeting room). We have many groups do this around Australia and NZ and it works really well - you can enjoy the continuing education, camaraderie and networking without having to travel.

3. via live stream at your desk
This is a very popular option with many of our members (and the backup for any live studio or live site delegate who at the last minute has to isolate or deal with a personal emergency and can no longer attend in person).

4. on demand during and/or after the live program
As a registered delegate you get access to the on demand video within a few hours of each session being live streamed, so you can catch up anytime if you miss a session.

Aim:   Debate the drivers of and outlook for investment markets

Markets Summit will help you better understand the key drivers of and outlook for the markets (geopolitical, economic and asset class), and the opportunities and risks ahead, on a three- to five-year view, to aid your search for return and to help you build better quality investor portfolios.

Most suited to:  Institutional and wholesale portfolio construction practitioners

Markets Summit is relevant to all institutional and investment and wealth management practitioners who have a responsibility to understand the drivers of and outlook for investment markets.

It is essential for portfolio construction Practitioners, by whom we mean those whose primary role is involved in designing, building and/or advising on multi-asset, multi-manager managed portfolios, managed accounts and/or funds), using but not necessarily limited to managed funds from a range of firms, and who work in a financial advisory, fund research, investment consulting, family office, funds management, superannuation, private fund, endowment fund or investment platform business including:

  • investment advisers giving investment advice on multi-manager, multi-asset portfolios, managed accounts and/or funds to individual investors;
  • fund researchers;
  • investment consultants consulting on multi-asset, multi-manager portfolios;
  • portfolio managers designing, building and managing multi-manager portfolios; and/or,
  • members of investment committees that oversee multi-asset, multi-manager portfolios, managed accounts and/or funds.

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

CE/CPD Accreditation:  7 to 11 hours

By attending the live program in full (at our live studio, a live site or via live stream), you will earn 7.0 CE hours that can be used to help meet the CE/CPD requirements of 20+ governing bodies (regulators, associations and institutes) - including ASIC, APRA, Legislated (AU)/FAAA, FMA, and CIMA® CE/CPD requirements, to name just a few.

After the live program, you can earn further CE hours by “attending” (online on demand) the Special Interests Forum (elective) sessions you didn’t get to attend at the live program.

About the program

Established in 2009, Markets Summit is THE investment markets scene setter of the year.

Held in February each year in association with CIMA Society Asia Pacific, Markets Summit is the first in a three-part annual series of open-invitation programs curated by Portfolio Construction Forum for those committed to structured continuing education that contributes to better quality multi-asset, multi-manager investment portfolio construction. Markets Summit in February focuses on debating the drivers of and outlook for the investment markets, and the implications for portfolios. It is a companion program to Strategies Summit in August which brings together these investment factors and human factors in portfolio construction together, addressing a range of contemporary and emerging portfolio construction issues. Strategies Summit “ties a bow” on the three-part annual series by including a three-part Hypothetical Investment Committee to help delegates establish an asset allocation and implementation plan. Each of Markets Summit and Strategies Summit are followed by an Implementation Workshop, to further draw together the key takeouts from the program and the practical implications for client portfolios.

The Markets Summit progam is designed and curated by our specialist, experienced and independent team. It is moderated by our Dean, Graham Rich, and features a Faculty of 20+ leading investment thinkers - geopolitical specialists, economists, market/asset class experts, and investment strategists - from around the world. Each offers their best high conviction ideas on the drivers of and outlook for the markets (on a three- to five-year view) in the context of the program theme, and the implications for portfolios.

Knowledge Domain:  Markets

The Forum’s subject matter focus is on five Knowledge Domains – Philosophy, Markets, Strategies, Investing and Finology. As its name implies, Markets Summit is focused primarily on our “Markets” knowledge domain.

Markets - understanding the drivers of and outlook for the investment markets
The drivers of global securities markets are many and ever-changing, as geopolitical, macroeconomic and corporate developments influence the relative attractiveness of equities, debt and other asset classes, over cyclical, secular, and structural time horizons. By understanding how markets operate and what is driving them, portfolio construction practitioners can better identify and understand the outlook for investment markets, and the implications for portfolios.

Program structure

Like all our continuing education programs, Markets Summit is an integrated learning program with preparation, participation and review.

Before - Prepare

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

During - Participate

The one-day program is designed and curated by our specialist, experienced and independent team. It is comprised of the 5-hour Critical Issues Forum (plenary) program and 2-hour Special Interests Forum (elective) program. In these, our Faculty of 20+ leading investment thinkers from around the world – noted academics, independent consultants, and investment professionals facilitated by our Faculty Partners (quality funds management firms) – offer their best high conviction ideas on the drivers of and outlook for the markets (on a three- to five-year view) in the context of the theme - and the implications for portfolios.

Markets Summit is not just a talk-fest. You are challenged to decide whether you agree or disagree with each high conviction thesis presented, which ones you’ll investigate further, and which you’ll put into practice when building investor portfolios.

After - Review

After the live program, your learning continues. Videos of all presentations are available within a few hours of them live streaming for delegates to view on-demand. The full microsite for each session - a page per presentation featuring sync’d video and slides, podcast, presentation slides and paper(s) and CE accreditation - are available within four weeks. So you can revisit the sessions you attended, “attend” the SIF sessions you didn’t catch at the live program (and earn further CE hours), and review your key takeouts and implications to determine actions to take to build better quality investor portfolios.

Past programs - highlights and sessions

Markets Summit 2024 - History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes!
When it comes to what’s driving investment markets today, parallels are often drawn with prior eras. Some commentators liken today to the 1910s when geopolitical tensions curtailed globalisation and led to WW1. Others point to sticky inflation and “hot fronts” in a Cold War between democracies and autocracies as signs that the current environment is closer to that of the 1970s. Neither is a perfect analogy. Relative to the USSR in its heyday, today China arguably poses a greater challenge to the US-led order, given China’s extensive global economic entanglement and its progress in building an anti-western coalition. And current supply chain complexity, public and private debt, and advancements in artificial intelligence are all unprecedented.

Those who ignore the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them. By distinguishing helpful precedents from false echoes, we can better understand what lies ahead for economies and therefore investment markets, and reorientate portfolios accordingly. History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes!

Key takeouts    |    Attend on demand


Markets Summit 2023 - Every VUCA cloud has a silver lining!
For the first time in decades, an inflationary gale is rattling financial markets. Many post-GFC tailwinds have gone into reverse, as we experience a regime shift from an era of globalisation, “rules-based” geopolitics, fiscal discipline, benign inflation, steady economic growth and ultra-loose monetary policy to one of localism, nationalism and war, fiscal largesse, soaring inflation, elevated recession risk and higher interest rates.

This once-in-a-career regime shift poses many challenges for portfolio construction practitioners. The high VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) market environment continues! Yet, opportunities abound for those able to identify the powerful forces reshaping the outlook for markets, and to reorientate their portfolios accordingly. Every VUCA cloud has a silver lining!

Key takeouts    |    Attend on demand


Markets Summit 2022 - The best offence is a great defence!
As we head into 2022, uncertainties over inflation and interest rates continue to overshadow other near-term investment risks. For the past four decades, equities were supported by a combination of benign inflation and falling yields. This easy money environment – backstopped since the Global Financial Crisis by unconventional central bank policies – rewarded risk-taking and fuelled demand for speculative investments, including unprofitable technology companies and crypto-assets. But whether such conditions will persist is hotly contested. In team sports, offensive players typically get the glory, but it’s a robust defence that wins games. The maxim is equally applicable to investment portfolio construction – particularly in an environment of historically high asset prices, low expected returns, and heightened uncertainty over the path for interest rates and inflation. More than ever, practitioners need to ensure that the defensive side of multi-asset portfolios is match fit, if they are to meet the long-term investment objectives of clients. The best offence is a great defence!

Key takeouts    |    Attend on demand


Markets Summit 2021 - Back to the drawing board!
“Back to the drawing board!” explored many of these interactions, including the pandemic’s acceleration of pre-existing trends towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, as well as “big government” in the developed world. Our faculty urged portfolio construction practitioners to keep a close eye on inflation and bond yields but were collectively bullish on the cyclical outlook for global stock markets.

Key takeouts    |    Attend on demand


Markets Summit 2020 - Be alert! High VUCA ahead!
Despite a gloomy outlook a year ago, global economic growth continues, credit remains easy, unemployment rates are close to historical lows, and markets boomed in 2019. And yet, despite these benign conditions, elevated demand for safe-haven assets, including government bonds and gold, suggests that investors are anxious. Such fears reflect the current high VUCA - volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity - market environment which carries many risks, of course. But with those risks come opportunities, too. Portfolio construction practitioners need to discern which risks and opportunities are most likely to eventuate, whether they are already priced into markets, and how best to position portfolios as a result.

Key takeouts    |    Attend on demand


Markets Summit 2019 - The heat is on!
A decade on from the GFC and global markets are once again smouldering! As developed world central banks continue to wind down their post-GFC unconventional monetary policies, asset valuations are under pressure and investors are alert to any developments which might trigger a disorderly sell-off. Simultaneously, portfolio construction practitioners must navigate an array of potential cyclical, secular and structural threats – an inflation breakout and political disfunction in the US, a Chinese financial crisis, a Brexit meltdown, a sluggish Australian economy, and the financial impact of global warming – many of which have the potential to ignite a market meltdown. The heat is on!

Key takeouts    |    Attend on demand


Markets Summit 2018 - Changing gears?
The world economy is firing on all cylinders, with the US, Europe, and China simultaneously experiencing sustained economic growth for the first time since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. And the markets – having thrived in an environment of ultra-loose monetary policy – continue to flirt with their all-time highs. Have markets entered a period of “irrational exuberance”, and are they headed for a fall? Should investors prepare for a recalibration of asset prices? Or are the global economy and financial markets finally changing gears?


Markets Summit 2017 - The winds of change
Strong winds of change are blowing - we appear to be entering a new age of populist and economic nationalism. Will this mean a future of trade protectionism, higher inflation and rising bond yields? Are we at an inflection point in monetary and fiscal policy? What does it all mean for the outlook for the markets? Simultaneously, people are questioning long-held beliefs about money, investing and retirement, as improved longevity, new technologies and social media change the way we live and how we relate to others.


Markets Summit 2016 - Is it deja-vu (all over again)?
Does it feel like we’ve been here before? It was expected (again) that the Fed would raise rates at its last meeting. Only, this time, they did! The situation in the Middle East is (again) alarmingly tense. Currency wars are (again) rife. Bond market liquidity is (still) tight while high yield bonds are back at 2009 price levels. And many believe some asset markets are (again) in bubble territory. Yet, for commodities, it’s like the 21st century never happened. The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same! Does that mean that, going forward, markets and asset classes will behave as in the past? Is it different this time? Or is it deja-vu (all over again)?


Markets Summit 2015 - Cyclical? Structural? Secular?
The US is winding down its QE program, but Japan and Europe are ramping up. Australia’s golden era of prosperity is over. Oil prices have fallen over 35% in 12 months. Currency wars are well underway.


Markets Summit 2014 - The Great Escape (What will markets be like in the QE run out?)
Unconventional monetary policy - QE, forward guidance, asset buying - has only been tried a handful of times over the last century, mostly in the past five years. How and when will it end? And what does that mean for the markets?


Markets Summit 2013 - Searching for return
Key risks - a listless US recovery, the EU sovereign debt crisis, sluggish global growth, and Middle East tensions - continued to dominate market sentiment. Yet some markets produced outstanding returns in 2012. Markets Summit 2013 helped delegates in Searching for Return - while recognising risk.


Markets Summit 2012 - The king is dead… long live the king!
For decades, long-only equities was “king”, the dominant component of most long-term investors’ portfolios. But cash has assumed the throne as investors have flocked to its supposed safety. Cash is King - but is just it a pretender to the throne? How long cash would remain King? How would other asset classes fare against it?


Markets Summit 2011 - Bubble, bubble, toil & trouble?
In late 2010, early 2011, concern about investment bubbles was at an unprecedented level. There was talk of a gold bubble, equities bubble, bond bubble, commodities bubble, emerging markets bubble, China bubble, another tech bubble, a social marketing bubble. What was and what was not, a bubble? What did that mean for constructing portfolios?


Markets Summit 2010 - Are we there yet?
Having passed through the global financial crisis fire of the prior year and survived largely in tact, it was time to confirm the lessons learned and revisit the road(s) to recovery.


Markets Summit 2009 - The road(s) to recovery
Quality communication is key to managing and retaining clients in difficult times. But what exactly were we supposed to be communicating about investment markets during the global financial crisis?


Highlight our upcoming live CE programs, and all of the complimentary on-demand CE-accredited resources published over recent months.

What's new with our live and on-demand continuing education, accreditation and certification programs.

Led by behavioural finance expert, Herman Brodie, the Behavioural Finance - Investment Decision-Making course will help you identify, analyse and evaluate the principal human preferences that influence decision-making in situations of uncertainty, so you can recognise and identify these preferences in others, to improve investment decision-making.