PortfolioConstruction Forum Academy

advancing portfolio construction knowledge and wisdom


PortfolioConstruction Forum Academy is a post-graduate extension program to our other professional development programs. The annual curriculum comprises of four exclusive, research-based, active-learning Seminars on contemporary portfolio construction issues, plus optional, ad-hoc extension sessions including Research Roundtable. It is a small, high-quality peer group environment where in-depth Socratic debate and active discussion is expected!

Open to a select group of 80 senior, experienced portfolio construction practitioners, Academy will enable you to continuously develop, test, and validate your portfolio construction philosophy and decision-making framework.

Contact Us for more details.

Graham Rich, Publisher

Who is it suited to?       Why is it different?       Program overview       Past Academy seminars            Send me more info

Why should you consider becoming a member?

Who is it suited to?

If you are a senior, experienced portfolio construction practitioner, committed to advancing your portfolio construction knowledge and wisdom, then the PortfolioConstruction Academy is for you. Membership is by application (80 practitioners maximum), and is non-transferrable.

Why is it different?

PortfolioConstruction Forum Academy is:

  • effective – significantly increases portfolio construction knowledge and wisdom;

  • exclusive - a small, high-quality peer group  of senior, experienced portfolio construction practitioners;

  • expert – delivers independently selected, advanced portfolio construction seminars;

  • engaging – in-depth Socratic debate and active discussion is expected!

  • efficient – accredited for 40 FPA/ASIC CPD per curriculum year, helping meet your regulatory/PI requirements. Also accredited by Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) for CPD requirement of CIMA designates.

Program overview

Core curriculum


The PortfolioConstruction Academy core curriculum (mid November to mid June each year) comprises four one-day, research-based, active-learning Seminars (see examples below). Each Seminar comprises three or four case studies with required pre-reading, and each is held at our Sydney campus.

In addition, Academy members are strongly encouraged to attend Markets Summit (February) and Conference (August) as they provide core content for Academy sessions.


2015/2016 core curriculum




Arrive/Starts/Ends/Followed by

Spring Seminar 2015

Tue 24 Nov 2015

8.30am/9.00am/5.00pm/Informal drinks

Summer Seminar 2016

Wed 03 Feb 2016

8.30am/9.00am/5.00pm/Informal drinks

Autumn Seminar 2016

Wed 13 Apr 2016

8.30am/9.00am/5.00pm/Informal drinks

Winter Seminar 2016

Wed 22 Jun 2016

8.30am/9.00am/5.00pm/Informal drinks

Academy culture

When you're in, you're in!

Academy is a small, high-quality peer group environment. To ensure effective, in-depth Socratic debate and discussion, all Academy Members commit to respect the Academy culture:

  • Prepare – Complete the assigned pre-reading, give reasonable thought to the reflections questions, and be ready to discuss these at the relevant session in any Seminar.

  • Participate – Attend each of the one-day Semnars in the four-day Academy program, in full. Arrive on time, stay through the entire day’s program (i.e. until 5.00pm, with no dropping in/out for meetings/phone calls), only check/return emails and calls in the breaks, and engage actively in Socratic debate with fellow Members. Make a commitment to also attend the Markets Summit and Conference programs and participate in the online Perspectives program.

  • Practice – After each Seminar, we post the slides, handouts and pre-reading on the online Academy Seminar Resources Kit so Members can revisit them and maximise their takeouts. Members are expected to post their key takeouts, comments and questions from each Seminar on the online Academy Seminar Resources Kit page as part of the CPD accreditation requirements.

  • Phone – While Members commit to respect the Academy culture, sometimes life throws an unexpected and unavoidable curve ball. If so, Members are expected to proactively contact us.

Extension programs

From time to time, selected Academy Members will be invited to optional, ad-hoc extension sessions, including Research Roundtable.

Past Academy seminar topics

curriculum year


Spring Seminar 2014
1. Avoiding avoidable mistakes (revisited)
2. How to exploit the global credit opportunity to diversify sources of retirement income
3. Lessons for Murray from previous financial system inquiries


Summer Seminar 2015
1. Risk, Uncertainty and Ignorance
2. A Rocky Road to Riches?
3. Return and Risk in Debt Securities
4. The geopolitical/sociological outlook for the US


Autumn Seminar 2015
1. Should Investors Look After PETS?
2. Is economic growth a problem or the answer?
3. Just a matter of time? Why some people plan for retirement & others don't
4. Can China stay on track? Geopolitical and societal perspectives


Winter Seminar 2015
1. Investment Fables (revisited)
2. Decomposing returns…and portfolio construction of the future
3. The three box approach to building the secure part of investment portfolios
4. At the cross roads… is it lower rates for longer? Or back to higher rates?

curriculum year


Spring Seminar 2013
1. Mock FOMC meeting
2. The state of economics/investing and long-term expectations
3. A global perspective to bottom-up fundamental research - Insurance sector case study
4. Investing in property


Summer Seminar 2014
1. The paradox of wealth (& what can be done)
2. Don't concentrate too hard
3. Developing your investment philosophy
4. Financial literacy and cognitive functioning


Autumn Seminar 2014
1. 10 golden rules for portfolio construction
2. Reassessing the global debt spectrum
3. Currency revisited - to hedge or not to hedge
4. Volatility investing - the next frontier


Winter Seminar 2014
1. Risk, return and relating
2. Statistics, lies, and investment performance analysis
3. How safe are safe withdrawal rates in retirement? An Australian perspective
4. Communicating and learning with and from clients

curriculum year


Spring Seminar 2012
1. Believe it or not - rethinking investment beliefs
2. Improving decision-making under uncertainty
3. Diversification – where it works (and where it doesn't)
4. The changing of the Chinese guard - who are the new leaders?


Summer Seminar 2013
1. Making sense of the noise - key takeouts from Markets Summit
2. Making sense of macroeconomic data
3. Measurement and mis-measurement of risk (and of other things)


Autumn Seminar 2013
1. Market risk - it can't be avoided and can't be diversified away
2. Is Chinese growth a Ponzi scheme?
3. Risk profiling - the heart investment suitability
4. Risk profiling for retireees
5. Using risk factors to evaluate investments and build portfolios


Winter Seminar 2013
1. Get micro about the macro: Looking at big risks through the microscope
2. The Equity Risk Premium
3. A focus on Australian equities strategies in an objectives-based investing world
4. Is inflation good for equities?

curriculum year


Spring Seminar 2011
1. Investment Fables
2. Scenarios and their investment implications - Part 2
3. Greece is the word. But what are the investment implications?


Summer Seminar 2012
1. Investment Fables II: Momentum
2. Making sense of Markets Summit
3. Developing a robust philosophy and policy


Autumn Seminar 2012
1. Investment Fables III: Value
2. What does financial success look like in retirement?
3. Hot topic: Turning micro China observations into macro insights


Winter Seminar 2012
1. Better the devil you know - diversified by name but not by nature
2. Demystifying quantitative equity investing
3. Investment Fables IV: Growth

curriculum year


Spring Seminar 2010
1. Currency - to hedge or not to hedge
2. Adventures in asset allocation
3. The US now and possible future scenarios


Summer Seminar 2011
1. Forever blowing bubbles
2. Avoiding avoidable mistakes
3. Agency risk and portfolio construction


Autumn Seminar 2011
1. How to judge the likelihood that a manager will or has added value
2. Is investing post-retirement different? How to quantify and manage the issues
3. How to spot global trends, and draw investment inferences from them


Winter Seminar 2011
1. How to build a framework for assessment of niche exposures in a  portfolio
2. How to incorporate value strategies in equity portfolios
3. How to analyse investment scenarios and their implications for portfolios


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