A year ago, the world was salivating at the prospect of current account deficits in the developing world. Now, it's terrified. It's a terrific investment opportunity.

Bruce Stout, Aberdeen Asset Management

Is the simplest smart beta approach just repackaging old investment ideas in higher fee structures?

Angela Ashton, PortfolioConstruction Forum

What's a very good long-term return from equity markets? What's fair? Take for example, Sigma Pharmaceuticals.

Simon Mawhinney, Allan Gray

The Academy Spring Seminar 2013 featured four sessions: Mock FOMC meeting; The state of economics/investing and of long-term expectations; A global perspective to bottom-up fundamental research, an Insurance sector case study; and, Investing in property.

Most target-date funds have two shortcomings that can be improved.

AQR Capital Management

Conference 2013 facilitated debate on the markets, strategies and investing with particular focus on how to better construct portfolios for the whole of an investor's life so that they are more likely to achieve their goals.

Failing to find outperformance amongst active managers may be more a problem of measurement than a failure of active management.

Michael Kitces | 2 comments

This article contends that some arguments used to validate alternative indexing can be easily proven false.

Angela Ashton, PortfolioConstruction Forum

The term "smart beta" is comparatively new but the idea of using alternative methods to construct investable indices has been around a long time. Does it actually work?

Angela Ashton, PortfolioConstruction Forum

For what types of funds are performance fees warranted, and what is a reasonable performance fee structure?

Compiled by PortfolioConstruction Forum

The view is that advent of Big Data is a transformative event. But there are two arguments against the importance of Big Data to the economy and advancement of social welfare.

Woody Brock | 1 comment

All of the Conference sessions are building blocks for this session which helps delegates determine the key takeouts from the jam-packed program and actions delegates should take when building investor portfolios.

Tim Farrelly, Angela Ashton, David Bell

To build a truly diversified portfolio, you need to consider alternative investments as a third dimension alongside equities and fixed income.

Sam Mann, K2 Advisors

Multi-asset absolute return investing offers more certainty of achieving the right outcome for clients and portfolios which are more sustainable through an investor’s life stages.

Christopher Nichols, Standard Life Investments

A fundamental-based approach to equity index investing can be a powerful way to reduce risk and improve performance over the investment lifecycle.

Chris Brightman, Research Affiliates

Top performing shares often display a high ROE, while poor performing shares display the reverse - making ROE a superior valuation input to PE ratios.

John Abernethy, Clime

Australians have sought offshore diversification for years. The logical extension is to think more deeply about how to make offshore exposures complement local ones.

Michael Blayney

Agricultural equities is the 'third leg' of the global natural resources sector, joining energy and mining.

David Whitten, 90 West Asset Management

Real return funds with their more dynamic and go-anywhere structures are designed to be able to navigate through difficult and normal times. Can they really deliver?

Anne Richards, Aberdeen Asset Management

If you're making investments you can't sell for 10 years, how do you go about selecting them? What lessons can be learned from history?

Peter Wilmshurst, Franklin Templeton Investments

Simplifications taken in building Australian equity strategies may result in a portfolio that doesn't achieve what it's been designed to do, particularly in relation to income and volatility.

Rudi Minbatiwala, Colonial First State

Allocating to countries with net wealth rather than net debt can lead to superior portfolio outcomes.

Andy Seaman, Stratton Street Capital

Under the lifecycle investing approach, real return outcomes are the most crucial measure of investment outcomes. But managing real return risk involves thinking differently about what risk really means in portfolios.

Tim Farrelly

For most, human capital is the most important source of financial capital and consumption through life. Nurturing, managing and protecting it is of paramount importance.

Graham Long, The Wayside Chapel

The world is going through a period of demographic shift that is without parallel in history - with six investment sectors advantaged.

Amlan Roy, Credit Suisse

At a practical level, how can we manage the risk of a client not maintaining their desired standard of living in retirement because they have lived longer than expected?

Tim Farrelly | 2 comments

The rule of thumb 4% pa safe withdrawal rate has proven fairly robust in ensuring most retirees don't run out of money, but it is coming under pressure in the current environment.

Michael Kitces

Managing sequencing risk - the risk of poor or negative returns near or around retirement age when a portfolio is at its largest and most vulnerable - is a critical component of lifecycle investing.

Michael Drew, Griffith Business School

Is the strong performance of trend-following strategies a statistical fluke of the last few decades or a more robust phenomenon over a wide range of economic conditions?

Gregor Andrade, AQR Capital Management

Yield hungry investors would do well to take stock of their real investment objectives before making the headlong plunge into rapidly appreciating high yielding stocks and bonds.

Greg Cooper, Schroders Australia

Today's younger generation will become tomorrow's older generation. This predictability makes demographic shifts the single most powerful investment force of our time.

Nicky Stafford & Hilary Natoff, Fidelity Worldwide Investment

In constructing a portfolio to help clients meet their retirement goals, practitioners need to factor in the three most significant risks. A logical, valuation-based approach can help.

Richard Carter, Allan Gray

Baby boomer retirees need an investment approach that delivers the income they need and maintains the ability to meet their other objectives too.

Aaron Minney

As investors move into decumulation, infrastructure can make a meaningful contribution to portfolios.

Nick Langley

The traditional balanced fund for retirement investing resulted in a GFC return of -27%. It's time to put in place a new approach to plan for THE future as opposed to A future.

Dan Farley, State Street Global Advisors

Australian investors can get better returns and increase the transparency of the companies they invest in, by including unlisted equity in portfolios.

Stefan Naef, Partners Group

Traditional unit trust structures can be disadvantageous to clients seeking higher income. New options better manage this from both an investment and structure perspective.

Jason Petras, BT Investment Management

To fill the income void, investors need not look much further than Australia's liquid and ever-growing bond market which, unlike the majority of the developed world, still offers positive real rates.

Robert Mead, PIMCO

Lifecycle investing differs from more traditional approaches to financial planning in a number of important ways - but it is not without its challenges.

David Bell, St Davids Rd Advisory | 3 comments

Like people, economies and markets have lifecycles. This global macro economic, geopolitical and market scene setter looks at where we are in the macro lifecycle and implications for portfolios.

Hon. Dr Pippa Malmgren, DRPM Group

There will be a significant focus by investors in the future to address the mismatch between their risk profile and the risk level of their portfolios.

David Saunders, K2 Advisors

Lifecycle investing considers the whole of a person's life to ensure acceptable standards of living are achieved consistently. It differs from more traditional approaches to financial planning in a number of important ways.

PortfolioConstruction Forum | 1 comment

Are investors better off taking higher dividend yields offered on stocks than investing in a new breed ASX-listed hybrid?

Christopher Joye, Smarter Money Investments | 2 comments

Big event risk is less important today than back in 2008 and 2009, when investing was all about whether the world was going to melt down. It's now important to focus on the micro.

Hamish Douglass, Magellan Financial Group

Is it more important for a fund manager to have strong investment team stability, or to have some turnover of investment team staff to allow for new ideas?

Compiled by PortfolioConstruction Forum

Napoleon famously wanted his generals to be lucky. But in funds management, skill is more dependable. Batting average gives some good insights.

Richard Skelt, Fidelity Worldwide Investment

Symposium facilitated debate on the three pillars of portfolio construction – markets, strategies and investing - to help delegates build better quality portfolios. This CPD Quiz is for delegates to complete, to receive Structured CPD Hours.

Some lament the end of the mining boom - but resources company dividends payout ratios may now rise.

Don Hamson, Plato Investment Management

Symposium facilitates debate on the three pillars of portfolio construction – markets, strategies and investing. Established in 2011, it is THE New Zealand investment conference of the year.

Clients who buy insurance accept they may never see any benefit. Annuities offer more value per dollar spent than common general insurance products.

Challenger Retirement Income Research

The key takeouts and actions to take when building investor portfolios.

Property’s attractive characteristic as an asset class is that it is able to deliver relatively stable revenue streams, with a growth profile in line with inflation. This presentation and paper discuss listed property in the context of the New Zealand market and give some perspective on the sector’s track record over the last cycle.

Craig Tyson, OnePath NZ

A changing Equity Risk Premium has implications beyond considering allocations to equities and bonds. This presentation and paper consider the factors that might drive a change in the Equity Risk Premium and ask - If elevated ERPs fall, which sectors and stocks might benefit the most? What implications might that have for investing?

Andrew Bascand, Harbour Asset Management

For nearly 30 years bond yields globally have fallen, generating significantly positive returns to investors - but with yields near record lows and global growth improving, this is unlikely to continue. This presentation and paper explore the development of the NZ fixed income market and consider ways for investors to better protect themselves against the growing risks.

Grant Hassell, AMP Capital NZ

Throughout Symposium 2013, PortfolioConstruction Forum Publisher and Symposium Moderator, Graham Rich, presented Video Thought Pieces in which leading global investment experts shared their thoughts on investment challenges. This video featured a panel of experts debating the opportunities and possibilities created by the aging population via the resulting seismic shift in health care, jobs, education, housing, transportation, technology, travel, consumer products and entertainment.

Is it possible to reduce emerging markets’ volatility without sacrificing return potential? This paper and presentation show that a portfolio with emerging stocks, bonds and currencies managed in an active, unconstrained and integrated strategy can capture a greater set of opportunities to seek the high returns associated with EM growth, with better risk management potential.

Ross Kent, AllianceBernstein Australia/NZ

The low yield world has focused investors on the costs of investing, while changing regulation is leading to greater alignment between portfolio choices and risk-return profiles. Together these factors are transforming the use of active management, indexing and the blending of investment styles. This paper and presentation highlight the results of a survey of various approaches to blending active and index funds in portfolios.

Oliver Berry, BlackRock

It is time for investors to reorient their thinking about bond allocations and the investment strategies that drive them. In this environment, bond investors will need to adapt if they hope to prosper.

David Fisher, PIMCO

ETFs have grown substantially in size, range, complexity and popularity in recent years. This presentation and paper provide the key issues and portfolio strategy considerations relating to ETFs that can form part of the client conversation. These considerations are not often discussed but should influence whether and how ETFs may be used by clients relative to alternative structures.

Gavin Shepherd, Strategy Steps

Many of the conventional approaches to post-retirement portfolio construction have not been scrutinised adequately in terms of possible outcomes for retirees adopting these approaches. This paper and presentation assess the possible outcomes of using these approaches in meeting income objectives and examines how the advice process can evolve to better address specific objectives by adopting a more holistic approach to portfolio construction.

Lukasz de Pourbaix, Lonsec

Building a better global equity portfolio requires a new structure that incorporates both high-growth/higher expected-return elements (emerging markets and small cap, for example) and a complementary low volatility component. This paper and presentation explain why low-volatility equities make sense and provides an overview of the types of strategies available.

Philip Houghton-Brown, Mercer NZ

This presentation was preparation for the interactive workshop later in the program, looking at the fundamental principles behind diversification, the critical role of correlation in getting diversification benefits, and how practically to consider the benefits of diversification when designing portfolios.

Tim Farrelly

Managed funds which commingle different tax rate investors may become dinosaurs unless managers develop funds tailored to a single tax class.

Don Hamson, Plato Investment Management

What is an appropriate track record for a fund before it should be used?

Compiled by PortfolioConstruction Forum

Three key themes came out of Zenith's latest review of the global equity long-only funds sector.

Bronwen Moncrieff, Zenith