My bottom line for 2014 is that investors should be overweight global equities, underweight bonds. My biggest call? China's stockmarket could be the best performing.
We are introducing three new investment scenarios for 2014 - our base case, Low for Longer; our bull case Growth Breakout, and our bear scenario, Imbalances Tip Over.
Efficient market theory claims you can't beat the market. Seductive as it is, this claim is incorrect, as research makes clear.
It's now time to start looking into alternatives to equities and bonds.
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.
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.
This article contends that some arguments used to validate alternative indexing can be easily proven false.
The Australian equity market has lagged far behind the US this year. But the S&P/ASX200 is actually ahead since the GFC market lows.
One Fed exit has become clear. Chairman Ben Bernanke will hand over to Janet Yellen. The second - exiting an era of ultra-loose monetary policies - is fiendishly difficult.
Three key shock risks will affect investors over the next decade, requiring a real difference in how we construct portfolios for retirement.
Gold's disappointing performance has been a topic of discussion at GaveKal. Most of us come down on the side of one of four possible explanations.
Central banks are likely to dominate investment news for years to come. Most of it will be noise. However, some of it will be critically important.
This article, and DFA's silence, prompted a storm of response - and contributes to understanding the "science" of portfolio construction.
Conventional wisdom is that retirees should reduce their equity exposure in retirement as their time horizon shortens - in reality, the ideal may actually be the exact opposite.
"Forward PEs look attractive" is often offered as an astute observation. It's almost a truism. But does using forward PEs to assess market valuations work?
So it was all a storm in a teacup. Markets have been going through a series of "taper tantrums” since Bernanke first mentioned the idea of tapering.
I'm used to being alone and against consensus. I believe the next decade is going to see the strongest level of global economic growth anyone today has seen.
Now you should be long housing - but it is exposed to some regulatory risks and headwinds we should understand.
A growing army of data scientists is mining patterns from our online activity. What are the implications for investment?
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.
To build a truly diversified portfolio, you need to consider alternative investments as a third dimension alongside equities and fixed income.
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.
A fundamental-based approach to equity index investing can be a powerful way to reduce risk and improve performance over the investment lifecycle.
Top performing shares often display a high ROE, while poor performing shares display the reverse - making ROE a superior valuation input to PE ratios.
Australians have sought offshore diversification for years. The logical extension is to think more deeply about how to make offshore exposures complement local ones.
Agricultural equities is the 'third leg' of the global natural resources sector, joining energy and mining.
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?
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?
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.
Allocating to countries with net wealth rather than net debt can lead to superior portfolio outcomes.
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.
The first argument for investing in emerging markets is that's where the growth is. That said, high economic growth does not necessarily imply high stock returns.
China needs to embrace a stronger RMB - can it become the EM's Duetsche Mark - while Japan has embarked on a structurally weak yen, with profound implications for the rest of the world.
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.
The world is going through a period of demographic shift that is without parallel in history - with six investment sectors advantaged.
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?
Recorded exclusively for PortfolioConstruction Forum PIMCO's Mohammed El-Erian discusses QE, and whether Australia can continue to escape the new normal.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Today's younger generation will become tomorrow's older generation. This predictability makes demographic shifts the single most powerful investment force of our time.
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.
Baby boomer retirees need an investment approach that delivers the income they need and maintains the ability to meet their other objectives too.
Recorded exclusively for PortfolioConstruction Forum, Prof. Jack Gray explains why lifecycle investing concepts needs adaptation for Australia.
As investors move into decumulation, infrastructure can make a meaningful contribution to portfolios.
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.
Australian investors can get better returns and increase the transparency of the companies they invest in, by including unlisted equity in portfolios.
Traditional unit trust structures can be disadvantageous to clients seeking higher income. New options better manage this from both an investment and structure perspective.
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.
Exclusively for PortfolioConstruction Forum, Nobel laureate Robert Merton discusses moving to an income goal for the retirement phase of an investor's lifecycle.
Lifecycle investing differs from more traditional approaches to financial planning in a number of important ways - but it is not without its challenges.
Recorded exclusively for PortfolioConstruction Forum Conference, Larry Fink argues that if we don't address the challenges of increasing longevity, it will be an expensive blessing.
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.
Better quality portfolio construction must take a whole of life focus, considering accumulation and decumulation as equally important phases of one continuous process.
This paper examines the empirical relation between risk and return in emerging equity markets and finds that this relation is flat, or even negative.
There are valuable lessons in this paper by an adviser who embraced the lifecycle investing approach.
Australia faces big economic challenges - meaning superannuation will inevitably feel pressure for reform which will encompass four key changes.
Frequently adjusting portfolios is counterproductive even if costs are cheap, according to a new study.
Increasing FUM brings the risk of detrimental effects on performance, some obvious, others less so.
Defining failure of a retirement investment strategy as the chance of running out of money in retirement leads us to try to minimise this risk. Is it the right approach?
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.
According to a recent survey, 37% of retirees cannot tolerate any portfolio losses in any one year. Even conservative portfolios would have failed that test over the past 25 years.
If "The Power of Zero" were a movie, we've just watched the end. The great rotation out of bonds has begun and the beneficiaries will be cash, property, and equities.
One of the few studies on sequencing risk that is based on Australian data, it finds that the widely accepted retirement risk zone rule of thumb is quite wrong for local conditions.
While it is hard to quantify the benefits of investment risk management, it should not be discounted. Risk management is far more than just reporting volatility.
Many objectives-based investors have tilted their portfolios to high-yield Australian stocks, to achieve income and growth. But there are inherent problems with this.
This paper is a valuable addition to research on safe withdrawal rates for retirement portfolios, finding the 4% safe withdrawal rate may not be so safe in today's conditions.
The findings of this paper suggest that legislated minimum pension withdrawal rates may be too high and lead retirees to run out of money sooner than planned.
The EU faces another stomach-churching Summer and Autumn, while the Euro correction has started. At least Australian velocity of money is painting a pretty positive picture.
Diversification across asset classes didn't hold up well under the blowtorch of the GFC. Allocating across risk factors, rather than asset classes, can lead to better diversification.
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.
LatAm is a relatively unexplored investment landscape that has some long-term advantages compared to Asia or emerging Europe.
The Academy Winter Seminar 2013 features four sessions: Get micro about the macro - looking at big risks through the microscope; The Equity Risk Premium; A focus on Australian equities strategies in an objectives-based investing world; and, Equities and Inflation.
The Academy Autumn Seminar 2013 featured five sessions: Market risk; Is Chinese growth a ponzi scheme?; Risk profiling; The approach to risk profiling for retirees; and Using risk factors to evaluate investments and build portfolios.
The Academy Summer Seminar 2013 featured three sessions: Making sense of the noise; Making sense of macroeconomic data; and, measurement and mis-measurement of risk.
The Academy Spring Seminar 2012 featured four sessions: Believe it or not; Improving decision-making under uncertainty; Diversification - where it works (and where it doesn't); and The changing of the Chinese guard.
After years of talking with clients coming to his firm from other advisers, one adviser compiled a list of reasons they left. I suspect these practices are widespread.
I continue to be positive on the broader global economic backdrop - but buckle up and prepare for some turbulence over the next few months.
This recent research paper challenges the usual risk parity approach to asset allocation.
Investment is often compromised by the quest for easy answers to difficult and involved issues. Risk is one.
When all the risks are plain to see, investors understandably become cautious. But often, the very best time to buy is when the risks are well and truly known.
Parts of the private equity market are offering three times the return of high yield debt, for a third less risk.
Everyone knows what alpha is - right? Yet even experienced practitioners fall into the trap of talking about alpha as being purely outperformance.
The reaction of bond and equity markets in May highlights the almost impossible balancing act faced by the US Fed now the amount of monetary stimulus is so extreme.
This paper may provide the missing theoretical basis to why risk parity works - a key step forward to it being accepted as a valid approach to asset allocation.
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.
Last week I spoke to an adviser about how he turns one of his favourite recreational activity into new clients. It's simple and has paid big dividends.
Recent research shows that bucket strategies can result in less optimal retirement outcomes. So rather than invest that way, why don't we just report that way?
Often with investing, simple ideas work best. Last decade, the name of the game was to front run Chinese investors. For the next decade, the story is different, and even simpler.
A new research paper finds that there is very little difference between the cost of a FoHF and investing directly.
Clients who buy insurance accept they may never see any benefit. Annuities offer more value per dollar spent than common general insurance products.
The key takeouts and actions to take when building investor portfolios.
What really does, and does not, cause a retirement plan to run out of money? The true danger for many is not a market crash or black swan event.
Misjudging longevity can have a very detrimental impact quality of retirement. A strategic approach is needed to better manage longevity implications for 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.
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?
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.
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.
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 Mohamed El-Erian talking about how investing is fundamentally like being a surfer.
Five pillars of risk neatly encapsulate the main areas of risk and contagion that all investors should be watching. In the changing risk environment, the key is to determine which parts of the world are actually paying you to take risk, and which areas are definitely not.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is risk parity investing? What are the practical challenges of implementing such strategies in portfolios? Why might risk parity portfolios represent a better way to protect clients through diversification.
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.
Despite having much to worry about - a Eurozone in recession, a listless US recovery, Japan's QE, slowing China growth, North Korea - the S&P 500 reached new, all-time highs recently. Where to from here?
There is a new, evolving world order affecting asset prices. Game theory provides a framework for better assessing what’s happening and the implications for investing.
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 Mohamed El-Erian talking about the interplay of the visible hand (QE) and the invisible hand (the markets).
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 Warren Buffett and others talking about the lessons they learned from the legendary Benjamin Graham.
Nearly six years after KiwiSaver launched, there are now more than 2.1 million people contributing with $14.5 billion in the scheme. But many advisers are shunning KiwiSaver-only clients as large institutional advisers reel them in.
PortfolioConstruction Forum's publisher sat down for an exclusive one-on-one with PIMCO CEO and co-CIO, Mohamed El-Erian to what he calls a "fluid, unpredictable and artificial world".
The essence of lifecycle theory is that portfolio outcomes should contribute to the attainment of an individual's goals and desires in life.
Australia is looking at enshrining the term "financial planner/adviser" into law. New Zealand is already a step ahead. We look at the titles advisers are using, what the law allows, and what advisers may call themselves in the future.
Markets had a very good run in Q1 2013. But which parts of the world are actually paying you to take risk, and which areas are definitely not?
Gold has traditionally been seen as a safe haven to provide insurance to portfolios - but on 11 April its price began to free fall. Why? And does gold have a place in portfolios?
What's the probability of a major risk event for global equity markets this year - and what are the major opportunities?
The Australian economy is affected only tangentially by fiscal problems elsewhere, but there are strong effects on markets. Currency is the lynchpin.
We're seeing a significant correction in global equity markets and commodity markets including a staggering decline in gold. What does this mean for portfolios?
It is unfortunate that most people spend much more time considering investment risk than mortality risk.
What Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda announced last week was quite dramatic. It is the first time I can remember Japanese policymakers truly and positively surprising markets.
With interest rates at historic lows, and likelyrate rises ahead, what are the implications for building the fixed income part of portfolios?
With 440,000 pre-registered to buy Mighty River Power, we asked some advisers about their view on the role of direct equities in investor's portfolios.
Despite the Cypriot tragedy, the next few years will see stronger global GDP numbers than in a very long time.
With cash no longer providing the same high returns and income required for investors approaching or already in retirement, Global Investments Forum 2013 brought together selected senior investment professionals spanning the major sectors, strategies and regions of the world.
This CPD Quiz is only open to those who attended Global Investments Forum 2013. Each question is compulsory and must be completed to receive your CPD accreditation.
How can a $22bn economy be the dominant global topic of conversation? Cyprus is the epicentre of strategic issues.
In terms of raw value and potential upside, Japanese equities offer one of the more compelling opportunities.
Signs of a cyclical re-acceleration are emerging, but the upswing in China's economy is not firing on all cylinders.
On a 1-10 scale for irrationality, US credit and high yield bond prices are probably a 6 and moving up.
The talked-of Bank could have important implications for how economics and finance is changing.
Just because starting conditions are suboptimal does not guarantee that safe withdrawal rates will fail today's retirees.
Tom discusses why the corporate bond space offers positive real yields in a globally repressed rate environment.
RMB nationalisation and how it is becoming a trading currency, as well as political changes in Thailand, India and the Philippines and how these are triggering bull markets.
Stephen discusses the rise of income investing and the advantages of global equities for income seeking investors. As a global energy specialist, he discusses the US shale energy revolution and industrial renaissance, before concluding with insights on the eurozone, and why it remains a significant and underappreciated threat to a global recovery.
Ethan discusses why risk matters, the characteristics of a higher quality return stream and how size, scale, diversification, costs and non-market risks can influence the consistency and repeatability of an investment process.
Global central bank objectives in 2013, the impact on asset allocation, and avoiding mis-allocation of capital.
Adrian will discuss global fundraising and the secondary market including secondary market supply/demand, the market participants, key challenges, market catalysts and how to gain easier access to this much misunderstood asset class.
The key takeouts from the program and actions to take when building quality investor portfolios.
Four economic experts debated the outlook for the global economy and portfolio construction implications.
The key market and economic risks and opportunities ahead - and portfolio construction implications.
Australia's national income per person is the 5th-highest in the world. But the drivers of success are deteriorating.
The US fiscal cliff; global slowdown; EU crisis; Middle East and oil prices; and contagion risk.
Five themes define the opportunity set for asset classes and markets for the coming five years.
Amidst the volatility and doomsday talk in China, Asia ex-Japan equities ended up as the best performing region in 2012. For 2013, the outlook for Asia continues to be positive.
What happens after 10% growth? History shows few economies last the distance.
For better or worse, 2013 is likely to be another year when the market's fate will rest largely with politicians and policy makers. For now, we remain cautiously optimistic.