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20 Top Investment White Papers from January 2021

Does a Bubble Exist in Global Equity Markets?

The first month of the new year saw a new U.S. President inaugurated and a continuation of equity markets' unprecedented rise. However, some pundits think that equity multiples may have expanded too far, especially when considering growth stocks.

Savvy Investor's list of January's top investment content contains several papers that question what should be done when valuations are overstretched. Bonds may no longer serve the same role within multi-asset portfolios, yet emerging market debt could still prove relatively attractive. Other top investment papers provide perspective on the global real estate market, machine learning, and the future of the asset management industry.

equity bubbles

The Bond Problem (Man Group, 2021)

The potential problem with fixed income allocations is their efficacy as a hedge for equity allocations. Yields have already fallen to extremely low levels, and the correlations between these asset classes have also changed. This Man Group paper explores whether there is a viable alternative.

Return of the “Cult of Equities”? (LGIM, Jan 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States and Canada

Equity markets in developed countries have gained significant ground in the last five years, but much of this growth has been due to multiple expansion rather than increased earnings. Should asset allocators diversify their equity exposures?

SRI/ESG: Recent trends for emerging markets funds (Informa Financial Intelligence, 2021)

When looking at fund flows, Informa Financial Intelligence calls attention to the dramatic increases in socially responsible and ESG funds in 2020. As their graphs indicate, this trend is especially prevalent in emerging markets.

Washington: Priorities emerge under new leadership (Capital Group, Jan 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

Capital Group discusses the changes afoot in Washington as Joe Biden takes office. A Democratic Senate opens up new legislative possibilities, provided enough bipartisan support exists.

The Future of the Internet (Aviva Investors, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

Robeco explores the potential fracturing of the internet, which would likely make it more difficult for cross-border transactions and for international corporate growth. How might investors be impacted?

ESG Outperformance: Not about one factor (DWS, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

DWS Group discusses the resiliency of ESG indices during the Covid-19 crisis and provides evidence of improved risk-return metrics versus their non-ESG counterparts.

Capital Market Line: Bubble or imbalance? (PineBridge Investments, Jan 2021)

PineBridge Investments presents their quarterly Capital Market Line analysis, describing the value inherent within emerging market debt at present, alongside other asset class-specific insights.

Outsourcing Arrangements in Asset Management (State Street, Dec 2020)

In this panel discussion hosted by State Street, industry experts tackle the subject of investment outsourcing operations and how recent regulatory changes have affected the industry. A key focus of the conversation is on fund board oversight, resilience, and risk management.

Silver Outlook to Q4 2021: A year for the hybrid metal (WisdomTree Investments)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the UK & Europe

Silver rose an astounding 47% in 2020. Although strongly correlated to gold, the metal is used much more broadly in industrial applications, thus it plays both a cyclical and defensive role for investors. WisdomTree reveals more about the characteristics of silver in this 2021 outlook.

The Hazards of Asset Allocation in a Late-Stage Major Bubble (GMO, Jan 2021)

Jeremy Grantham warns investors that this may be the late stage of a major bubble, and caution is needed. This holds true especially with growth stocks and US equities.

2021 Global Alternatives Outlook (JP Morgan Asset Management)

J.P. Morgan Asset Management provides their 2021 outlook for alternative asset classes, including a brief macroeconomic outlook, allocation recommendations, and insight into the alternatives landscape.

Responsible Investing and Stock Allocation (Amundi, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

In French retirement savings plans, the inclusion of responsible equity options results in a greater overall allocation to equities. Amundi discusses this phenomenon as well as other responsible investing and asset allocation issues.

Index Mathematics – Methodology (S&P Dow Jones Indices, 2020)

Ever wondered about the mathematics that underlies equity index calculations? In this 71-page publication, S&P Dow Jones Indices explains the methodology behind every single one of their indices.

Five Lessons on Machine Learning-Based Investment Strategies (FactSet, 2021)

FactSet uses machine learning to enhance a model that assesses the potential for outperformance within the China A-share market. Five lessons are then provided as a guide for machine learning implementation.

Do Factors Carry Information About the Economic Cycle? (FTSE Russell, 2020)

How do factors behave across different stages of the economic cycle? FTSE Russell examines US GDP and the performance of factors in particular economic environments.

Blockchain Blockbuster: Digital currencies (MetLife Investment Management, 2021)

MetLife Investment Management discusses the advent of blockchain technology, its utility value now and in the future, and the likelihood of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) implementation.

Real Estate Trends Set to Shape the Next 12 Months (PGIM Real Estate, Jan 2021)

PGIM Real Estate analysts look at nine trends which they feel will influence real estate market performance in 2021, including: supply growth, transaction volume, low interest rates, and rental income.

The Case for Investing in Private Corporate Debt (M&G Investments, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

In this paper, M&G Investments makes the case for a strategic exposure to private corporate debt for pension funds. This is due to funds’ specific cashflow requirements and certain unique characteristics of the asset class.

Asset Owner Technical Guide: Investment manager monitoring (PRI, 2020)

This PRI guide is aimed at asset owners for the purpose of monitoring their relationships with investment managers. It aims to help them ensure that their respective approaches to responsible investment are properly aligned.

Asset and Wealth Management Revolution: Shaping the future (PwC, 2021)

In this 22-page paper, PwC explores what the future of the asset management industry might be like. The authors comment on channeling resources towards a variety of opportunities, adopting ESG, and delivering high risk-adjusted returns amidst a host of challenges.