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The Top 20 Investment Papers of 2017

The Top 20 Investment Papers of 2017

In somewhat particular order, and with a conspicuously partial overlap in content from the Savvy Awards, we have curated this list of our top 20 white papers of 2017.

We packed them up and we packed them in.  Let me begin by stating that these papers were selected from over 10,000 entries uploaded to Savvy Investor in 2017, thereby representing the cream of the crop - a combination of the most-viewed papers and our personal favourites that have risen to the top of the list from 2017.  Please consider yourselves forewarned, as after reading, you may wish to get out of your seats and jump around.  

Savvy Investor

Financial Market History: Reflections on the Past for Investors Today (CFA Institute Research Foundation)
Herein, the CFA Institute provides a compendium of papers in which each section discusses a different facet of financial markets, including risk and return over the long run, bubbles and crises, financial innovation, and more. 

Asset Management Salaries 2017 - latest survey results from around the world
The most downloaded reports on the Savvy Investor site in 2017 were Salary Surveys. Here we link you to the best global asset management salary surveys, covering a variety of roles within fund management, back office, pensions and finance.

Five-Year Expected Returns 2018-2022: Coming of Age (Robeco)
Robeco presents its 5-year expected return forecasts for all major asset classes. This publication includes special topics on secular stagnation, the Eurozone, the origin of returns, volatility, and passification.

Global Private Equity Report 2017 (Bain & Company)
This 68-page paper by Bain & Company provides important insights into the state and outlook of the global private equity industry. It looks back at 2016 and examines exits, fundraising, returns, etc and then looks ahead to the coming year.

Embracing Downside Risk (AQR Capital Management)
AQR Capital Management examines equity index option pricing. The authors find that compensation for bearing downside risk comprises the majority of the empirical equity risk premium; therefore, downside risk is to be embraced.

Behavioural Science of Real Estate Cycles (BNP Paribas Asset Management)
BNP Paribas Real Estate and Ipsos MORI explore the 'cycology' of the real estate market. Additionally, sentiment is examined and attempts are made to quantify it, due to its role as a major driver of the real estate market.

Artificial Intelligence: It's Not the Future, It's Now (Capital Group)
Despite decades of disappointment and loads of hype, AI is now poised to fuel a new wave of innovation, providing unprecedented opportunities for both companies and investors.

Shifting Perceptions: ESG, Credit Risk and Ratings (UN PRI)
This report provides a helpful snapshot of the current state of ESG factors in credit risk analysis. It specifically considers what investors and analysts are already doing, what they are aiming for, and what expectations they have.

Global Asset Management 2017: The Innovator's Advantage (Boston Consulting Group)
BCG takes a detailed look at the outlook for the global asset management industry, which has faced some challenges due to falling revenue and profits. However, AuM continues to grow, largely helped by rising asset prices.

Global Investment Management Fees: New Savings, New Challenges (bfinance)
Investment management fees are examined by bfinance, with data revealing falling fees in several sectors, yet concurrently, many managers launching premium products, including unconstrained, multi-asset, and advisory offerings.

Designing the Future of Target-Date Funds: A new blueprint for improving retirement outcomes (AB)
Many target-date funds are outdated and don’t incorporate today’s best practices. AB has researched and developed a new structure for TDFs that could potentially reduce risk and build more retirement income.

Real use cases for Blockchain and DLT in the Asset Management sector (KPMG)
In this paper, KPMG provides practical examples of how blockchain and distributed ledger technology can be applied to the asset management space.

The Six Sins of Smart Beta (Lazard Asset Management)
In this paper, Lazard identifies 6 specific risks that could potentially undermine a smart-beta strategy, and details the environments in which particular smart-beta strategies are more likely to underperform.

The Coming Bear Market (Robert Shiller)
The US stock market today looks a lot like it did at the peak before all 13 previous price collapses. That doesn't mean that a bear market is imminent, but it does amount to a stark warning against complacency.

Adding Alpha by Subtracting Beta: A Case Study on how Quant Tools can Improve a Portfolio's Returns (Axioma)
This paper seeks to identify ways in which fundamental, discretionary, bottom-up portfolio managers can employ quantitative tools to identify potential issues and improve a portfolio's realized returns.

Looking for a better Momentum factor (Robeco)
Due to market reversal risk, implementing momentum factor strategies can be challenging, however, by focusing on idiosyncratic momentum, one can avoid these types of pitfalls. 

Future State of the Investment Profession (CFA Institute)
The CFA Institute argues that while finance is a means to an end, the investment industry is struggling to recognize the end purposes. The report discusses in detail different aspects of the profession and what the future might hold.

Demographics will reverse three multi-decade global trends (BIS)
The labour supply shock from the 1980s to the 2000s led to a rise in Asian manufacturing, low real wages, deflationary pressures, and lower interest rates. This shock is now reversing, which will have consequences for years to come.

Technology Transforms the Financial Landscape: Do Not Underestimate It (BlackRock)
Recently investors have focused upon monetary policy of central banks as the driving force behind global markets, yet going forward, secular forces such as demographics and technological innovation should not be underestimated.

Private Credit Strategies: An Introduction (Cambridge Associates)
This paper by Cambridge Associates helpfully defines private credit and explores capital preservation strategies, return-maximising strategies, and opportunistic and niche strategies.

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