Investment Process

The Top 12 White Papers in September 2015

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Here are the most popular papers on Savvy Investor for September 2015:

1. Hedge Funds - A Dynamic Industry in Transition (2015)

Andrew Lo, Peter Lee and Mila Getmansky offer a selective review of the latest academic literature on the subject of hedge funds, with updated empirical findings for this industry. They posit that backfill and survivorship biases can be expected to half alleged hedge fund returns.

2. The Whole Story - Factors and Asset Classes (Research Affiliates, 2015)

With a "zoo" of risk factors being proposed for smart beta or asset allocation purposes, how can we discern which factors are actually likely to persist in the future? Jason Hsu suggests that, with practitioners and academics now running such a great number of backtests, the traditional t-statistic of 2 is no longer enough to approve a strategy.  

3. Transforming World Atlas: Maps of Investment themes (BofAML, 2015)

Fascinating infographics illustrate BofA Merrill Lynch's favorite secular and cyclical investment themes, including the allocation of scarce financial capital, scarce human resources and scare natural resources.

4. Asset Management Salaries - Front Office and Back Office roles (2015)

Detailed reports setting out avarage compensation levels across a wide variety of asset management roles in the UK, US, Canada, Asia and Australia.

5. Investment Management Fees charged to UK Pension Funds (LCP, 2015)

LCP's insightful 40 page survey examines investment management fees, segmented by fund size and asset class. With increasing pressure on asset managers to be transparent about the true cost of investing, this report suggests areas where further disclosure is still required.

6. The world's 300 largest pension funds (Towers Watson, 2015)

This 47 page report from Towers Watson provides details of the world's largest pension funds, showing data by type, region, DB/DC and asset allocation by region. The research indicates that 43% of global pension assets are represented by the top 300 pension funds worldwide.

7. Not All Active Managers Are Created Equal - What To Look For (Cambridge Associates, 2015)

This paper counters the assumption that active fund management can be seen as a negative sum game, investigating several factors that can contribute to sustained active investment outperformance. 

8. Five-Year Return Forecasts for Major Asset Classes (Northern Trust, 2015)

How much life remains in the cyclical force of increasing profit margins and asset price valuations to counter the structural expectation for slow continued growth? Northern Trust analyses the 5-year outlook.

9. Cliff Asness: "How Can a Strategy Still Work If Everyone Knows About It?" (2015)

Many people believe that once a strategy is “discovered” it can’t work anymore. In this paper, Cliff Asness argues that particular well-established strategies that have excelled up until now will continue to work in the future - though perhaps with different risks than we have seen in the past. 

10. Private Equity Salaries Around the World (Various, 2015)

We have three different reports on Private Equity compensation; detailed guides for packages in USA, UK and Asia.

11. The Landscape of Climate Exposure (Climate Policy Initiative, 2015) 

This 28 page report explores the climate exposure landscape, examining the strengths and limitations of today's ESG tools, data and financial products. From an investor's perspective, climate change is not without financial implications, presenting both new market opportunities and significant portfolio risks.

12. Alternative Beta (bfinance, 2015)

Factor models are currently very much on trend, with "smart beta" strategies proving especially popular. In this 12 page report, bfinance explores ‘alternative beta’ - the concept that brings together beta investing and alternative investment. There is no widely-accepted definition of "alternative beta", but bfinance explains it as a systematic and passive capture of risk premia beyond traditional equity, bond and credit market exposures, using alternative investment techniques.

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