Investment Process

Investment Process - Articles & White Papers

White papers on the investment process - the policies and principles, frameworks and structures upon which successful fund management is built. Our "investment process" section includes articles, reports and surveys which cover the various components of the investment process, particularly asset allocation, manager selection, stock selection, fixed income investment management, currency management, trade execution, investment compliance and back office processes. We list research covering each of these processes in detail. Amongst our most downloaded documents are papers on the hallmarks of successful active equity managers, processes for momentum and trend-following in asset allocation, a quantitative approach to TAA, factor-based investing, long-term investing, and a framework for assessing factors and implementing smart beta strategies. Surveys on responsible investing have also proved very popular. For more specific content listings - for example covering the stock selection process, the asset allocation process, or fixed income fund management - please click the appropriate section in the topic menu at the top of this page.
  • BlackRock

    Active Strategies, Indexing and the Rise of ETFs (Greenwich Associates / BlackRock, Oct 2017)

    Institutional flows into ETFs are expected to grow to $300B annually by 2020. Institutional Investors around the world are stepping up their use of ETFs as part of a broad transformation in portfolio management. Driving this growth is a wholesale reconsideration of the long-held distinction between active and indexed investment approaches.

    This paper presents the ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 1964
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  • State Street Global Advisors

    Invested in Disruption: IQ Magazine Q3/Q4 2017 (SSGA)

    We live in an age of disruption, in which business models, industries and even our daily lives are being transformed. As the pace of disruption accelerates, we look at game-changing shifts that are redefining ideas around investment performance and value and how investors can navigate this new landscape.

    • Professional
    • Views: 1230
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  • QMA

    Investing in Liquid Alts: An Outcomes-Based Approach (QMA, Apr 2017)

    • 05 May 2017
    • Company: QMA

    As more investors seek new sources of returns less correlated with the downward swings of the equity and bond markets, liquid alternative strategies have emerged as one of the more viable, and popular, investment options. Investors and their financial advisors are conditioned to select managers based on the asset class they invest in, frequently a less important consideration when ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 1016
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  • CFA Institute Research Foundation

    Financial Market History: Reflections on the Past for Investors Today (CFA Institute Research Foundation)

    This 279-page compendium of papers, published by CFA Institute Research Foundation, provides a detailed and fascinating look at the history of financial markets. Each section, which has been authored by prominent industry professionals, discusses a different facet of financial markets including risk and return over the long run, bubbles and crises, financial innovation, and more. A ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 4746
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  • CFA Institute Research Foundation

    Factor Investing and Asset Allocation (CFA Institute Research Foundation)

    Factor investing is as old as the hills. Yet it has only recently become a widespread practice. What is behind this sudden change in the investment management industry? What do analysts at firms that engage in factor investing do? What results might investors using these techniques expect? Here is a hugely important read to explore these questions.

    • Professional
    • Views: 2738
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  • Vanguard

    A framework for institutional portfolio construction (Vanguard)

    Typically, institutional investors around the world pursue one of four investment goals: absolute return, liability-driven investment, total return or principal protection. Generally, they choose from four different investment approaches: static tilts, traditional active management, market-capitalization exposures and alternative investments. Given the aforementioned potential ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 2609
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  • Bank for International Settlements

    Demographics will reverse three multi-decade global trends (BIS, 2017)

    Between the 1980s and the 2000s, the largest ever positive labour supply shock occurred, resulting from demographic trends and from the inclusion of China and eastern Europe into the World Trade Organization. This led to a shift in manufacturing to Asia, especially China; a stagnation in real wages; a collapse in the power of private sector trade unions; increasing inequality ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 2998
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  • bfinance

    Global Investment Management Fees: New Savings, New Challenges (bfinance, 2017)

    New bfinance data reveals falling fees in several sectors, especially where providers have been under pressure from cheaper competitors or the investment landscape has evolved. Meanwhile, many asset managers have seized the opportunity to launch fashionable products at a premium to their conventional equivalents, with certain breeds of unconstrained, multi-asset or advisory ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 1781
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  • Michael Page

    UK Front Office Banking & Asset Management Salary Survey 2017

    This 22 page report from Michael Page details average remuneration (salary plus bonus) for a range of front office banking and fund management positions, including compensation for asset managers, quants, investment strategists, equity analysts, multi-asset portfolio managers, debt and credit analysts, and those in research/strategy and sales/trading roles in the UK. The ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 2340
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  • Citi

    Disruptive Innovations IV: Ten More Things to Stop and Think About (Citi, 2016)

    • 21 Nov 2016
    • Company: Citi

    The fourth in a series from Citi GPS, this edition examines 10 more innovative technologies and new products which are disrupting their sectors. This edition covers:

    1. Big Data Disruption - The Big Data Revolution in Energy
    2. Contextual Commerce - What is Contextual Commerce?
    3. Direct-to-Consumer Marketplace - Another Threat to ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 1468
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  • AQR Capital Management

    Fact, Fiction and Momentum Investing (AQR Capital, 2014)

    Authored by Cliff Asness and others from AQR Capital, this paper examines the "myths" surrounding momentum investing, using results from a variety of academic studies. The paper aims to clarify the facts with regard to the efficacy of trend-following strategies and to document the practical value of momentum within the investment process.

  • Robeco

    How will Blockchain impact the Financial Industry? (Robeco, 2016)

    There is growing agreement that Blockchain technology, though overhyped, is here to stay. This excellent report from Robeco explains the distributed ledger technology, transaction flows and the eco-system. It then examines the ways in which it might transform the asset management industry in the future. 

    • Professional
    • Views: 1983
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  • Equity Risk Premiums: Determinants, Estimation and Implications (Damodaran, 2016)

    In this paper, Professor Aswath Damodaran examines ways of estimating equity risk premiums (ERP). He begins by considering the economic determinants of ERP, including information uncertainty, perceptions of macroeconomic risk and risk aversion by investors. This is the 9th edition of this paper. It has been produced annually since the global financial crisis of 2008.

  • Cambria Investments

    A Quantitative Approach to TAA (Mebane Faber)

    This influential paper is Mebane Faber's update to his 2006 version. It incorporates new data from the period 2008-2012. The paper investigates how well the original work has held up since publication. Faber finds that overall, the models achieve equity-like returns with bond-like volatility and drawdowns, which was his original thesis in the 2006 paper. He also examines the ...

    • Quantitative
    • Views: 1270
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  • Invesco US

    Invesco Global Fixed Income Study 2018

    Since the turmoil of the financial crisis, investors are navigating a great calm in fixed income markets, however, there is a sense amongst investors that the prevailing period of calm is coming to an end as central bank intervention is withdrawn and investor behaviours subsequently change. Through conducting 79 face-to-face interviews with leading fixed income specialists across ...

  • MSCI

    How ESG Affects Equity Valuation, Risk, and Performance (MSCI, 2017)

    • 21 Dec 2017
    • Company: MSCI

    Many researchers have studied the relationship between companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) characteristics and corporate financial performance. A major challenge has been to show that positive correlations — when produced — provide explanations for the behavior. As the classic phrase used by statisticians says, “correlation does not ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 1106
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  • BlackRock

    Enhance your skill: how active managers are using factor strategies (BlackRock, 2017)

    How are asset managers using factors to optimize active strategies?

    Factor investing continues to grow at a rapid pace, with almost $34 billion globally flowing into smart beta ETFs since the beginning of 2017.  Asset managers are taking notice, and many are already using factors to enhance their investment process. 

    Through the lens of three compelling case ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 1510
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