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.
  • 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: 2472
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  • Robeco

    Expected Returns 2017-2021: It’s Always Darkest Just Before Dawn (Robeco, Oct 2016)

    Sentiment among professional investors seems to have reached new lows, and truly, there are enough reasons investors can think of to justify a bearish view on financial markets. We can see the disintegration of the European economy (Brexit, the rise of populist parties, Italian banks), a Chinese hard landing (unsuccessful rebalancing of the Chinese economy, high debt), a rise in ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 5690
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  • Credit Suisse

    Reflections on the Ten Attributes of Great Investors (Michael J. Mauboussin, Aug 2016)

    Thirty years ago this year, Michael J. Mauboussin started on Wall Street. It goes without saying that he has seen dramatic events and change during that time. Equity market indices are roughly 10 times higher today than they were in 1986. And of the 10 biggest companies by market cap then, only AT&T, Exxon Mobil and GE remain in that league today. In this piece, he shares his ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 2760
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  • EDHEC-Risk Institute

    Is Smart Beta just Monkey Business? Factor Exposures, Upside-Down Strategies and Rebalancing (EDHEC)

    The “Monkey portfolio” proposition is that smart beta strategies can be deployed naively, with the assurance that all such strategies will add value. EDHEC's research suggests otherwise, with many smart beta strategies having exposure to other factors. The authors warn that care is needed to avoid over-extrapolating the implications of a particular test ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 1764
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  • BlackRock

    Equity/Bond Correlation: Historical Reflections and Future Prospects (BlackRock, July 2016)

    The correlation between equity and bond markets is of vital importance to asset allocators; for risk control and portfolio construction, for assessing the market outlook, and for building models of how markets work (equity market valuation models, for example). In this 6-page paper, Nuno Luis and David Caplan of BlackRock examine the history of the equity/bond ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 2024
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  • Robeco

    The Future of Asset Management (Robeco, 2016)

    The business of investment management will change significantly in the years ahead. Demographic and regulatory trends have imposed gradual change upon the industry, but technological developments are now injecting more urgency into the pace of change. In this white paper, Robeco examines the forces that are driving change, and how this will transform the industry. The authors ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 2270
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  • Focusing Capital on the Long Term

    Long-Term Investing - Portfolio Guide (2015)

    This 60-page report investigates a variety of approaches that may be taken by institutional investors in order to find new long-term investment strategies. Examining the five key action areas (risk appetite statements, investment mandates, benchmarking processes, evaluations and incentives, and investment benefits), this paper's authors develop a framework for the improvement ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 2906
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  • BlackRock

    Capital Market Assumptions: BlackRock's methodology for long-term returns (2017)

    What investment returns can we expect in the long term across asset classes? Such assumptions are a key input of asset allocation decisions for institutions, financial advisors and individual retirees. This document presents the methodology used to calculate the BlackRock Investment Institute’s long-term equilibrium capital market assumptions (CMAs), the long-term complement ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 1521
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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: 1839
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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.

  • Vanguard

    A framework for institutional portfolio construction (Vanguard, 2016)

    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: 2166
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  • Johnson Associates

    US Asset Management Compensation Survey 2015

    This US salary survey, compiled jointly by Johnson Associates and Greenwich Associates, shows median salary and bonus earned by analysts, traders and portfolio managers, working in equity and fixed income, for traditional asset managers and at hedge funds. It suggests that compensation for professionals at traditional buy-side organizations has almost recovered to pre-crisis highs. ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 10623
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  • 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: 1002
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  • QMA (Quantitative Management Associates)

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

    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 ...

  • MSCI

    Bridging the Gap: Adding Factors to Passive and Active Allocations (MSCI)

    • 04 May 2017
    • Company: MSCI

    Asset owners face a challenge in determining how the factor allocation fits into the overall equity program: How does the factor allocation relate to the existing roster of active managers? This paper uses a risk budgeting framework to investigate how active mandates and factor allocations can be combined. Risk budgeting connects the manager selection process with the factor ...

  • State Street Global Advisors

    ESG Institutional Investor Survey: Performing for the Future (SSGA, 2017)

    The adoption of ESG principles is picking up steam and moving into the mainstream, reflecting a view that ESG insights and perspectives can address multiple objectives. In this survey SSGA finds that, in addition to targeting positive social or environmental impacts, ESG criteria are increasingly seen as capable of improving investment returns. This 24 page document examines the ...

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