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: 2583
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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: 5897
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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: 2931
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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: 1805
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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 ...

    • Professional
    • Views: 742
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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: 2383
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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: 3023
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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 ...

  • 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: 1740
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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: 1609
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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: 1861
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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: 2325
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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: 1202
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  • Credit Suisse

    Supertrends - Investing for the Long Term (Credit Suisse, 2017)

    This 97-page report has been produced by Credit Suisse. It analyses the key trends affecting long-term investing, such as geopolitics, demographic shifts, and rapid technology change. These movements provide a tangible link between today’s major developments and portfolios' risk/return profiles in the long run.

    • Professional
    • Views: 1199
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