Mark J.P. Anson

Inaugural Corporate Responsibility Report and 2018 Mid-Year Letter

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson, Commonfund on Jul 12, 2018

Topic: Governance and Policy | Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy | Responsible Investing

We are pleased to share with you our inaugural Corporate Responsibility Report. Since our founding in 1971, Commonfund has pursued a singular mission – to enhance the financial resources of our clients by delivering exceptional performance, service and insight. Beyond our focus on investment excellence . . .

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Bonds: Unwanted and Unloved but not Unnecessary

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr., Mark J.P. Anson on May 30, 2018

Topic: Fixed Income | Investment Strategy

Well, the party may finally be over. Like the college dean who shuts down the campus party, the Fed has finally taken away the interest rate punch bowl that investors have enjoyed for so long. It may be hard to believe, but we have been in a secular interest rate decline for over thirty years...

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Trade Wars and the Land of the Rising Sun

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson on Apr 26, 2018

Topic: Industry Knowledge | Market Commentary

The trade wars began with the United States and China but have now expanded to Japan as well. With Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. all looking inwardly, emerging market nations need another superpower to turn to for foreign direct investment, infrastructure, and other economic support.

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Baring Their Teeth –
FAANGs Take a Bite Out of Equities

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson, Mark Bennett on Mar 2, 2018

Topic: Equities | Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy

Narrow markets are not uncommon to equity investors. They tend to manifest themselves during the best of times, as bull markets lengthen and thematic elements of investing gain popularity. Prior narrow market environments existed in the late 1990s (the historic tech bubble that many remember) and also in 2007, prior to the global financial crisis. The most recent narrow market has been dominated by the headlines of FAANGs — Facebook, Amazon.com, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet, formerly known as Google. These five business models are disrupting all sorts of industries, and with it, their stock prices have soared.

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Hedge Fund Land:
An Expensive Amusement Park?

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson on Aug 16, 2017

Topic: Asset Allocation | Hedge Funds | Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy

In a series of articles, we have addressed two recent investment “fatigues” experienced by institutional investors: Active vs. Passive; and Global (ACWI) vs. US benchmarks. In this article, we tackle the third and last “fatigue”— Hedge Funds. Hedge funds have come under extreme criticism lately for their expensive fee structure, lack of performance, and too much “beta” wrapped up in an “alpha” fee structure. It appears that hedge funds are run more for the amusement of the hedge fund manager and less for the benefit of the hedge fund’s clients. These are all legitimate concerns but we still believe that there is value to be found in Hedge Fund Land.

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Flexing your Global Portfolio can lead to ACWI Fatigue

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson on Jun 6, 2017

Topic: Asset Allocation | Investment Strategy

Like the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles after a strenuous workout, the underperformance of Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World index (ACWI) vs. the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) – or any U.S. equity benchmark, for that matter – for the last several years has been building up to a painful point. This pain threshold has pushed investors to the limits of their global endurance resulting in what we call “ACWI Fatigue.” ACWI Fatigue is most acute with institutional investors who use the MSCI ACWI as their equity benchmark and, as a result, have a globally-oriented equity portfolio.

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Is the Endowment Model a Crowded Trade?

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson on Apr 11, 2017

Topic: Investment Strategy

With core tenets of the endowment model seemingly under stress for the last several years, some investors have questioned the long-term viability of the model. At issue: Are too many investors piling into the same ideas and thus squeezing out opportunities for better returns? In this 2017 Commonfund Forum Spotlight, three CIOs tackled questions designed to surface concerns about the model and provide insight based on their long experience.

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Active vs. passive: There is no debate

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson on Jan 31, 2017

Topic: Asset Allocation | Equities | Fixed Income | Investment Strategy | Risk Management

Like King Kong vs. Godzilla, the investment debate of active vs. passive continues. I really enjoyed those cheesy old movies from Japan that pitted the two big monsters of science fiction. But as I recall, there was never a clear winner: Sometimes King Kong won the battle, sometimes Godzilla.

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Equity Performance Review: Fiscal Year 2016

Posted by Keith Luke, Mark J.P. Anson, Kristofer Kwait on Jul 21, 2016

Topic: Asset Allocation | Equities | Investment Strategy

Our latest webcast reviews equity performance for fiscal year 2016 and the positioning for the portfolio going forward.

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Brexit: Order from Disorder

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson, Michael Strauss on Jun 24, 2016

Topic: Investment Strategy | Market Commentary

The UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) has sent shock waves through the capital markets throughout the day today. The 52%/48% vote to leave the EU was a significant surprise, as most polls had the “remain” camp winning.

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