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Asset Allocation

Tactical Allocation: Winning Strategy or a Fool’s Game?

Posted by Deborah Spalding, Kristofer Kwait on Oct 4, 2019

Topic: Asset Allocation | Investment Strategy | Risk Management

Institutional investors overseeing long-term pools of capital typically define their tactical allocation with specific targets and bands or ranges.

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Diverse and Emerging Manager Programs: Worth Doing Well

Posted by Michael Rowland on Aug 5, 2019

Topic: Asset Allocation | Diversity | Investment Strategy | Responsible Investing

In order to adequately and fairly evaluate the success of diverse and emerging manager programs, the term ‘emerging manager’ needs to be clearly differentiated from ‘diverse manager’. While there is no formal definition, ‘emerging manager’ refers to a firm with a cap on assets under management. This cap varies widely depending on the investing organization, but usually sits around the $1 billion mark. By contrast, ‘diverse manager’...

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Survey Finds Investors Remain Cautiously Optimistic

Posted by Commonfund on Mar 27, 2018

Topic: Asset Allocation | Industry Knowledge

In a Commonfund 2018 investor survey, nonprofit investors believe trade wars and protectionism pose greatest threat to the global economy. Endowments and Foundations remain cautiously optimistic on achieving long-term target returns.

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Evolving Asset Allocation and Policy Portfolios

Posted by Commonfund on Mar 27, 2018

Topic: Asset Allocation | Investment Strategy

In this Forum 2018 general session, Commonfund experts share research findings and techniques we employ to help investors understand not just the characteristics of their portfolio in isolation but also the broader considerations and pressures that should shape risk, drawdown and recovery expectations over the long haul.

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A Gap In Reality

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr. on Feb 13, 2018

Topic: Asset Allocation | Investment Strategy | Outsourced Investing | Spending Policy

With the release of the annual NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE) comes the obligatory comparison of 1-year returns. “How did we do relative to the 12.2 percent average return” is a question frequently asked at many committee meetings and while it is certainly important to understand what peers are doing, the most recent 1-year return may be the most overrated number in the 127 page study.

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Bonds May Not Be Loved, But They Shouldn’t Be Forgotten

Posted by Roman Moravec, James Meisner, Vincent Kravec on Jan 10, 2018

Topic: Asset Allocation | Fixed Income | Investment Strategy

Most institutional portfolios have strategic allocations to core (investment grade) fixed income, and for good reasons. Core fixed income can serve as an anchor during times when risk assets such as equities and lower grade credit are under assault.

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Mark Anson Discusses Asset Allocation Strategy with Bloomberg Markets

Posted by Commonfund on Aug 28, 2017

Topic: Asset Allocation | Hedge Funds | Investment Strategy | Private Capital

Mark Anson, Commonfund chief investment officer, discusses his asset allocation strategy with Bloomberg's Vonnie Quinn and Simone Foxman on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)

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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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How Much Beta is in Your Equity Portfolio?

Posted by David Scarozza on Jul 18, 2017

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

It’s undeniable that every active equity manager’s chief competitor these days is the passive alternative against which its investors measure their performance. This is as true for a singularly focused equity mandate manager as it is for an organization like Commonfund, who assembles multi-manager active risk equity portfolios that seek to exploit the potential advantage of scouring the globe in pursuit of strategies that offer both the possibility for excess returns and excess return source diversification.

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Making the Case for Natural Resources Investing

Posted by Ethan Levine, Paul Von Steenburg on Jul 11, 2017

Topic: Asset Allocation | Investment Strategy | Private Capital | Real Assets

The natural resources sector is often characterized as cyclical, as producers and service providers experience underlying exposure to and commensurate volatility of commodities in the oil and gas, mining and agriculture sectors. After a couple of years of challenging sector returns, some institutional investors are questioning what the role of natural resources should be in a portfolio and if now is a good time to invest in the asset class.

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