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A Global Perspective for Long-Term Equity Investors

Posted by Andrew Okrongly on Jan 31, 2020

Topic: Equities | Investment Strategy

Over the past decade U.S. equities have consistently outperformed international markets, leading many investors to question the role of non-U.S. equities in their portfolio. While the current cycle of U.S. outperformance has certainly been prolonged, it is by no means unprecedented relative to history.

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Equity Portfolio Construction – Through a Risk Factor Lens

Posted by David Scarozza on Jun 28, 2018

Topic: Equities | Investment Strategy | Risk Management

At Commonfund, we aim to build multi-manager, active risk equity portfolios with a clear objective of consistent outperformance versus passive policy benchmarks. Our approach is to take intentional and measured “risk away from the benchmark” by allocating to a variety of managers who employ active risk strategies...

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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 | 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,, 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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Returning to the “Old Normal”

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Feb 15, 2018

Topic: Equities | Industry Knowledge | Market Commentary

Investors took solace in the lack of stock market volatility in 2017. In reality, that may have been more of an anomaly than the current turbulence equity investors are experiencing. Volatility spikes in the capital markets are not unusual.

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Volatility Returns to
the Equity Markets

Posted by Kristofer Kwait, Steve Snyder on Feb 7, 2018

Topic: Equities | Investment Strategy

During the course of the recent selloff in the equity markets and spike in volatility, many of our investors have questioned whether this significant drop experienced over a few trading days portends the beginning of a bear market, or a shorter term correction (albeit a violent one).

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Emerging Market Equities Turn the Corner

Posted by Mark Bennett on Nov 1, 2017

Topic: Equities | Investment Strategy

As we progress through calendar year 2017, we have witnessed the continuation of the equity bull market started in 2009. One difference however, is that leadership has turned (finally!) to non-U.S equity markets.

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A Different Engine for European Equities

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Sep 18, 2017

Topic: Equities | Market Commentary

The Euro area economy seems to be on solid footing and the European Central Bank (ECB) has taken notice. European companies are finally showing meaningful improvements in corporate earnings, although the strengthening Euro could put pressure on some entities. One new twist - European officials are beginning to recognize that the stronger Euro may present a challenge to the economic and earnings ...

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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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Taking Chips off the Table

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Feb 22, 2017

Topic: Equities | Fixed Income | Market Commentary

The question we are often asked is…when should investors begin to take chips off the table? The S&P 500 Index has delivered a 16+ percentage point relative gain compared to the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index since the start of this fiscal year. Near term, we may see a return to a choppy market where stocks still best bonds but with a smaller differential.

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A False Sense of Diversification?

Posted by David Scarozza on Nov 29, 2016

Topic: Asset Allocation | Equities | Investment Strategy

As we have undergone the process of re-underwriting all of Commonfund’s equity managers and funds over the last 6 months, we have tackled anew the age old question of how many funds does one multi-manager equity portfolio require to offer appropriate levels of diversification? While there is no single universally appropriate answer, our research has indicated that, upon closer inspection, many multi-manager equity portfolios may not be quite as diversified as intended from a potential excess return perspective.

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