Building a Better Passive Mousetrap

Michael DePalma (pictured) and Richard Abramson In a recent blog, Passive Management Does Not Equal Passive Investing, we showed how passively managed portfolios actually create an active investment in which volatility isn’t benign and risk exposures can vary wildly over time. So if we could fix the problem and reduce exposure to spikes in market [...]

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Lessons Learned in 2013

In 2013, interest rates rose, bonds fell, equities soared, and US income-tax rates climbed higher. Before starting to place bets for 2014, investors would be wise to think about some important lessons from 2013.

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Extreme Makeover for US Retirement Plan Menus?

We’ve heard rumblings in Washington: to fix America’s retirement problem, some argue we need to replace the whole defined contribution (DC) system; others say it just needs some targeted changes. We agree with the latter. A good place to start is a sensible rethinking of DC plan menus.

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Keeping Your Balance During Shaky Markets

By Paul DeNoon (pictured) and Gershon Distenfeld While capital markets have had their ups and downs, it’s been at least 15 years since we’ve seen such a broad swathe of the global markets take a hit at the same time—risky and “risk-free” assets alike.

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Managing Equity Risk: Some Rules for the Road

Under the surface of May’s strong equity returns were major shifts in sector leadership, notably a rotation from defensive to traditional cyclical sectors. Given the market’s tendency to change gears, it helps to be flexible in managing portfolio risk. In fact, it should be a daily exercise.

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Beware of the New Systemic Risk

Michael DePalma It felt like there was nowhere to hide from the market declines last Monday, April 15, when stocks, bonds and commodities fell in unison across the world, well before the Boston bombings that day. We believe that this failure of diversification was instigated by increasingly powerful multi-asset funds, many of which use leverage, [...]

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Emerging-Market Debt Offers More than One Kind of Diversification

One key attraction of emerging-market debt is that it can help investors to diversify existing portfolios of developed-market fixed-income securities. But there’s more than one kind of diversification, and more than one way to approach the opportunity, depending on each investor’s objectives.

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Reducing the Risk from Adding Stock Exposure

Adding other sources of diversification could significantly reduce the risk from increasing stock exposure, our research suggests.

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UK Equities Reach Inflation Tipping Point

Jon Ruff and Patrick Rudden As UK inflation surges ahead, equity investors should be concerned. With yields on inflation-linked bonds at extreme lows, we think real assets offer a better way to combat the risk of rising prices.

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Where SMID-Caps Get Their Performance Muscle

Bruce K. Aronow and James MacGregor  SMID-cap stocks, which bridge small- and mid-cap indices, have performed almost as powerfully as small-caps historically, but haven’t been as erratic. The “mid” in SMID is largely why.

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