research

Our research seeks to exploit the most recent advances in financial economics, and connects factor returns to macroeconomic conditions. Our goal is to produce and implement differential portfolio advice.

Covid-19 Macro and Markets Infections - The Real Worry is the Long-Term


According to our models, the recent dramatic fall in stock and bond markets largely reflects a trending rise in uncertainty - over the past year - about low long-term real economic growth. The real worry for investors is the added impact of the covid-19 pandemic on long-term macro trends and uncertainty. Our models can help investors think through the potential effects of alternative scenarios on returns and portfolio decisions.

Brexit or No Brexit - The Real Worry Is Long-Term Uncertainty


Whatever the form of Brexit (including no Brexit), our models suggest that markets are pricing in the prospect of a prolonged period of near-zero growth, higher macro uncertainty, and relatively high inflation. Investors should think about Brexit scenarios in the context of their potential effects on long-term growth and inflation. Our models can help investors think through the potential consequences of alternative scenarios on returns and portfolio decisions.

Whither Real Growth in Europe? - Worrying Signs for the Short and Long Term


Bond yields in major European countries have fallen to historical lows. According to our models, bond markets in Europe are pricing in higher recession risk in the short term, and a continuation of near zero growth with high uncertainty in the long term. These long-term macro trends imply a continuation of low bond yields and high equity premium in Europe.

Investors - Stop Obsessing About a Recession - Your Real Risk is Longer Term


Concerns of imminent large scale recession in the US are misguided. According to our models, a recession in the next 12 months is unlikely. Rather, our models point to a continuation of low long-term trend growth, driven by low growth in total factor productivity (TFP) and the labor force. Stagnant low growth also implies a prolonged period of low equity returns and real bond yields, relative to history. In this context, investors should focus on their long-term portfolio decisions.

Bond Markets Don’t Point To a US Recession - They Point to Longer-Term Macro Risks


The inversion of the US treasury yield curve (long interest rates falling below short rates) has raised concerns of imminent large scale recession in the US and globally. According to our models, bond markets are not pricing in a recession, but the continuation of low long-term trend growth, driven by low growth in total factor productivity (TFP) and the labor force. For investors holding bonds in their portfolio, stagnant low growth also implies a prolonged period of low bond yields relative to history.

Managing Private Equity Risk - Macro-Sensitive Strategies Matter


The findings in this paper suggest that the private equity premium varies over time, driven by changes in long-term real economic growth and uncertainty. Moreover, the effects of these fluctuations could potentially be managed by systematically changing the private equity portfolio structure, in a macro-consistent fashion, via tailored publicly traded overlay strategies conditioned on our macro uncertainty index, and/or replicating private deals.

Private Equity Is Growth Sensitive - Where is the Illiquidity Premium?


This paper applies our models to a proxy private equity portfolio to evaluate its expected long-term return relative to the public equity market. Today’s premium has decreased by as much as 50% in the last two decades, driven by a reduction in long-term trend economic growth and, more recently, a decrease in macroeconomic uncertainty. Private equity investors should review the structure of their private equity and total portfolios in the laws and related context of changes in macro uncertainty.

Real Growth Matters For Asset Markets - The Global Financial Crisis 10 Years On


This note looks at recent developments in US equity and bond markets in the context of the decade following the global financial crisis of 2008.

Less Macroeconomic Uncertainty - But Lower Long Run Growth


This note takes a long run, macro view of the recent developments in US equity and bond markets, from the perspective of our models. It argues that investors have priced in a reduction in uncertainty about long run growth and a reduction in trend growth, driven by stagnant growth in TFP and the labor force. For investors who care about long horizon returns and risk, our models point to lower long run equity returns and a continuation of low real bond yields.

Markets Discount High Inflation - What About Government Finances?


This note discusses the implications of the recent increases in interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve for long run inflation. According to bond market pricing and our baseline scenario of continued macro uncertainty, higher inflation is unlikely. Investors worried about inflation should look beyond Fed watching, and focus on macro uncertainty and the basics of government finances. In this context, they should monitor the role of US government debt as the dominant reserve asset.

Differential Portfolio Advice: Investment Solutions for Individual Investors


This paper provides a comprehensive framework for offering portfolio advice. This framework takes into account the impact of income risk and investment horizon. Finally, it places factor investing in the context of lifecycle investing.

The End of Asset Price Reflation?


This paper is relevant because it explicitly ties long term returns to real growth. The paper achieves this end through the linkage between real economic growth and cash flow growth. Finally, the paper suggests that extended periods of below-trend real growth should correspond to lower expected asset returns.

Slow Growth is bad news for U.S. Pension Investors


This paper builds on our earlier work linking macroeconomic conditions to asset returns. In this paper we show that a prolonged period of below-trend real economic growth can lead to deterioration in pension funding ratios.

More Low Inflation or Stagflation? - Government Finances Provide the Clues to Future Inflation


This paper uses the government budget constraint to address the potential for future inflation. The paper shows that under our baseline of low real growth, current inflation levels are also consistent with current levels of government debt and monetary balances. However, application of the government budget constraint also suggests that increased deficits combined with decreased money growth could lead to stagflation.

Sluggish Long-Term Prospects for U.S. Economic Growth - Despite Recent Improvements in Jobs and Growth


This note puts recent positive developments in US real GDP growth in the context of factors affecting long-term real growth. It argues that long-term trend growth has declined in the US, driven by declines in Total Factor Productivity and Labor Force growth. Consequently, growth forecasts should be dampened until there are signals that TFP growth and Labor Force growth have improved.

Factor Investing And Portfolio Strategy - Scope for Differential Portfolio Advice


This paper lays a foundation for differential portfolio advice. It shows that when investor attitudes towards risk differ, their factor allocations should also vary. As on a result, this paper provides a framework for developing the investment strategies that are investor-segment specific.

Differential Portfolio Advice - Defining Investor Segments


This paper sets out a framework that can be used to develop differential portfolio advice. The paper starts by identifying assets by client segment. It goes on to argue that investment horizon can be a differentiating characteristic across investor segments.

Disruptive Forces in Asset Management - Towards Better Solutions


This paper argues that the combination of market bifurcation and new technology are disrupting the asset management business.

Factor Investing - Still a Role for Investment Skill


This paper shows there are differences in how factor returns are measured. Consequently, factor measurement and portfolio construction are critical to factor-based investing. Thus, to implement a factor-based approach, investors will still need to rely on skilled investment managers.

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