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Strategic Allocation

Is there a best way to select and weight asset classes for long-term diversification benefits? These blog entries address this strategic allocation question.

Modernizing Equity Return Benchmarks

Does increasingly powerful and more automated trading technology create the need for more sophisticated equity return benchmarks? In the December 2007 version of their paper entitled “130/30: The New Long-Only”, Andrew Lo and Pankaj Patel present a passive but dynamic “plain-vanilla” 130% long/30% short (130/30) benchmark index based on: (1) simple factors (encompassing value, growth, profitability, momentum and technical) to rank stocks; and, (2) standard methods for constructing a portfolio based on these rankings. Applying a standard portfolio optimizer to 10 well-known and commercially available valuation factors for S&P 500 stocks, with monthly rebalancing during 1/96-9/07, they find that: Keep Reading

Global Diversification: By Country or Industry?

With increasing business globalization and financial markets integration, can equity investors still get good risk reduction by diversifying their portfolios across country markets? Or, have other kinds of diversification become more important? In their paper entitled “The Changing Roles of Industry and Country Effects in the Global Equity Markets”, Kate Phylaktis and Lichuan Xia examine the evolution of country and industry effects on stock returns and diversification. Using weekly returns from the Dow Jones Global Indexes (DJGI) encompassing 4,801 companies in 51 industry groups across 34 countries over the period 1992 to 2001, they find that: Keep Reading

Diversification for “Peak” Performance

How many stocks are enough for the long-term investor to diversify stock-picking risks? Conventional wisdom says that 8 to 20 stocks are enough. In their recent paper entitled “Diversification in Portfolios of Individual Stocks: 100 Stocks Are Not Enough”, Dale Domian, David Louton and Marie Racine examine the risk that long-term buy-and-hold stock portfolios will fall short of some minimum return goal. They use portfolios of different sizes constructed from a real sample of 1,000 U.S. stocks (the 100 largest by market capitalization in each of 10 industries) over the 20-year period from January 1985 through December 2004, inserting comparable replacements for the hundreds of delistings that occur in the sample (mostly due to mergers). They find that: Keep Reading

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