Real factors, and how to use them

Factor investing has become a topic du jour, but according to four experts, there are only a handful of factors that are persistent and robust. If used strategically, these can be useful.

Oregon’s evolving strategy

Oregon State Treasury has undergone material change to its structure and process evolving its investment strategy and techniques including smart beta, private equity and internal management.

Costs cast increasing doubt over hedge fund relevance

The inability to scale hedge fund exposures and risks, has led many large investors, like CalPERS this week and ATP last year, to exit their hedge fund programs. Complexity continues to be a drain on the relevancy of hedge funds, but importantly cost is driving the agendas of these investors. As AQR’s Cliff Asness admits,... Read more »

Breaking bad habits: why investors aren’t good at asset allocation

Institutional investors act like momentum investors, chasing returns, even over longer time horizons according to Asset Allocation and Bad Habits, a new research paper that looks at the impact of past returns on asset allocation. The paper commissioned by Rotman-ICPM and authored by Amit Goyal professor at Univeriste de Lausanne, Andrew Ang professor at Columbia Business... Read more »

The power of innovation

From allocating assets in order to achieve a healthy funding status, to keeping up with technology that analyses portfolio risk, the challenges of asset owners are relentlessly evolving. For asset managers, like AQR, the key to their own evolution and success is how to be more relevant to clients. AQR keeps clients’ needs firmly within... Read more »

Seeking partners in Alaska

The $46-billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) will launch PCIO, a private equity version of its successful external chief-investment-officer partnerships, and is looking for partners now. When the fund moved to a risk-based factor allocation a few years ago, it allocated mandates under its special opportunities bucket to five managers – PIMCO, GMO, Bridgewater, AQR... Read more »

Breakfast with AQR’s Cliff Asness

Having a breakfast meeting with Cliff Asness is a wake-up call. He will let you know if you’re late – something he holds in very little regard. He admits he has to constantly remind himself that just because he’s 20 minutes early to everything that others are not automatically then 20 minutes late. Asness is... Read more »

Smart beta: where is the value?

I’ve been contemplating the “smart beta” wave the industry seems to be riding at the moment. Cynically, part of that contemplation asks whether there is any innovation at play or whether it’s simply the industry playing with nomenclature once again. The answer is confusing, for while I’d like to be able to write it off... Read more »

Research suggests global diversification works… eventually

An article written by AQR Capital Management colleagues, Cliff Asness, Roni Israelov, and John Liew, International Diversification Works (Eventually) was selected the best article in the prestigious Graham and Dodd Awards, a CFA Institute program honoring the top Financial Analysts Journal articles of 2011. It finds that despite the many critics of diversification, global portfolio... Read more »

Back to the future: short-selling ban lambasted

Cliff Asness must be a very stressed man. Not only has he been “mad as hell” for nearly three years (or is it mad again?) but also the reprise in responses by regulators around the globe to market crises, namely banning short selling, means he doesn’t have to write any original words in response.

Momentum in Japan works well: Asness

By studying value and momentum in Japan as a system, because they are strongly negatively correlated, this paper by AQR’s Cliff Asness argues that despite popular belief, momentum “works quite well” in Japan.

QE2 not just another QE1

Following the Fed’s announcement of QE2 and the recent auction of 5-year TIPS  that resulted in the first-ever negative yield issuance (-0.55%), AQR has updated its recent research series on inflation. This paper addresses the events which resulted in the first-ever negative yield TIPS issuance, discusses the future impact of government actions, and comments on... Read more »