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Posts Tagged ‘blog’


Everybody knows that pension funds are derisking, right?

Everybody knows that pension funds are derisking, right? Except, it seems, the data. The release of the PPF’s Purple Book 2014 last week gives us the latest comprehensive data set. As the chart below shows, having made big derisking asset allocation shifts in the noughties, pension fund asset allocations have been pretty static for a

November 6, 2014 Categories: Pension Insights

Eurozone money & credit growth improves further

All eyes are on Europe as we monitor the global economy’s recovery, and the risk that Europe acts as a drag. But recent data is encouraging, and validates my view that the chances of recovery are better than the risk of being dragged further into the doldrums. Private credit growth came in at -1.2%yy vs

Oct 30, 2014 Categories: Markets

De-risking – sometimes it’s good to just let go…

A welcome trend in pension funds is a steady increase in resourcing. One place where you can see it is in Russell’s recent governance survey from which the table below is taken. But while trustees may have put in place a range of resources, the same survey shows that they have not empowered those resources

Oct 23, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

DIY buyout – for the many, not the few

With the party conference season upon us, you may well be groaning at being forced to listen to hackneyed phrases such as: “For hardworking families”; “Forward not backward”; “One nation”; “Britain can deliver”; and so on and so on. However, listening to one of these phrases, “For the many, not the few”, got me thinking

Oct 16, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

Derisk your governance

Most people will agree that ivy growing over a wall is a pretty thing. But behind those pretty leaves the ivy’s grippers can break down stone, brick and mortar, and damage your home. Pension funds have metaphorically been ripping the ivy off their walls for some time, selling out of growth assets to avoid a

Oct 1, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

The two flavours of mean reversion

Most investors are familiar with mean reversion, the idea that extremes tend not to persist, and that outstandingly good (or bad) performance tends back toward the average in time. Far fewer are familiar with the fact that there are two distinct types of mean reversion, and these two types need to be handled differently. The

Sep 25, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

Scottish Independence is no ‘Black Swan’

By the time you are reading this blog, we will probably be less than 24 hours away from knowing the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum . It’s a yes or a no. There’s nothing in-between. The differences in consequences for pension funds, as well as others, are vast. In the jargon, this is an

Sep 17, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

Convertible bonds: The best of both worlds?

One doesn’t need to have a mid-life crisis to own a convertible! While arguably not as exciting as a 400 horse power Porsche 911, convertibles (the bond variety) have the potential to deliver value both through diversification and return enhancement in a diversified multi-asset portfolio. A convertible bond offers the best of both the equity

Sep 11, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

Downside protection isn’t a free lunch!

Nothing in life comes for free (well, except things like oxygen and the Metro). But my point is that most things that look too good to be true usually are, and there is often a downside to every upside – and vice versa. The same is to be said for put protection strategies. Option strategies

Aug 27, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

High Frequency Trading: staying in control at the speed of light

The investment industry has been getting a bit of a battering lately. Firstly, the film ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ showcased the luxurious lifestyle of real-life stockbroker Jordan Belfort who defrauded thousands of investors through a securities scam, in order to fund an excessive lifestyle of drugs, fast cars and lavish parties, which eventually (and quite

Aug 12, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

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