Institutional investor portfolios are expected to look very different next year. For the first time in years, short-term government bonds are yielding more than 4 percent. This could lead to widespread changes in asset allocation, as investors won't have to allocate as much to equities. When rates were near zero, institutional investors had more stocks in their portfolios than they would have liked as a higher equity allocation brought on more risk. But now that yields are much higher, investors can once again allocate to fixed income. Even CDs are yielding nearly 4 percent. Mike Harris, president of the quantitative manager Quest Partners told Institutional Investor that “When central banks were printing money and forcing rates close to zero…people said, ‘We don’t want any fixed income in the portfolio,’ which is crazy to me. It’s been a building block of traditional portfolios for as long as I can remember. Investors were adamant about finding ‘somewhere else to park that capital,’ even if that meant taking on unwanted risk.” Now that bonds are much more appealing due to the higher yields, Harris expects that there are going to be some significant changes in asset allocation.
Finsum:A rise in yields for low-risk bonds could have major implications for institutional asset allocation next year.