Displaying items by tag: model portfolios
Kevin Flanagan, WisdomTree’s Head of Fixed Income Strategy, and Scott Welch, the firm’s CIO of Model Portfolios, recently shared some insights on how model portfolios can be used to generate yield in the current environment. They see this as an opportune time to invest in fixed income especially given the differential between the S&P 500’s dividend yield and short and long-term rates.
Currently, they see the Fed as wanting to remain hawkish, however the rise in long-term yields has also contributed to a tightening of monetary policy. In terms of inflation, they believe it has peaked but that the Fed is unlikely to begin cutting rates until the middle of 2024 due to ongoing tightness in the labor market. Additionally, they note that credit spreads have recently widened but nowhere near extreme levels.
Amid this environment, they recommend that investors stick to the short-end of the curve given the inverted yield curve and favor US Treasury floating rate notes which are the highest-yielding Treasuries. Within WisdomTree’s model portfolios, the firm has reduced its weight of high-yield debt while modestly boosting allocation to mortgage-backed securities.
Overall, they see fixed income as resuming its natural role - providing low-risk income and serving as a hedge against equities.
Finsum: WisdomTree shared some insights on the current macro landscape, and how it’s positioning its model portfolio allocation to flourish in this environment.
Blackrock is one of the leading providers of model portfolios. Currently, the asset manager is overweight megacap tech stocks. It sees strong earnings momentum and growth upside in addition to resilient balance sheets. These companies are more insulated from high rates as they aren’t reliant on bond markets for financing.
The stock market rally in 2023 has been defined by a handful of stocks, powering the indexes higher. In contrast, smaller stocks and the broader market have struggled. Many analysts have cited this divergence as one reason to question the durability of recent stock market gains.
YTD, the Nasdaq 100 is nearly 40% higher due to strong gains from companies like Nvidia, Meta, and Tesla. In contrast, the S&P 500 is up 14%. Currently, Blackrock’s model portfolios have about $100 billion tracking these stocks. This is particularly significant as the entire model portfolio asset base is estimated to be $4.2 billion.
According to Tushar Yadava, a strategist with Blackrock’s Multi-Asset Strategies & Solutions group, Blackrock has been mostly overweight equities this year, although the firm did briefly go underweight in the spring of this year, following the regional banking crisis. Earlier in the year, it anticipated that the stock market rally would eventually broaden out, but this hasn’t happened yet.
Finsum: Blackrock is overweight megacap tech in its model portfolios as it favors companies with earnings momentum and strong balance sheets.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Salim Ramji, Blackrock’s global head of iShares and index investments, spoke about the growth of model portfolios, and why he believes that assets under management (AUM) are projected to more than double over the next 5 years from $4.2 trillion to over $10 trillion.
Ramji commented that “It’s going to be massive. It’s the way in which more and more fiduciary advisers are doing business, and, as a result, that’s the way in which we’re doing business with them. It’s really just changed from being a cottage industry to being something that’s a real force for every fiduciary wealth adviser in the United States.”
Model portfolios are typically composed of ETFs and other funds that are bundled into pre-built strategies. An indication of the growth of model portfolios is that changes in allocations can be seen in trading volumes and fund flows data. For iShares, model portfolios comprise more than half of flows, while they accounted for a third of flows 2 years ago. The company expects similar traction for model portfolios in its international markets as well.
Blackrock’s bullishness on model portfolios is noteworthy as it is the largest asset manager in the world with $9 trillion in AUM and also the largest ETF issuer.
Finsum: Blackrock is forecasting that assets under management for model portfolios will exceed $10 trillion over the next 5 years.
Natixis Investment Managers conducted a survey with CoreData Research of more than 11,000 global investors in March and April of this year. It found that individuals invested in portfolios overseen by professional asset managers had less stress, were more trusting of advisors, and more financially confident.
Overall, the survey revealed that only 11% of model portfolio investors were stressed, while 23% of non-model portfolio investors were stressed. Additionally, 45% of model portfolio investors were confident about their finances while only 24% of non-model portfolio investors were.
The survey also revealed that 78% of model portfolio investors saw volatility as an opportunity. In contrast, only 47% of non-model portfolio investors felt the same. 70% of model portfolio investors felt that inflation meant it was time to invest more, in contrast to 40% of non-model portfolio investors.
For advisors, it’s particularly relevant that 97% of model portfolio investors trusted their financial advisors when making decisions in contrast to 73% of non-model investors who said the same.
However, only 51% of wealth managers and advisory practices in the US plan to offer third-party model portfolios.
The survey also revealed that model portfolios free up time for advisors by outsourcing portfolio management. This means more time for client services, financial planning, and prospecting.
Finsum: Natixis conducted a recent survey about model portfolios. Here are some of the major findings.
Model portfolios can help many financial advisors save time and focus more energy on their clients. They are based on the research, experience, and work done by asset managers and have been shown to offer better performance with less volatility during periods of market turmoil.
The category is rapidly expanding with 18% growth over the last 5 years and expectations that total assets will exceed $10 trillion over the next 5 years. These offerings can also be customized according to every client’s circumstances.
In terms of the best way to introduce model portfolios to clients, WisdomTree’s research shows that the best results are with smaller and tax-exempt accounts, where there may be less hesitancy when it comes to trying a new approach.
The research also indicates that younger clients who are more open to risk will be quicker to embrace model portfolios. In contrast, clients who are closer to retirement age are less likely to change course. However, more than 50% were willing to use model portfolios if properly explained.
The research also suggests that clients will be more willing to use model portfolios if the experience and credentials of the asset manager are emphasized.
Finsum: Model portfolios offer many benefits to advisors. The primary one is it frees up more time for client service.