Much has been talked about regarding the failure of the 60/40 portfolio last year, but Vanguard analysts recently suggested that investors shouldn’t abandon a balanced portfolio strategy. Roger Aliaga-Diaz, portfolio construction head for Vanguard, and his team said in a recent note that “A balanced portfolio still offers the best chance of success.” Aliaga-Diaz noted that while the negative correlation between stocks and bonds broke down last year, “longer term, however, the data support balanced portfolios.” The firm noted that “The policy response to higher and more persistent inflation and the subsequent repricing of risk in global capital markets has led to a dramatic shift in our time-varying asset allocation (TVAA) outlook.” The TVAA looks to harvest the risk premiums for which the Vanguard thinks there is modest return predictability. Based on the firm’s current outlook, Vanguard’s optimal TVAA portfolio “calls for a 50/50 stock and bond split, and favors bonds and emerging markets.” Specifically, Vanguard’s TVAA allocation suggests 30% U.S. stocks, 20% international (divided equally between developed and emerging markets), 22% international bonds, and 27% U.S. fixed income (mostly in U.S. intermediate credit bonds). The firm noted that the interest rate tightening cycle in 2022 raised its expected bond return forecasts by more than the equity sell-off raised expected equity returns.
Finsum:While the 60/40 portfolio failed last year, Vanguard believes a balanced portfolio still offers the best chance of long-term success and recommends a 50/50 stock and bond split.
In a recent interview with ESG Clarity, Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor offered his thoughts on direct indexing and how custom features could lead to more people being interested in investing. Kapoor mentioned that while separate accounts were always touted as providing customization, in reality, most separate accounts did not provide much customization. That’s why he is so excited about direct indexing. He stated that, “the cool thing about building a direct index is that at the start, the adviser’s having this conversation with the client, not only about the risk profile, risk tolerance, time horizon – but suddenly the conversation is about preferences.” He believes that these preferences get clients engaged with their advisors. He said, that it can “allow an adviser to really drill into an individual’s preferences in an educated way – really walkthrough for the individual what the pros and cons are of implementing those preferences in a portfolio.” Kapoor also compared direct indexing to passive investing. He believes that while passive investing can be good for most people, it can take the fun out of investing. Direct indexing, on the other hand, has many of the benefits of passive investing, but it brings back the fun of making choices.
Finsum:Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor believes that direct indexing creates more engagement between advisors and their clients since it requires them to discuss preferences.
In a recent article for U.S. News & World Report, Cameo Roberson, founder of Atlas Park Consulting, offered six networking tips for advisors to get great results. Her first tip is to make a good impression to win prospects. She wrote that “Networking can happen when you least expect it,” which means it's important to be friendly, but not be too intrusive in determining whether a person wants to discuss their financial plans. Her second recommendation is to offer value to networking partners. She wrote, “Be a good resource and keep your word to people in your network. As time goes on, you'll build up a reputation as someone they can count on.” She also recommends normalizing the sharing of referrals by creating a system such as writing a note to share with colleagues that clearly describes who you'd like to be introduced to. Roberson also recommends growing your network through business partners. This includes developing a short list of firms that you have built relationships with. This creates a path to possible future referrals since some clients aren't a great fit for every firm. Her fifth recommendation is to build a clear strategy. Roberson recommends thinking outside the box and beyond traditional contacts such as accountants and attorneys. Her final tip is to move with intent and be consistent, meaning that you must implement any plan you create.
Finsum:Advisor consultant Cameo Roberson offered six tips for networking, including making a good impression, offering value to networking partners, normalizing the sharing of referrals, growing your network through business partners, building a clear strategy, and moving with intent and being consistent.
After a tough year for the markets, asset managers are bracing for cost-cutting in 2023. Revenues were down across the industry last year as falling markets hit both management and performance fees. In the U.S., total assets in mutual funds and ETFs dropped 17 percent between the start of 2022 and the end of October, according to data from the Investment Company Institute. This will force asset managers to cut costs and make tough decisions this year about how to grow. Some asset managers are predicting that the downturn will accelerate the shift by clients from mutual funds and brokerage accounts to other ways of investing, such as ETFs, separately managed accounts, and model portfolios. Martin Small, head of BlackRock’s US wealth advisory business and the firm’s incoming chief financial officer, told Financial Times, “Whenever there are super shocks in the market, people make big changes to their portfolios. This is when people do deferred maintenance. In U.S. retail markets, there is a move from brokerage accounts to fee-based advisory, which means more model portfolios and more ETFs.”
Finsum:After a tough year in the markets, some asset managers are predicting a shift towards model portfolios, ETFs, and SMAs for clients.
One of the big investment stories of 2022 was the failure of the 60/40 portfolio. Once a beacon of stability, the portfolio failed to provide safety last year as both the equity and fixed-income markets had negative returns. So, asset management firms are now suggesting higher alternative asset allocations to achieve greater diversification for investors. Daniel Maccarrone, co-head of global investment manager analysis at Morgan Stanley, said the following in research released by the firm, “Alternative strategies, such as those focused on hedge funds, private capital, and real assets, have long been appealing as a potential source of higher yields, lower volatility, and returns uncorrelated with stocks and bonds.” His research showed that adding alternative exposure to a portfolio may reduce volatility and potentially increase returns. Alternatives such as hedge funds, private debt, and real assets are less likely to be volatile since they are less subject to interest rate fluctuations. For instance, data from January 1, 1990, through December 31, 2021, showed that a portfolio of 40% stocks, 40% bonds, and 20% alternatives experienced annual portfolio volatility that was 88 basis points less than a 50% stock, 50% bond portfolio split. It also outperformed the 50-50 portfolio by 45 basis points annually.
Finsum:With the 60/40 portfolio failing to provide safety last year, asset management firms are recommending that investors include alternative allocations for diversification and lower portfolio volatility.
Investment advisor and banking solutions provider Save recently announced that it launched a savings product that is focused on ESG investing. The firm said in a recent press release that its "Market Savings program offers an option that provides a yield from iShares ESG Aware exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other ETFs.” According to the press release, the ESG Market Savings portfolio aims to maximize environmental, social, and governance characteristics and exclude companies with certain practices. The release also said that since the launch of this ESG portfolio, about 10% of the people who have signed up for Market Savings have selected the Save ESG portfolio. Save Founder and CEO Michael Nelskyla said the following in the release, “Consumers are increasingly turning to ethical choices in all aspects of life including investments. We see it as our fiduciary responsibility to offer ethical investing through our Market Savings program for those consumers who seek these choices.” The Market Savings program on Save’s Savetech platform offers a yield that varies according to underlying market performance. It also noted that customer deposits are FDIC insured.
Finsum:Save announced that it launched an ESG Market Savings portfolio that aims to maximize environmental, social, and governance characteristics and exclude companies with certain practices.