“Peeky” Blinders

When individuals have uncertainty about a specific product or idea, they will often look to what their peer group is doing to help them decide. Social proof is a behavioural bias that can lead to decision making errors. By embracing a process-driven research flow to guard against behavioural biases and data peeking, Viewpoint can distinguish between true and false alpha.

Plot Twist: Your Bond Portfolio May Be Riskier Than You Think

Government bonds are often referred to as risk-free or safe-haven assets, and, in the right context, this is a correct label as they are low volatility investments that represent money lent to a sovereign nation with almost no risk of default. However, in the first half of 2022, a diversified portfolio of global government bonds returned -13.3% in CAD terms. So, how do we reconcile an outcome like this with the near-risk-free or safe-haven aspect of the asset class?

Rising From the Ashes

In early 2020, very few people understood the gravity of the situation occurring in China and the devastating impact that the global pandemic would have. This new disease, and the subsequent efforts to contain it, impacted the entire world. It has changed the way we work, changed the way we interacted, and changed the way many of us thought about disease and healthcare.

Is the 60/40 Portfolio Dead?

Over the last decade, there have been many proclamations that the traditional 60/40 portfolio is dead, mainly due to the fact that bonds were supposedly overvalued and yields couldn’t go any lower. This article from Ben Carlson highlights that while a 60/40 portfolio has delivered outstanding returns as a result of falling real interest rates…

Order Matters

Many investors, especially those with longer time horizons, tend to overlook the impact that volatility can have on their portfolio. However, the path of returns is not a factor to be ignored and a recent piece by Amy Arnott helps illustrate this point through several examples. She highlights the impact of positive returns early in…

Not Everyone Is A Winner

While in the midst of COVID-19, historical levels of unemployment, unprecedented levels of economic stimulus, and falling corporate profits, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) is in positive territory for 2020. The economic data would indicate we are in a recession, yet U.S. equity markets are not behaving as such. A recent article by…

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Assessing Suitability in the Context of Uncertainty


This installment in our volatility series will aim to provide a framework that helps to quantify an investor’s ability and willingness to take risk based on constraints and the importance of reaching wealth targets. Additionally, I will finally add varying returns into the analysis to illustrate the impact of the risk and return trade-off. Through simple examples and simulations, I will show that understanding an investor’s total financial picture and applying a probabilistic framework for risk management can help achieve desired outcomes in the face of uncertainty.

How Much Can You Bear?

In last week’s edition of Sagacious, we explored the rationale for shifting away from a traditional balanced portfolio (60 percent equities, 40 percent fixed income) based on recent comments from Dr. Jeremy Siegel, a finance professor at Wharton. However, just because a portfolio may be deemed efficient, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily right for all…

Good Old Faithful, or Just Old?

The popular 60/40 balanced portfolio (60% equities, 40% fixed income) has been a staple for many investors through their lifetimes and deservingly so. According to a recent piece by M. Batnick, 60/40 portfolios have boasted an annualized rate of return of 7.5% and positive rolling five-year returns in 99.4% of cases over the past half…

Vitamin D: Harvesting the Diversification Premium Through Prudent Leverage


In our latest Insight piece, we explore the parallels between the poker table and the world of investing by studying the nuances of risk and uncertainty. Authors Scott Smith (Managing Partner) and Ben Reeves (Manager, Data Science & Engineering) demonstrate how utilizing a Risk Parity strategy can help investors embrace uncertainty and derive more stable investment outcomes.