The Impacts of Risk Parity Strategies

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater is the latest celebrity investment management firm to opine that in a low-interest rate environment government bonds not only offer little in the way of value for investors, but that their ability to provide risk reduction during financial stress will be impaired as well. As this article from Bloomberg reports, Bridgewater is…

How Strong Is Your Stomach?

The vast majority of the time, most investors are not terribly concerned with their risk tolerance. Typically, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of S&P 500 volatility, sits comfortably below 20 and financial markets exhibit a consistent upward trend. However, as 2020 can attest, markets don’t always behave this way. Earlier this year the…

Part 4 – One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Assessing Suitability in the Context of Uncertainty

BLOG SERIES: UNDERSTANDING RISK

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…

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.

What is Driving the Surge of Interest in Stocks?

Whether it’s from speaking to friends and family or browsing social media feeds, it’s easy to see that there is a renewed interest in the stock market among retail investors. At first glance, having more people interested in their personal finance and investing in financial markets seems like a very positive thing. However, after closer…

Some Things Never Change

As humanity emerges from the most recent crisis, we will read about how things have forever changed. People will write about the impact on how we work, commute, interact, and shop, as well as how the economy and markets will be affected. One thing that will remain constant, however, is human behaviour. Morgan Housel shares his…

Your Guess Is as Good as Mine

From February 19th to March 23rd, the S&P 500 plummeted -34 percent. From March 23rd until time of composition, the same index climbed approximately 50 percent. Do not confuse this as a net gain. (Refer to our blog series on risk and volatility for how path dependency is important for the geometric compounding of investment…

Part 3 – Going the Distance: How to Conquer the Challenges Imposed by Liquidity Requirements

BLOG SERIES: UNDERSTANDING RISK

In the third installment of our deep dive on volatility, Amin Haji, Manager of Investment Research and Analytics, discusses how portfolio constraints can affect your ability to take risk, focusing on time horizon and liquidity constraints. Using succinct examples, Amin explores whether or not liquidity needs have an effect on how impactful volatility is to your long-term wealth, and how simply having a longer time horizon may not in fact lower your ability to take risk, as conventional investing wisdom would have you believe.

Part 2 – Volatility, A Skewed Reality

BLOG SERIES: UNDERSTANDING VOLATILITY

Volatility drag – or how volatility exacerbates the divergence between arithmetic returns and geometric returns – is something that is often debated by investment managers and investors alike. A common argument is that while higher volatility increases your downside, it can also increase your potential upside and therefore it may be rational to be risk-seeking to some extent. Another argument is that with a long enough time horizon, investors don’t actually need to worry about volatility, because they can tolerate the ups and downs of the market.