The last year has been surprising in many ways for investors and advisors, alike. In what will be remembered for a wild ride in equities, and maybe (finally) the end to the 30-year bull market for core bonds, one thing was easily predictable – the financial press reaction to liquid alternatives’ (Diversifiers) performance for the year. Is there more to the story?
Investors of all types are voting with their money and dumping active managers of all kinds in favor of indexing at a rate not seen before. Whether it is 401k plans using life-style portfolios or major pension plans deciding to fire their long used managers and consultants, the trend is real and growing.
In this whitepaper panel discussion, Gary Manguso, Vice President-Product Strategy, sits down with Mandate 3 strategists Phil Toews, CEO and founder of Toews Corporation and Terri Spath, CFA, CFP Chief Investment Officer at Ocean Park Asset Management to discuss the current market and how it relates to bonds.
The new FTJ FundChoice Risk Tolerance Questionnaire has been designed to provide the initial opportunity to engage prospective clients in a unique conversation that would set the advisor apart from other advisors and new “robo” alternatives.
From a market perspective February seems like a long time ago. Headlines were all about recession and market corrections. The global stock indices began the year with the worst January on record, and the first half of February brought no relief. With this as a backdrop, Barron’s cover featured AQR Investments, “AQR’s academic research has led to some truly alternative funds.”
As we review the current results of various Managed Futures strategies we find a wide set of potential returns, as well as a wide variety of options as to the type of investments offered. These strategies include single manager, multi manager and indexed.
The first quarter of 2016 provides advisors with a significant opportunity to ready their process for the oncoming DOL standard. With equities having their poorest yearly start in history, then bouncing back with a vengeance, bonds defying most predictions and Gold being the leading asset (+14%) class for returns, the cyclical nature of the markets played out over 90 days rather than typical 5 years.
With last night’s Golden Globes and tonight’s NCAA College Football Championship, the awards season is officially underway. Although we are unsure of when Morningstar and Lipper will announce their fund family of the year, we will go out on a limb and call it now. For our money, and thankfully more and more of our advisors, AQR is the hands down winner.
Most tactical firms will tell you that volatility brings opportunity. Whether they believe markets to be under or overvalued, their more active periods are linked to more active Market Movement. We thought that it would be a good time to look at some of the industry’s more popular tactical firms and see how the last several months of volatility have impacted their returns. We recognize that many of the tactical moves that they are making today will impact their returns over the next full market cycle, but it is always interesting to try and monitor more recent trends.
Market Neutral is a strategy undertaken by an investor or an investment manager that seeks to profit from increasing and decreasing prices in a single or numerous markets. Market-neutral strategies are often attained by taking matching long and short positions in different stocks to increase the return from making good stock selections and decreasing the return from broad market movements. Market neutral strategists may also use other tools such as merger arbitrage, shorting sectors, and so on.
As we move into the fourth quarter it looks more and more like 2015 may not be a particularly good year for investors. The year to date return for most mutual funds of all kinds is now break even or below, and this year will be remembered more for volatility than return.
There’s no question that robos are trending. The big guns are in, and an entrant launches monthly. The question for advisers to ask is, what does the robo future hold? Having worked for 20 years in the TAMP industry, I see similarities daily between our TAMP experience and the current robo evolution. Let’s take the lessons from my past to predict the robo future and plan our offensive strategy going forward.
At the May 2015 FTJ FundChoice Advisor Summit Frank Barbera, who manages Ocean Park Asset Management Balanced Risk, warned us of the global issues being played out in our markets. As a participant of our Bull/Bear panel, Mr. Barbera’s bearish view of the markets certainly gave those of us in attendance something to think about.
With increased daily volatility in global stock markets coupled with low interest rates, the case for diversification utilizing strategies not linked directly to stock and bond beta seems strong.
Federal Reserve officials in June saw the economy moving toward conditions that would support an interest-rate increase, while also expressing concern about weak consumer spending and risks from China and Greece.
Our evolved modeling process thinks about a well-diversified client portfolio consisting of three distinct mandates:
With most global equity markets soaring, and many fixed income markets dealing with rising rates and central bank intervention, advisors and their clients face a challenging environment in 2015.
Investors now seem to come in two distinct types: those who need to catch up and are pushing advisors for more performance and those who have been twice burned and are now waiting for the other shoe to drop before adding risk.
The Liquid–Alternative Mutual Fund category is doing well with over $20 billion is estimated to be invested this year. For future growth, the starting point is to educate advisors and their clients on the selection and monitoring of the Diversifier universe to complement and enhance the overall portfolio.
Within weeks FTJ FundChoice will begin to offer an approach we believe maximizes the tools available for our advisor base. By combining the tech platform of the UMA with the oversight offered through our new partnership with Rocaton Advisors, we will offer our Three Mandate approach to portfolio construction with emphasis on the selection, scoring, and monitoring of Diversifiers to complement client portfolios.