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Target Date Fund Research Series, Part I: Advantages of a Quant Approach to Glide Path Analysis

As target date funds (”TDFs”) become increasingly entrenched in investors’ retirement portfolios, plan sponsors and advisors do not miss the irony that these products, meant to simplify the investors’ decision process to the point of simply choosing the fund with the closest date to their intended retirement, can add a world of complexity to their […]

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Forecasting Bridgewater All Weather Performance in November’s Bond Storm

November’s government bond sell-off resulted in one of the sharpest increases in Treasury yields in recent history and an uptick in fixed income volatility. While this may be particularly bad news for traditional fixed income funds, risk parity funds should, in theory anyway and to the extent that other asset classes have held their ground, […]

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Remembrance of Things Past: Carmignac Patrimoine’s Resurgence

Carmignac Gestion’s flagship fund, Carmignac Patrimoine, which grew in size and stature amongst the European investment management community due to sage risk management during the Financial Crisis and stellar long-term performance, faced a difficult 2013 and early 2014. Performing near the bottom of its peers in this window of time, investors questioned whether Patrimoine and […]

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PTTRX: When is a switch a switch?

With Bill Gross’ surprise departure from Pimco, many investors are looking more closely at the behavior of Pimco Total Return in relation to its peers. Investors and consultants reviewing the new team and near-term performance will be making decisions in the next weeks and months that could have considerable impacts for the future of fixed […]

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Tracking BFOR: Searching for Style in a Stockpicker’s ETF

At the request of Barron’s “Focus on Funds” and “ETF Focus” columnist Brendan Conway, MPI performed a quantitative analysis of BFOR, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on the Barron’s 400 Index. The index, which seeks to identify “America’s high performing companies” in an effort to beat the market by investing in “growth at a reasonable […]

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Crisis in the Rearview Mirror: Monitoring Mutual Funds in the Five Year Window

March marked the first month that the impact of extreme down markets of the Financial Crisis faded out of 5 year fund performance histories. With the darkest days of 2008 and Q1 2009 removed from 5 year track records and associated risk measures, significant shake-ups are being felt in many DC fund “scorecards”, investment policy […]

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Brilliance Bundled in Quantity: The Quest to Understand Liquid Alts

Liquid Alternatives are rapidly gaining a foothold in investors’ portfolios. A recent survey of Defined Contribution (DC) consultants by Pimco showed bullish predictions on the growth prospects for liquid alternatives and enthusiasm for the inclusion of these offerings in DC retirement plan lineups and products, including custom target date and target risk funds. 40 Act […]

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The Taper at the Beach: Pimco, the Fed and a Quantitative Approach to the World’s Largest Bond Fund

In the WSJ’s February 24th exposé of the turmoil at the helm of Pimco, we saw a curious bit about tension at “the Beach” increasing in the summer of 2013. During this period, according to the Journal, conflict between then co-CIOs Bill Gross and Mohamed E-Erian became apparent to staff, and Gross restricted trading at […]

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Challenges in Analyzing PIMCO Total Return and Other Liquid Alternatives

Is a given hedge fund manager generating alpha?  Can that alpha be captured through more liquid alternative vehicles?  How can an investor truly reveal a portfolio’s net factor exposures when traditional assets are often being intermingled with credit default swaps, options, futures and leverage?  These questions continue to stymie investors – even though answers may […]

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Chart of the Week: Update on Bridgewater All Weather

In recent weeks risk parity[1] funds have been the focus of particularly unfavorable reports on their performance.  Bridgewater’s All Weather Portfolio, the original and most famous risk parity fund, is often held up as an example. The risk parity approach has performed particularly well over the past decade, minimizing losses during both the tech bubble […]

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