If there is one thing we learned over the past few years, it’s that the only thing certain in the economy is uncertainty. We have witnessed how global economies can undergo extreme fluctuations in the face of intermittent instability.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative to establish a sound portfolio management strategy that can withstand complex investment landscapes and mitigate risks. In today’s market conditions, a resilient portfolio is crucial to ensuring sustainable and long-term success.
Here are some key considerations for those in their quest for portfolio resilience:
The first key step is to recognise the changed environment we are in, and plan accordingly. Major macro-shifts in the economy have a considerable hand in the volatile business markets we see today.
We face a changed inflation regime, and both inflation and interest rates may stay high for some time to come. To add, we are seeing a shift in geopolitics with countries becoming more protectionist. Climate change poses an existential threat and is the low-carbon transition is accelerating.
Once you understand the foreseeable changes investors will face, you’ll then need to discern the main characteristics of a resilient portfolio. Primarily, a resilient portfolio is one that is able to handle both short-term shocks and long-term trends, to produce strong risk-adjusted returns across cycles.
Diversification is key, and true diversification requires truly uncorrelated income streams. Effective portfolio managers will need to stay on top of the changing correlations of asset classes and adjust accordingly.
The portfolio also needs an appropriate number of high-conviction bets to produce the required returns. To further determine your portfolio’s ability to confront uncertainty, it should be rigorously stress-tested to gauge its response to drastic financial scenarios and identify any potential investment risks.
Through WMI’s Dalio Sustainable Market Principles Program, you can learn how to harness the power of diversification using different perspectives, and rethink the alpha and beta measurements in portfolio construction.
To build a portfolio that can adapt to constant changes in the business landscape, asset managers must start learning to approach investments with a macro framework in mind.
It is also critical to look backwards and understand the lessons of past cycles and global power shifts, where repeatable patterns are still playing out in the world today. By learning from relevant examples across countries and across time, you will be much better equipped to navigate these patterns in today’s environment.
Secondly, it is crucial to gain the competencies to be able to combine top-down work with a bottom-up approach in your portfolio construction. Learn to effectively pin and analyse the correct macroeconomic factors, and how to identify attractive individual investments.
Investors must possess the mental resilience to deal with the changing world order and higher market volatility. On your journey towards portfolio resilience, you will be confronted with periods of unpredictable and sharp price movements in the market which could be stress-inducing.
Importantly, be wary of becoming too mentally fixated on pursuing investment opportunities of high conviction. This imposes a risk of overlooking the importance of diversification in your portfolios.
On top of that, it’s also important to keep your mind open and flexible and adopt systematic processes to reduce human bias. This will give you the ability to master any adversity and subsequently recognise advantageous opportunities before they turn into a commodity.
Learn to build a resilient portfolio in WMI’s Dalio Sustainable Market Principles Program which is based on the extensive insights, research and expertise of Ray Dalio, Founder, CIO Mentor and Board Member at Bridgewater Associates.
Through this flagship program, you will be equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the Economic Machine, build your capabilities in developing your own investment principles and approaches, and thoroughly prepare you for what lies ahead.