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Aon Retirement and Investment Blog

Debating Active vs. Passive

The debate about active versus passive management is an incredibly polarizing topic, with many well informed experts passionately holding views on opposite extremes. In this blog, we summarize and clarify our views on the debate on active versus passive.

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Sources of Return in Active Commodity Management

This blog on active commodity management provides insight on the value of reviewing how the asset class can be accessed and the way active managers can create value.

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The Shrinking Stock Universe and What It Means for Investors

This blog post addresses stock de-listings from the U.S. exchanges and ties in how it impacts our evaluation of fund managers.  

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European bank deleveraging regains momentum

This blog highlights the current dispersion in the corporate sector, and the investment opportunities it is creating for event-driven managers. As such, the strategy can offer investors an attractive and relatively idiosyncratic source of return compared to more traditional equity and fixed income assets.

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We live in eventful times – the case for event-driven investing

This blog highlights the current dispersion in the corporate sector, and the investment opportunities it is creating for event-driven managers. As such, the strategy can offer investors an attractive and relatively idiosyncratic source of return compared to more traditional equity and fixed income assets.

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Minimum volatility – in a sweet spot, but for how long?

This blog highlights the strong performance, in terms of both return and risk, of “minimum volatility” strategies, particularly over the last couple of years, and examines some of the potential reasons for this. It also looks at potential future bumps in the road, such as a changing interest rate environment, elevated valuations, and possible changes in fund flows into this area.

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Capital Preservation in DC Plans Deserves a Second Look

Though it may be easy to overlook an asset class generally characterized by safety and stability, it is imperative for plan sponsors to take a second look at the capital preservation options in their programs and evaluate the fiduciary implications associated with the offerings.

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Know Your Managers

2015 was characterized by bouts of volatility, narrow stock leadership and some very wide divergences between indices and within the components of indices. In some instances this contributed to material underperformance amongst active managers and their respective benchmarks. During volatile times it is a good idea to reaffirm why a particular manager was hired and in what particular instances they may out or underperform.

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Sources of Hedge Fund Alpha

Most investors think alpha or performance comes from a single source: Manager Skill. However, there is more than one way to achieve superior returns and investors would be wise to consider all of the alpha options to maximize returns and minimize volatility within a portfolio.

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130/30 Renaissance

We review the recent performance trends of “130/30” strategies, which involve a limited amount of shorting, but remain beta one (maintain equity exposure). While a surface look at recent performance in databases seems favorable, a deeper dive serves as a reminder that that there is no panacea in the search for alpha and that one is required to identify truly skilled managers in less efficient asset classes. 

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