Asset allocation is the process of balancing risk and reward in a portfolio by choosing an optimal distribution of investments across asset classes. Strategic asset allocation determines investment policy: which assets to hold and the long-term percentage allocation to each asset class. Tactical asset allocation is dynamic management of the asset allocation in order to improve performance. Pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds, and other institutional and individual investors may have very different risk tolerances, time horizons, and investment objectives; this means they may have very different optimal asset allocations. Their asset allocation may also be constrained by the benchmark against which their performance is judged (since this acts as a control on investment policy) and by other restrictions related to their investment mandate. In this course, we explain how asset allocation decisions should be made, how they affect performance, and how to overcome practical challenges to implementing effective asset allocation.
By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Outline the steps in designing an investment portfolio
- Compare and contrast strategic and tactical asset allocation
- Describe the risk and return characteristics of major asset classes
- Show how key measures of portfolio risk, return and performance are used as inputs in optimal asset allocation
- Identify key challenges to effective asset allocation and show how they can be managed
- Discuss the role of asset allocation in portfolio performance and attribution
- Fundamentals of the Capital Markets/Securities Industry or equivalent knowledge
Program Level: Foundational – Intermediate
Target Audience: Anyone who wants to learn about the process of asset allocation, such as staff from compliance, middle office, IT, operations, legal, or HR, and regulators who work closely with various aspects of asset management.
Advance Preparation: None
Computers and Financial Calculators: N/A
Recommended CPE Credits: 2.4
Instructor: David Oakes
Duration: 2 hours