Welcome to this issue of IMCA’s Investments & Wealth Monitor, where our theme is institutional investing. But if your practice focuses on individuals, please keep reading. In practice the lines are blurred between the institutional and individual investor, and I think you will find plenty here to interest you.
For instance, socially responsible investing is front and center among many investment committees, as well as individual investors. In “Sustainable and Responsible Investing for the Modern Fiduciary,” Suzanne Shier and Ben Lavin address the topic through the eyes of the trusted advisor. Alex Bernhardt then gives us another take. In “Responsible Investment: Performance vs. Conviction,” he explores the commitment required for building a socially responsible portfolio. Marcia Wagner and Thomas Clark walk us through the 40-year history of ERISA in “The Evolution of ERISA Fiduciary Best Practices,” and conclude that best practices are always evolving.
We also have authors with opinions about portfolio construction. In “The Rationale for Private Equity,” Bob Rice dares to offer a forecast describing private equity investing of the future. Tony Davidow, a regular I&WM contributor, discusses alternative investment strategies and the benefits of diversification across alternative strategies in his article, “Democratizing Alternative Investments.” Robert Whitelaw and Salvatore Bruno discuss the merits of managing international equity currency risk by implementing a partial currency hedge in their article,“Hedge of Least Regret.” Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne uncovers the benefits of working with emerging managers, who are likely to have more flexibility and less bureaucracy. And in “Real Assets: Liquidity and the Endowment Model,” Michael Underhill holds forth on alternative investments and concludes that investors should be wary of confusing liquidity with safety.
Three quite interesting pieces round out our issue. See “Trends in the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer Market,” by Travis Pruit; and “Maximizing Your Effectiveness on Investment Committees,” by Carolyn Lugbill and Jim Meffert. Arun Muralidhar revisits the topic of goals-based investing in his article “GBI = Gimme Better (Financial) Instruments.” And don’t miss Tony Davidow’s interview with Professor Heather Tookes and our Spotlight on Ethics.
In an industry where timing is everything, little did we know that 2016 would bring along additional market volatility and a low-return environment. We’ve also heard that it’s prompted some investment committees to question and in some cases stray from longer-term strategies. We hope the information you find here is useful as you work to help clients stay the course.
I look forward to visiting with many of you in at IMCA’s annual conference, this year in Orlando, April 17–20.
By David Koulish, CPWA®, CFP®
Chair, Editorial Advisory Board