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CA Perspectives June 2017
Over the Long Term, Diversification Still Wins

Since 2009, US equities have outperformed every major asset class by a considerable margin, returning 14.5% a year on average. And, over the same period, a simple 70% US equity/30% bond portfolio* returned 11.4% per year, on average. These kinds of results can tempt even the savviest investors into abandoning their long-term discipline and chasing…
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CA Answers June 2017
CA Answers: Will the US Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord Boost the Prospects for Investments in Energy?

Answers to our clients’ questions about market action and the market environment in a few paragraphs every two weeks. No. Market forces and technological innovation have been far more impactful on the energy sector than environmental regulations. Investors should maintain exposure to private energy and publicly listed energy equities, rather than view this event as…
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CA Answers June 2017
CA Answers: Playing the Long Game—Should the US Treasury Issue Ultra-Long Bonds?

Answers to our clients’ questions about market action and the market environment in a few paragraphs every two weeks. Yes. Issuance of ultra-long Treasury bonds (greater than 30 years to maturity, including potentially 40-, 50-, and 100-year maturities) would benefit multiple constituents. Ultra-long Treasuries would extend the investable Treasury curve for pension plans and life…
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Research Brief May 2017
Thought Mortality Was Dead? Considerations for Pensions Given the IRS’s Delay in Implementing RP-2014

The IRS’s somewhat unexpected decision to delay implementation of the RP-2014 mortality tables has impacted at least three separate aspects of pension plan strategy: calculating minimum contribution requirements; determining variable-rate PBGC premiums; and valuing lump-sum distributions to be paid out to terminated vested participants. This brief discusses what has changed and provides general considerations for all sponsors to weigh in the near term.
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CA Answers May 2017
CA Answers: In an Environment of Declining Demographics and Slow Productivity Growth, What Investments Look Attractive?

Answers to our clients’ questions about market action and the market environment in a few paragraphs every two weeks. Investments with the potential to earn returns competitive with equities—without a dependence on economic growth—are especially valuable diversifiers for portfolios. Such investments are varied, sometimes niche, and require skilled implementation. Many require some illiquidity, but may…
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Research Report May 2017
The Financial Performance of Real Assets Impact Investments: Introducing the Timber, Real Estate, and Infrastructure Impact Benchmarks

Within impact investing, real assets investments constitute one of the largest opportunity sets. This report presents findings from our analysis of the financial performance of 55 private real assets impact investing funds across three sectors: timber, real estate, and infrastructure. We find that risk-adjusted market rates of return are achievable in impact investing, but note that as with conventional funds, manager selection is key to success.

This report also marks the launch of the real assets impact investing financial performance benchmarks, which will track the performance of impact investing funds across the three sectors of focus and will be maintained and updated on a quarterly basis.
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CA Answers April 2017
CA Answers: Do the Results of the First Round of the French Presidential Election Sound the All Clear for European Risk Assets?

Answers to our clients’ questions about market action and the market environment in a few paragraphs every two weeks. Although the election results provide a powerful “risk-on” catalyst in the short term, the underlying long-term problems facing France and the Eurozone are unlikely to go away under a Macron presidency, so the old adage “sell…
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Research Note April 2017
A Stronger Union: Addressing the Unique Investment Challenges of Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans

Adaptive and sophisticated strategies are necessary to serve the unique features, constraints, and needs of multiemployer plans. In this note, we explore some of the key challenges that many multiemployer plans face, discuss how to invest in light of these challenges, and provide thoughts on governance and the overall role of the investment advisor in the multiemployer context.
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Research Report April 2017
Maintaining Strategic Direction through Peaks and Valleys

An extended bull market can tempt even the savviest investors into abandoning their long-term discipline. Resisting the impulse to switch horses in the middle of the race is hard, but necessary—the most important trait of successful investors is their ability to maintain discipline in sticking to a long-term strategy during good times and bad. Diversified portfolios—structured to earn returns comparable to their rate of spending at tolerable levels of risk—have benefitted long-term investors and grown their purchasing power for decades, and we have no reason to expect a different outcome when today’s bull market inevitably corrects.
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