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Absolute Return Overlay Solutions: The Best Hope?

Based on QMA’s 2020 2Q Capital Market Assumptions, expected returns on traditional public market investments are likely to be considerably lower over the next 10 years than in the last decade, significantly undershooting the return requirements of asset owners who need to meet liabilities. This has not been altered by the impact of COVID-19. In any rational analysis, traditional ways of enhancing those returns are not likely to fill that shortfall. Rather, the most effective way to meaningfully enhance returns on a strategic portfolio allocation is through portable alpha overlays. Portable alpha overlays can be implemented with high capital efficiency, without reducing exposure to longer-term strategic investments. Moreover, a well-designed portable alpha overlay strategy may enhance diversification by offering a low correlation to traditional asset class exposures and consistently add value in both up and down equity and bond markets.

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