Tactical Alpha: A Quantitative Case for Active Asset Allocation
Posted: 3 Jun 2015 Last revised: 15 Aug 2017
Date Written: September 3, 2014
Grinold linked investment alpha and Information Ratio to the breadth of independent active bets in an investment universe with his Fundamental Law of Active Management. Breadth is often misinterpreted as the number of eligible securities in a manager’s investment universe, but this ignores the impact of correlation. When correlation is considered, a small universe of uncorrelated assets may explain more than half the breadth of a large stock universe. Given low historical correlations between global asset classes in comparison with individual securities in a market, we make the case that investors may be well served by increasing allocations to Tactical Alpha strategies in pursuit of higher Information Ratios. This hypothesis is validated by a novel theoretical analysis, and bolstered by two empirical examples applied to a global asset class universe and U.S. stock portfolios.
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