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Interview

A Fireside Chat with Cliff Asness and Institutional Investor on ESG Investing

AQR Managing and Founding Principal Cliff Asness sat down with Institutional Investor Editor-in-Chief Michael Corcoran to answer some of the key questions on ESG investing. The conversation covered how a quantitative manager can effectively engage with companies, how investors can use their portfolios to help address climate change, why shorting is an effective ESG tool, and more.

Perspective

Value Investing Is Not All About Tech

It often seems like the world sees value investing as either implicitly or explicitly all about the technology sector vs. everything else. In reality, there are many different kinds of strategies and bets that are often labeled “value.” Our value bet is long and short extremely diversified portfolios of global stocks with a serious attempt not to bet on industries (like tech) – and we are very happy about that, both long-term strategically and tactically today.

Alternative Thinking

The Stock/Bond Correlation

For the past two decades, the stock/bond correlation – a fundamental detriment of risk in traditional portfolios – has been consistently negative. However, this hasn’t always been the case, and a positive stock/bond correlation could reappear due to macroeconomic changes. In this article, we assess the broad implications this would have for investors and set out practical steps to prepare for such an outcome.

Working Paper

When Fortune Doesn’t Favor the Bold: Perils of Volatility for Wealth Growth and Preservation

Entrepreneurs and executives holding much of their wealth in a highly appreciated single stock face either the high risk of idiosyncratic volatility and potentially catastrophic losses, or selling stock and facing an immediate, punitive tax burden. This paper evaluates this choice and explains how it relates to classic betting strategies and economic theory, finding tax-efficient techniques might strike the balance between the urgency to diversify concentrated risk and aversion to taxes.

Perspective

Still Crazy After All This YTD

Over these additional three months, value’s returns, as we measure them, have continued apace. Since February, the value spread has fallen slightly, though it remains near its tech bubble peak, at around a 95th percentile. Reminder — a massive valuation dislocation says very little about the timing of when it falls back to earth. But it’s nice to see it start and still leave the spread incredibly high.

White Paper

Supply Chain Climate Exposure

To manage climate risks, investors need reliable climate exposure metrics, but such risks may be difficult to measure, particularly along the supply chain. Using broadly accessible data, we propose an intuitive metric that quantifies the exposure a company has to customers and suppliers. Our metric is related to scope 3 emissions and captures the strength of economic linkages as well as the overall climate exposure of a firm’s customers and suppliers.

Data Set

How Do Factor Premia Vary Over Time? A Century of Evidence, Factor Data Monthly

This is the updated data set related to the paper “How Do Factor Premia Vary Over Time? A Century of Evidence,” in which we examine four prominent factor premia – value, momentum, carry, and defensive – over a century from six asset classes.

Data Set

Time Series Momentum: Factors, Monthly

We have updated and extended our data set for “Time Series Momentum" (Moskowitz, Ooi and Pedersen, 2012), in which we document an asset-pricing anomaly that is consistent across different asset classes and markets. We update the returns monthly.

Data Set

AQR Momentum Indices, Monthly

We have developed methodologies for U.S. and international markets that capture momentum in an intuitive and transparent way. The methodology can be applied to any universe of stocks. We have included monthly data for our three momentum indices here.

White Paper

Building a Better Commodities Portfolio

Interest in commodities is rising again, thanks to their tendency to be particularly strong diversifiers during periods of rising or volatile inflation. We review what a “best-in-class” commodity portfolio looks like by exploring three potential enhancements to a passive approach to the asset class.