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Written by: Francesc Naya, Jahja Rrustemi, Nils S. Tuchschmid


Evaluating the performance of Alternative Risk Premia products as standalone investments is not sufficient to conclude whether these products add value to institutional investors, whose portfolios are largely composed of well-diversified equity and bond allocations, and usually smaller ones to alternatives assets, including alternative risk premia products. In this article, we study whether the inclusion of ARP products add value to two well-known benchmarks of balanced allocations: the 60/40 world equity/bond portfolio and the Pictet LPP 2015-60 index. Taking a sample period from 2016 to May 2021 of live ARP products, we find that a systematic allocation to ARP with no equity exposure significantly improves risk-adjusted performance measures, due to risk reduction, even though it caused a small drag in compounded return over the long term. This impact is somehow similar to the one many investors seek in Trend-Following funds or Tail-Hedge products, for which we compare results. Finally, the drag in performance disappears if one can dynamically manage the inclusion of ARP into the balanced portfolios, even though it is well-known that market timing ability is at the very least a rare asset.

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