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Strategic Asset Allocation During Global Uncertainty W18632 STRATEGIC ASSET ALLOCATION DURING GLOBAL UNCERTAINTY1 Weina Zhang, Man Zhang, Ruth Tan, and Zsuzsa Huszar wrote this exercise solely to...

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Strategic Asset Allocation During Global Uncertainty



Weina Zhang, Man Zhang, Ruth Tan, and Zsuzsa Huszar wrote this exercise solely to provide material for class discussion. The
authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised
certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.

This publication may not be transmitted, photocopied, digitized, or otherwise reproduced in any form or by any means without the
permission of the copyright holder. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights
organization. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, contact Ivey Publishing, Ivey Business School, Western
University, London, Ontario, Canada, N6G 0N1; (t XXXXXXXXXX; (e) XXXXXXXXXX;

Copyright © 2018, National University of Singapore and Ivey School of Business Foundation Version: XXXXXXXXXX

In the early morning of January 23, 2017, you sat in front of your computer at home in Singapore to check
the performance of your investment portfolio. It has not been doing well in the past year, with a mere return
of 2 per cent.

eakfast, you opened the Wall Street Journal (Asia edition), and your attention was drawn to the
settling in of the new U.S. president, and discussion of the mixed economic outlook for the United States
and Europe, together with some expected U.S. policy changes related to taxes, health care, and
infrastructure investments. You had switched to zero weight on the U.S. market since 2009, after the global
financial crisis. You still vividly remembered that many of your friends had lost most of their investments
during the crisis.

Yesterday, your
oker sent you the latest information on a selection of 10 exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
listed and traded on the Singapore stock exchange, Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) (see Exhibit 1).
The funds included six equity ETFs based in the United States, Europe, and emerging markets China, India,
and Russia, in addition to four bond ETFs—two based in Asia, and one each in the United States and
Europe. You are now considering whether to reshuffle your portfolio to put more weights into the U.S.
securities. Given the changes in the global scene, should you adjust your investment portfolio? Before
deciding to revise your investments, you need to consider the expected returns and risks of these ETFs.

In addition, you also need to prepare for your family’s growing financial needs. You are ma
ied with two
daughters who are both in secondary school. They will likely attend college in one year and two years,
espectively. The expected college tuition and accompanying additional expenses for each daughter would
total approximately S$30,0002 per year for three years. You would be able to save approximately $10,000
per year from your salary as an engineer after deducting all household expenses for the next five years.
Hence, you also need to prepare for the education of your two daughters.

1 This exercise has been written on the basis of published sources only. Consequently, the interpretation and perspectives
presented in this exercise are not necessarily those of the authors.
2 S$ = SGD = Singapore dollars; all cu
ency amounts are in S$; S$1 = US$0.709 on January 31, 2017.
For the exclusive use of D. Ghosh, 2020.
This document is authorized for use only by Devleena Ghosh in Behavioral Corporate Finance (Summer 2020) taught by DUCCIO MARTELLI, Universit?? degli Studi di Perugia from Jun 2020
to Aug 2020.
Page 2 9B18N020


You started investing about 20 years ago, after attending an investment class when you were a university
undergraduate. Over the years, your investment capital has grown from an initial sum of $100,000 to
approximately $500,000.

You are keenly aware of the importance of strategic asset allocation and diversification. You understand
that strategic asset allocation is based on (1) the long-term expected returns and risks of different asset
classes, (2) the investor’s return and risk preferences, and (3) consumption needs and other considerations.3

In addition, you understand that you may need to do a bit of active tactical asset allocation for a short-term
horizon of one year, which would also allow your portfolio to gain additional returns.

Diversification is an investment principle that you have rigorously followed. You know that the risk of a
portfolio is determined by the co-movement between the returns of the component assets. You aim to
achieve maximum diversification benefits.


The geopolitical surprises in the United States in November 2016 had a significant impact on the global
financial markets. Many observers widely expected that President Trump would use more fiscal stimulus
and fewer regulations to stimulate the U.S. economy.4 As such, the U.S. equity market had started to rally
after November 2016 (see Exhibit 2, panel A). Similar trends were also observed in the U.S. Treasury yields
(see Exhibit 2, panel B) and in the exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the Singapore dollar (see
Exhibit 2, panel C).
In Europe, the British pound had taken quite a beating after the Brexit vote.5 The future of the euro was still
uncertain, as France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany would be holding their elections in 2017.
In emerging economies such as Mexico and Turkey, the economic outlook seemed to be pessimistic.6 The
outlook for Russia seemed firm, due in part to the warm relationship between President Donald Trump and
President Vladimir Putin.7 China and India had experienced capital flights for different reasons. The
Chinese government was implementing more and tighter capital controls,8 while the Indian government
had created quite a stir over the removal of its country’s largest banknotes.9


You would like to perform a thorough analysis of the available investment opportunities before reshuffling
your portfolio investments. Specifically, you want to perform the following tasks:

3 Investopedia, “6 Asset Allocation Strategies That Work,” April 6, 2018, accessed March 15, 2018,
4 “On Trump’s Agenda: Major Policy Shifts,” Wall Street Journal (Asia), January 23, 2017, accessed March 15, 2018, XXXXXXXXXXhtml.
5 FT Reporters, “Markets Outlook: The Big Issues Facing Investors in 2017,” Financial Times, January 2, 2017, accessed
January 26, 2017,
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid.
8 Yuan Yang, “China Tightens Control of Personal Forex Purchases,” Financial Times, January 1, 2017, accessed January
26, 2017,
9 Raymond Zhong, “India to Replace Largest Bank Notes,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2016, accessed January 26,
ent-500-and-1000-rupee-bank-notes XXXXXXXXXX.
For the exclusive use of D. Ghosh, 2020.
This document is authorized for use only by Devleena Ghosh in Behavioral Corporate Finance (Summer 2020) taught by DUCCIO MARTELLI, Universit?? degli Studi di Perugia from Jun 2020
to Aug 2020.
http: XXXXXXXXXXhtml
Page 3 9B18N020

1. Analyze the expected return from your investment after taking into account your family’s financial
needs in the next five years.
2. Conduct a Markowitz portfolio analysis on the 10 ETFs recommended by your
oker, using annual
historical returns and risks to determine the optimal portfolio allocation. Discuss the diversification
enefit by comparing the performance of individual ETFs with the efficient frontier. (Hint: The one-
year risk-free rate was 0.87 per cent in December 2016 using the one-year Treasury bill rate, as shown
in Exhibit 2, panel B).
3. Conduct a Markowitz portfolio analysis on the recommended 10 ETFs from your
oker using
annualized three-year historical returns and risks to determine the new efficient frontier. Discuss the
long-term investing benefit by comparing this efficient frontier with the efficient frontier determined
in point 2.
4. Based on the market risk premium forecasted by J. P. Morgan (see Exhibit 3), you wonder whether
you can perform a tactical asset allocation that might allow you to earn a higher return in the following
year. This would mean that you could adjust the allocation made in point 2 for the following year.
5. Analyze the quantitative and qualitative advantages and disadvantages of adding two alternative
investment vehicles into the optimal portfolio. The two alternative asset classes included gold and real
estate investment trusts that are traded in the US market and denominated in US dollars. The historical
annual index levels of the two ETFs are available in Exhibit 4.
6. Make a final optimal investment decision after taking into account of all the above analyses.
7. Discuss the weakness and vulnerabilities of applying the Markowitz portfolio theory in practice.
For the exclusive use of D. Ghosh, 2020.
This document is authorized for use only by Devleena Ghosh in Behavioral Corporate Finance (Summer 2020) taught by DUCCIO MARTELLI
Answered Same Day Jul 02, 2021


Parul answered on Jul 04 2021
143 Votes
Strategic asset allocation during global uncertainty
Investigate business problem
This case talks about an investor who had invested for almost twenty years but had stopped investing in the US market since the financial crisis of 2008. Existing portfolio of the protagonist provides anemic returns of 2 percent. Furthermore, as his family grows his financial needs escalate. Therefore, he considers reshuffling his investment portfolio to analyses and concentrate on the US economy and market trends.
Second major issue is that investor has to fulfil the additional cash flow for his daughters who are presently in secondary school and intend to go to college very soon in future. The complete expected expense of the college amounts to...

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