Global Balanced Risk Control Strategy: Total Portfolio Risk Control
Global Balanced Risk Control Strategy: Total Portfolio Risk Control

Global Balanced Risk Control Strategy: Total Portfolio Risk Control

 
 
 
Summary

The Morgan Stanley Global Balanced Risk Control (GBaR) Strategy follows a top-down global asset allocation approach, investing in equities, fixed income, commodity-linked investments and cash, within a clearly-defined, risk-controlled framework. It aims to provide capital growth over time, while actively managing total portfolio risk, which we define in terms of volatility or value-at-risk (VaR).

We manage GBaR portfolios to a range of risk targets; the goal is to always maximise returns for the level of risk taken. To help achieve this, the strategy seeks not only to participate in rising markets, but also to mitigate downside risk in more volatile markets.

2009
Strategy Inception
Customisable
Total Portfolio Risk Target
 
 
Investment Approach
Philosophy

The Global Balanced Risk Control team believes that:

Risk exposures must be intentional
Investing in a diversified set of global asset classes, taking only systematic risks that we expect to be rewarded, is the best way to deliver the optimal return for the risk taken

Anticipating volatility is crucial
Only by anticipating volatility can we manage a portfolio’s broad asset mix to meet our volatility target

Tactical asset allocation can add value
Allocation within asset classes – e.g., between equity regions or high-quality and lower-quality securities – can add value

Flexibility improves outcomes
A flexible approach – in terms of asset weights and implementation – is the optimal way to meet our objectives

 
Differentiators
Time-tested process, run by an experienced team
We have a long history of managing portfolios, consistently following the same asset allocation process that we have successfully applied to client portfolios since 2009.
Volatility-targeting process aims to provide a stable risk profile
We never lose sight of returns, but we start with a volatility target consistent with the client’s risk appetite, which becomes our primary reference point. The strategy’s flexible asset allocation process enables the portfolio managers to dynamically adjust positioning, to maintain a stable risk profile, in line with the set guidelines.
An academically-rigorous approach, applied in a real world setting

The process is grounded in modern portfolio theory and combines a fundamental flexible investment approach, with the advantages of quantitative implementation tools.

Dynamic positioning to capture current opportunities

Portfolios within the GBaR strategy are generally rebalanced as market conditions warrant, but at least on a monthly basis, at which time; the broad asset mix consistent with a portfolio’s target volatility or dynamic “proxy” portfolio is redefined.

 
 
 
Investment Process

Since 2009, the Global Balanced Risk Control (GBaR) team has employed a differentiated volatility-targeting investment approach that seeks to harness the power of risk.

As market conditions warrant, the team dynamically adjusts the portfolio's mix of equities, fixed income, commodity-linked assets and cash, to align with the agreed risk target on an ongoing basis. We typically adjust the broad asset mix 1-2 times each month, based on anticipated event risks. However, in extreme markets we may need to adjust positions more frequently, to maintain a stable risk profile.

The GBaR team's risk-targeted asset allocation process is consistently applied to all portfolios, but tailored to client-specific guidelines and objectives. All GBaR portfolios are managed according to the following 3-stage investment process:

 
 
Portfolio Managers
Managing Director
37 years industry experience
Executive Director
12 years industry experience
 
 
Insights
Macro Insight
Sand in the Gears
Aug 09, 2018
Trade and tariff rhetoric has weakened business fixed investment and thrown sand into the gears of the global economy. While it is still moving forward, we see clear signs it may be slipping a bit.
Market Outlook
Sand in the Gears
Aug 09, 2018
Trade and tariff rhetoric has weakened business fixed investment and thrown sand into the gears of the global economy. While it is still moving forward, we see clear signs it may be slipping a bit.
Market Outlook
Both Sides: Disruptive Power of Energy Efficiency
Jun 01, 2018
The global shift towards energy efficiency has the potential to disrupt virtually every sector, increasing productivity, improving corporate earnings and spurring capital investment.
 
 
 
 

RISK CONSIDERATIONS  

There is no assurance that the Strategy will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the portfolio will decline and that the value of portfolio shares may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this portfolio. Please be aware that this strategy may be subject to certain additional risks. There is the risk that the Adviser’s asset allocation methodology and assumptions regarding the Underlying Portfolios may be incorrect in light of actual market conditions and the Portfolio may not achieve its investment objective. Share prices also tend to be volatile and there is a significant possibility of loss. The portfolio’s investments in commodity-linked notes involve substantial risks, including risk of loss of a significant portion of their principal value. In addition to commodity risk, they may be subject to additional special risks, such as risk of loss of interest and principal, lack of secondary market and risk of greater volatility, that do not affect traditional equity and debt securities. Currency fluctuations could erase investment gains or add to investment losses. Fixed-income securities are subject to the ability of an issuer to make timely principal and interest payments (credit risk), changes in interest rates (interest-rate risk), the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity (market risk). In a rising interest-rate environment, bond prices may fall. Equity and foreign securities are generally more volatile than fixed income securities and are subject to currency, political, economic and market risks. Equity values fluctuate in response to activities specific to a company. Stocks of small-capitalization companies carry special risks, such as limited product lines, markets and financial resources, and greater market volatility than securities of larger, more established companies. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed markets.  Exchange traded funds (ETFs) shares have many of the same risks as direct investments in common stocks or bonds and their market value will fluctuate as the value of the underlying index does. By investing in exchange traded funds ETFs and other Investment Funds, the portfolio absorbs both its own expenses and those of the ETFs and Investment Funds it invests in. Supply and demand for ETFs and Investment Funds may not be correlated to that of the underlying securities. Derivative instruments can be illiquid, may disproportionately increase losses and may have a potentially large negative impact on the portfolio’s performance.  A currency forward is a hedging tool that does not involve any upfront payment. The use of leverage may increase volatility in the Portfolio. Diversification does not protect you against a loss in a particular market; however, it allows you to spread that risk across various asset classes. 

This communication is only intended for and will be only distributed to persons resident in jurisdictions where such distribution or availability would not be contrary to local laws or regulations.

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions, and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest for the long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

A separately managed account may not be suitable for all investors. Separate accounts managed according to the Strategy include a number of securities and will not necessarily track the performance of any index. Please consider the investment objectives, risks and fees of the Strategy carefully before investing. A minimum asset level is required. For important information about the investment manager, please refer to Form ADV Part 2.

Any views and opinions provided are those of the portfolio management team and are subject to change at any time due to market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Furthermore, the views will not be updated or otherwise revised to reflect information that subsequently becomes available or circumstances existing, or changes occurring. The views expressed do not reflect the opinions of all portfolio managers at Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) or the views of the firm as a whole, and may not be reflected in all the strategies and products that the Firm offers.

All information provided has been prepared solely for information purposes and does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security or to adopt any specific investment strategy. The information herein has not been based on a consideration of any individual investor circumstances and is not investment advice, nor should it be construed in any way as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice. To that end, investors should seek independent legal and financial advice, including advice as to tax consequences, before making any investment decision.

DEFINITIONS

Alpha is the excess return or value added (positive or negative) of the portfolio’s return relative to the return of the benchmark.

Value at Risk (VaR) is a statistical technique used to measure and quantify the level of financial risk within an investment portfolio over a specific time frame.

Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

The indexes are unmanaged and do not include any expenses, fees or sales charges. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Any index referred to herein is the intellectual property (including registered trademarks) of the applicable licensor. Any product based on an index is in no way sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the applicable licensor and it shall not have any liability with respect thereto.

The information presented represents how the portfolio management team generally implements its investment process under normal market conditions.

 

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