Diversification: Andre Perold’s take on its value

“Diversification shouldn’t be viewed as protecting you from losses in wealth but rather from being concentrated in the worst-performing asset classes.”

In other words, diversification puts a floor under how badly you can do when all asset classes fall.

This struck me as a valuable insight from “Harvard Business School Professor Andre Perold Looks At The Forces Reshaping the Business of Asset Management,” on the blog for the CFA Institute’s Second Annual Middle East Investment Conference.

Other points I took from the CFa Institute’s summary of Perold’s talk include the following:

  • The value of classic endowment-style management has run its course because “the low-hanging fruit has been picked.”
  • New instruments that separate alpha and beta are useful; Now asset managers don’t have to “leave significant money on the table.”
  • Stable-weight portfolios should be replaced by portfolios with stable risk budgets. (I’ve written about Perold’s views in “Stable Risk Portfolios: A Timely Alternative to Static Asset Allocations?“)