Yves Smith on AOI’s Hedge Fund Principles

one dollar bill

This week, the Alignment of Interests Association (AOI) released a set of proposed changes in the way hedge funds do business with their investors, such as pension funds.

AOI, a group to which many pension funds belong, said that hedge funds should only charge performance fees when returns beat benchmarks, and that fee structures should better link fees to long-term performance.

The proposals can be read here.

Yves Smith wrote a post at Naked Capitalism on Thursday weighing in on some of the proposals. The post can be read below.

_______________________

By Yves Smith, originally published at Naked Capitalism

Admittedly, some of [AOI’s] ideas sound promising, such as requiring funds to disclose if they have in-house pools not open to outside investors, or if they are subject to non-routine regulatory inquiries. But their key proposals are around fees. As readers probably know from private equity, the devil for this sort of thing lies in the details.

One of this group’s Big Ideas is requiring funds to meet benchmarks before profit shares are paid out, meaning the famed prototypical 20% upside fees. And they do sensibly want those fees to be based on annual rather than monthly or quarterly performance (with more frequent fees, an investor could have a lot of performance fees paid out in the good periods more than offset by underperformance or losses in the bad ones, and not see a settling up until he exited the fund or it was wound up. Longer performance periods reduce the odds of overpayment for blips of impressive results). But private equity funds have long had clawbacks. Yet as we’ve discussed at length, those clawbacks are virtually never paid out in practice. One big reason is the way the clawbacks intersect with tax provisions that serve to vitiate the clawback. It would be perfectly reasonable for hedge funds to ask for provisions similar to those used by private equity funds, with those clever tax attorneys modifying them to the degree possible to make them work just as well, from the perspective of the hedgies, as they do for private equity funds.

Hedge fund investors also want management fees to scale more with the size of fund. Again, that exists now to some degree in private equity funds, with megafunds charging much lower management fees. But it isn’t clear how much the hedge funds investors will gain. Bloomberg reports that the average management fee in the second quarter of this year was 1.5% of assets. That’s lower than typical private equity fees, which according to Eileen Appelbaum’s and Rosemary Batt’s Private Equity at Work still averaged 2%, and for funds over $1 billion, 1.71%. And of course, the fact that hedge fund agreements are treated as confidential, just as private equity agreements are, impedes fee comparisons and tougher bargaining. If this group really wanted to drive a tougher bargain, they’d insist on having the contracts be transparent. That proposal is notably absent.

In keeping, the AOI also calls for better governance. We’ve seen how well that works from private equity land. “Governance” in private equity consists of an advisory board which is chosen by the general partner from among its limited partners. You can bet that the general partners choose the most loyal and clueless investors. The only way one might take oversight arrangements seriously is if these funds had far more independent boards, as is the case with mutual funds.

So while I would be delighted to be proven wrong, history says that there isn’t much reason to expect this effort to get tougher with hedge funds to live up to its billing. And with new investment dollars continuing to pour in despite mediocre performance (assets under management rose 13% in the last year, with roughly half the increase coming from new contributions/a>. As long as investors are putting more money into hedge funds despite dubious performance, there isn’t sufficient negotiating leverage to push for more than token reforms.

 

Photo by c_ambler via Flickr CC License

Pension Funds: Hedge Funds Should Meet Benchmarks Before Charging Fees

scissors cutting one dollar bill in half

Pension funds and other investors called for changes Tuesday in the way hedge funds charge fees.

The proposed changes were outlined in a statement by the Alignment of Interests Association (AOI), a hedge fund investor group to which many pension funds belong.

The group said that hedge funds should only charge performance fees when returns beat benchmarks, and that fee structures should better link fees to long-term performance.

More details from Bloomberg:

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas and MetLife Inc. are among investors that yesterday called on managers to beat market benchmarks before charging incentive fees in a range of proposals that address investing terms. Funds should base performance fees on generating “alpha,” or gains above benchmark indexes, and impose minimum return levels known as hurdle rates before they start levying the charges, said the Alignment of Interests Association, a group that represents investors in the $2.8 trillion hedge fund industry.

“Some managers are abiding by the principals to some extent but we are hoping to move everyone toward industry best practices,” said Trent Webster, senior investment officer for strategic investments and private equity at the State Board of Administration in Florida. The pension plan, a member of the association, oversees $180 billion, of which $2.5 billion is invested in hedge funds.

[…]

To better link compensation to longer-term performance, the AOI recommended funds implement repayments known as clawbacks, a system in which incentive money can be returned to clients in the event of losses or performance that lags behind benchmarks. The group said performance fees should be paid no more frequently than once a year, rather than on a monthly or quarterly basis as they are at many firms.

AOI also called on the hedge fund industry to lower management fees – or make operating expenses more transparent so higher management fees can be justified. From Bloomberg:

Management fees, which are based on a fund’s assets, should decline as firms amass more capital, the investor group said.

“We need good managers, not asset gatherers,” Webster said. “The incentives are currently skewed.”

[…]

Firms should disclose their operating expenses to investors so they can assess the appropriateness of management fee levels, the group said.

“Management fees should not function to generate profits but rather should be set at a level to cover reasonable operating expenses of a hedge fund manager’s business and investment process,” the AOI said.

The fees should fall or be eliminated if a manager prevents clients from withdrawing money, according to the group.

Hedge funds typically utilize a “2 & 20” fee structure; but in the second quarter of 2014, hedge funds on average were charging “1.5 & 18”.

 

Photo by TaxRebate.org.uk via Flickr CC License

Hedge Funds Willing to Reduce Fees In Exchange For Longer Commitments

hedge funds lockup

Hedge funds are looking to lock up investor funds for longer periods of time — 66 percent of hedge funds aimed to lock up funds for one year or more in 2013, according to a survey by eVestment.

In exchange, funds are willing to revise their fee structures downward.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Managers say tying up investor money for a year or more enables them to buy less easily tradable but potentially more profitable assets. It also reduces the pressure from monthly or quarterly redemption requests when performance wanes.

Extending the term also allows managers to distinguish themselves from the growing cadre of “liquid alternative” mutual funds that try to replicate hedge-fund-style trading but must allow daily redemptions.

[…]

Two-thirds of new hedge funds demanded a lockup of one year or more in 2013, a 30% increase from the previous year, according to the most recent data available from research firm eVestment. The average fund has a lockup of 377 days, eVestment said. Those pushing for longer terms include funds managed by industry stalwarts like Fir Tree Inc., GoldenTree Asset Management LLC, Trian Fund Management LP and Viking Global Investors LP, said people with knowledge of the funds.

The fact that investors have been receptive to longer lockups could indicate higher confidence:

That investors are agreeing to the extended terms, or lockups, demonstrates a significant shift in confidence since the financial crisis, when trust was shaken by rapid market losses and some fund managers prevented investors from withdrawing their money. That was quickly followed in late 2008 by Bernard Madoff ’s admission he had been running a Ponzi scheme, causing billions of dollars in losses for his investors.

“As we move further and further from 2008, people are getting more comfortable,” said Spiros Maliagros, president of $3 billion hedge-fund firm TIG Advisors LLC.

But some investors are skeptical of longer commitments:

Some observers warn that investors should be careful about allowing a manager to keep their money for so long, pointing back to the crisis when some hedge funds—particularly those holding less-liquid assets— halted withdrawals. Some investors still haven’t been paid back.

“People have forgotten a lot of the lessons from the crisis,” said Andrew Beer, chief executive of Beachhead Capital Management, which invests in hedge funds.

Several investors said they were skeptical that many hedge funds, particularly those that invest in markets that are easily traded such as stocks, need the extra leeway. Some pointed to the recent underperformance of these equity-focused funds relative to their benchmark markets as a risk of extended lockups.

View the graphic at the top of this page to see how hedge funds are changing their fee structures for longer commitments.

Surveys: Institutional Investors Disillusioned With Hedge Funds, But Warming To Real Estate And Infrastructure

sliced one hundred dollar bill

Two separate surveys released in recent days suggest institutional investors might be growing weary of hedge funds and the associated fees and lack of transparency.

But the survey results also show that the same investors are becoming more enthused with infrastructure and real estate investments.

The dissatisfaction with hedge funds — and their fee structures — is much more pronounced in the U.S. than anywhere else. From the Boston Globe:

Hedge funds and private equity funds took a hit among US institutions and pension managers in a survey by Fidelity Investments released Monday.

The survey found that only 19 percent of American managers of pensions and other large funds believe the benefits of hedge funds and private equity funds are worth the fees they charge. That contrasted with Europe and Asia, where the vast majority — 72 percent and 91 percent, respectively — said the fees were fair.

The US responses appear to reflect growing dissatisfaction with the fees charged by hedge funds, in particular. Both hedge funds and private equity funds typically charge 2 percent upfront and keep 20 percent of the profits they generate for clients.

Derek Young, vice chairman of Pyramis Global Advisors , the institutional arm of Fidelity that conducted the survey, chalked up the US skepticism to a longer period of having worked with alternative investments.

“There’s an experience level in the US that’s significantly beyond the other regions of the world,’’ Young said.

A separate survey came to a similar conclusion. But it also indicated that, for institutional investors looking to invest in hedge funds, priorities are changing: returns are taking a back seat to lower fees, more transparency and the promise of diversification. From Chief Investment Officer:

Institutional investors are growing unsatisfied with hedge fund performance and are increasingly skeptical of the quality of future returns, according to a survey by UBS Fund Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The survey of investors overseeing a collective $1.9 trillion found that only 39% were satisfied with the performance of their hedge fund managers, and only a quarter of respondents said they expected a “satisfying level of performance” in the next 12-24 months.

[…]

The report claimed this showed a change in expectations of what hedge funds are chosen to achieve. Investors no longer expect double-digit returns, but instead are content to settle for lower fees, better transparency, and low correlations with other asset classes.

Mark Porter, head of UBS Fund Services, said: “With institutional money now accounting for 80% of the hedge fund industry, they will continue seeking greater transparency over how performance is achieved and how risks are managed, leading to increased due diligence requirements for alternative managers.”

Meanwhile, the USB survey also indicated investors are looking to increase their allocations to infrastructure and real estate investments. From Chief Investment Officer:

“Despite the challenges of devising investment structures that can effectively navigate the dynamic arena of alternative markets, asset managers should remain committed to infrastructure and real assets which could drive up total assets under management in these two asset classes,” the report said.

“This new generation of alternative investments is expected to address the increasing asset and liability constraints of institutional investors and satisfy their preeminent objective of a de-correlation to more traditional asset classes.”

The report noted that despite waning enthusiasm for hedge funds, allocations aren’t likely to change for the next few years.

But alternative investments on the whole, according to the report, are expected to double by 2020.

Deutsche Bank: CalPERS’ Hedge Fund Exit “Has No Bearing” On Allocations Of Institutional Investors

The CalPERS Building in West Sacramento, California.
The CalPERS Building in West Sacramento, California.

Deutsche Bank says that after a series of meetings this month with institutional investors, they’ve concluded that CalPERS’ hedge fund exit “has no bearing on most investors commitment to the industry.”

From ValueWalk:

Deutsche Bank prime brokerage notes that hedge funds have been engaged in “extreme protection buying in equities” and said that the recent exit from hedge funds by CalPERS “has no bearing on most investors commitment to the industry.”

After speaking with the institutional investor community regarding their commitment to maintain their hedge fund allocations, Deutsche Bank’s Capital Introductions group reports this positive message that it says was bolstered by recent meetings with Canadian pensions and global insurance companies throughout the month, while a trip to Munich indicated an increase in hedge fund exposure from institutions.

[…]

Separate hedge fund observers, meanwhile will be watching numeric asset flow patterns in December and the first quarter of 2015 to determine on an objective basis if there has been a statistical move away from hedge funds.

Even if institutional investors on the whole aren’t moving away from hedge funds, the exit by CalPERS – and the public debate swirling around the investment expenses associated with hedge funds – has forced some hedge funds to reconsider their fee structures. From the Wall Street Journal:

Two titans of the hedge-fund and private-equity world say they are growing more open to reducing fees in the face of rising scrutiny of the compensation paid to managers of so-called alternative investments.

[…]

Mr. [John] Paulson [founder of hedge fund firm Paulson & Co.] said he feels “pressure” to act in the wake of “enormous numbers in compensation” for hedge fund managers. Mr. Paulson, 58, earned a reported $2.3 billion last year, counting both fees and the appreciation of his own personal investment in his funds.

“Institutions are becoming a little more demanding…they are putting pressure on the management fee and the incentive fee,” he said Monday during a panel discussion at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Joseph Landy, co-CEO of $39 billion buyout shop Warburg Pincus, echoed Mr. Paulson’s experience.

“There are a lot of private-equity managers out there who can make a lot of money before they return a dime to investors,” Mr. Landy said. “Most of the pressure [to reduce fees] has been on the actual annual management fee.”

Neither he nor Mr. Paulson, however, were too concerned about any widespread threats to their businesses.

“We came out relatively unscathed from the crisis. We’re doing pretty much the same things we did as before [with] very little restrictions on how we invest the money,” Mr. Paulson said.

Paulson said he think more hedge funds will start using “hurdles”, a fee structure which prevents managers from collecting performance fees until they’ve met a certain benchmark return.

 

Photo by Stephen Curtin

Chart: The Rise of Hedge Funds In Pension Portfolios

hedge funds chartIn recent years, hedge funds have solidified themselves as a big part of pension portfolios by two measures:

1) More pension funds than ever are investing in hedge funds

2) Those pensions are allocating more money towards hedge funds than ever before

That bears itself out in the above graphic, and this next one:

hedge fund statsA recent Preqin report had this to say about the numbers:

“There are more US public pension funds than ever before allocating capital to hedge funds, and these investors are investing the most they ever have in the asset class. Public pension funds have increasingly recognized the value of hedge funds as part of a diversified portfolio, and although CalPERS’ withdrawal from the asset class will spark some investors to look more closely at their current allocation model, the importance of hedge funds as a source of risk-adjusted returns for these investors is likely to continue to prove attractive for US retirement schemes.

Preqin’s recent research highlights that investors are not using hedge funds to produce outsized returns, but instead to produce uncorrelated, risk-adjusted returns. Over short and longer time frames, hedge funds have in general met investor needs for risk-adjusted returns. However 2014 has been a period of relatively turbulent returns when looking at Preqin’s monthly benchmarks; in times like this, investor calls for changes in fee structures and better alignment of interests become more vocal, and this clearly has had an impact on CalPERS’ decision.”

 

Chart Credit: Preqin

Interview: Hedge Fund Mogul Talks CalPERS’ Pullout, Manager Selection and Justifying Fees

question bubbles

Forbes released an interview Thursday morning with Anthony Scaramucci, founder and co-managing partner of alternatives investment firm SkyBridge Capital.

The interview touched on CalPERS’ hedge fund exit, how the pension fund picked the wrong managers and how to pick the right ones. Later, Scaramucci touched on justifying the industry’s fee structure.

On CalPERS’ pullout:

Steve Forbes: Thank you, Anthony, for joining us. To begin, in terms of hedge funds, as you know the overall performance of hedge funds has lagged the market in recent years. CalPERS, the largest hedge fund in the country, made headlines by saying, “We’re getting out of this.” What is that a sign of? Either the hedge fund industry is going away and is only sustained because there’s nothing else around that’s suppressing interest rates or is this a sign of the bottom? When a big one gets out does that mean this is the time to get in?

Anthony Scaramucci:  Well, so, the question’s is it going to get easier or harder from here?  That was a good start, Steve.  But the short answer is that there’s a lot of reasons why the industry’s underperformed. The main one has to do with something you often talk about, which is Federal Reserve monetary policy.

So, the policy since March of 2009 has been to hammer down the rates, artificially stimulate the market. This makes it impossible for about 40% of the hedge fund managers to perform. If you look at the overall hedge fund manager index, 40% of it is in long-short managers.

And so if you’re long something, you’re doing great in this market. But I’ve got to tell you something, Steve. If you’re short something, even if you’re right on the security analytics, you’re going to be wrong on the momentum of the market. And so what’s happened to the long-short managers is the longs are going up, the shorts are going up, and they have this little tight spread. They’re making 3%, 4%, 5% when the market’s rip roaring and the media is writing all these nasty articles about them.

But there are places to make money. There’s structured credit, activism. There’s a whole host of distressed guys that have done well over the last six years. But I think the media has been justified in pointing out that, in general, the hedge funds have not done well.

The CalPERS thing is a little different. They only had 1.5% of their assets there. Joe Dear, who was a legendary guy at CalPERS, when he passed I think it became one of those things where they weren’t going to get bigger for political reasons, and so they decided to get way smaller.  But I don’t think it’s a death knell of the industry yet. In fact, I’ll make a prediction that we’ll look back two or three years from now and say that they caught the bottom of the hedge fund performance market.

On manager selection:

Forbes: You said that they [CalPERS] picked the wrong hedge fund managers.

Scaramucci: Yes.
Forbes: How do you pick the right ones? Because it’s fine to say, “Well, if you look at the top 10%, you would have done nifty.”

Scaramucci: Yes.

Forbes: But, like, the top 10% of stocks, how do you do it on a consistent basis?

Scaramucci: Well, okay. So, not to use a baseball analogy, but just think of it this way.

Forbes: You can, I’m a fan.

Scaramucci: Okay. So, well then you’ll probably know this from the Bill James Abstracts.  Sixty percent of the everyday players are batting .260 or below, yet every midsummer classic we see 40 guys on the field that are Hall of Famers or the top of what they do. And I think that’s indicative of most industries, frankly, whether it’s the media, the hedge fund industry or, you know, political landscape and so forth. And so there are certain metrics that you can use to identify who’s going to do well. But the number one metric is the macro environment.

If you tell us what the economic dashboard looks like over the next 12 to 18 months, we have pretty high capabilities on the prediction side of what sectors are going to do well. As an example, 2009, if you and I were having this conversation, I would have told you that the residential mortgage-backed security market was going to do very, very well. Those assets were distressed. They were technically oversold by the large institutions. The Federal Reserve monetary policy at that time with Helicopter Ben bringing things down so aggressively, that was going to be an easy place to make money.

And so if you looked at SkyBridge at that period of time, we had about 45% of our assets there. So, the first factor is the macroeconomic factor. The second factor then is, once you figured out what sector you’re going to be in, who are the best guys in that sector and why are they the best? And frankly, a lot of them will be different depending on different markets.  Some guys are longer than others. They’ll always be longer. Lee Cooperman is an example of that. If you’re a bull on the market, Lee’s a good bet. It’s that sort of thing.

On the fee structure of hedge funds:

Forbes: You’re a fund of funds, so to speak.

Scaramucci: Yes. Yes.

Forbes: And you know the rap, hedge funds 2%, 20%.

Scaramucci: Sure.

Forbes: Now your fees 1.5%, whatever it is, on top of that.

Scaramucci: Yes. Yes.
Forbes: How do you justify your existence?

Scaramucci: Well, listen. We’re up there with child molesters with most people, so I’ve got a hard time in justifying my existence at times. But I tell people the same thing that I think you would tell them if you were in my seat. Focus on net performance.

If you’re worried about fees, well then you certainly shouldn’t be in the hedge fund industry.  But I think what we’ve proven, if you look at our long-term track record, we can help clients get to their actuarial goals by taking less risk, or less beta, if you will.

And so our performance is high single-digit, low double-digit over the last ten years with relatively low volatility. And so I think we’ve been able to justify that. But we did shift our model.  I often talk about hedge fund fund of funds 3.0 in the sense that we’re viewing ourselves more like a multi-strat now. We look at the macro environment rather than trying to hug the index, like some of our peers.

The typical fund of funds got a bad rap because they weren’t doing the due diligence. And then they give you 50 managers. They’d give you a 2% in each of those managers. And you’d be hugging the index on your way to mediocrity. What we’ve tried to do, is we’ve tried to concentrate our portfolio on things that we think are working. We have a dynamic approach, where we will move out of securities or move out of hedge funds quickly if we think the market environment has changed. And we believe in concentration.

So, the top ten managers for us, Steve, are about 65% of the assets. And I think that’s differentiated us from our peer group. One last point, if you don’t mind me making it is that, if I’m giving a billion dollars out to somebody, if SkyBridge is giving out a billion dollars, we’re asking for fee concessions. And so we pass those on to our investors. So, even though we have all these loaded fees, so to speak, we’re giving back 75, 80 basis points a year in fee concessions, which I think is meaningful.

The entire interview can be read here.

Video: Hedge Fund Manager On “Tweaking” Fee Structure

 

The video above features John Paulson, founder of $22 billion hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co., talking about the fee structure of hedge funds and whether he feels “pressure” to change that structure to appease fee-averse investors.

“Institutions are becoming a little more demanding…they are putting pressure on the management fee and the incentive fee,” Paulson says during the video.

The footage was taken during a panel discussion at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

 

Video courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

Hedge Funds Feel “Pressure” To Reduce Fees

one dollar bill

Some major hedge fund managers are feeling “pressure” to reduce fees according to the Wall Street Journal:

Two titans of the hedge-fund and private-equity world say they are growing more open to reducing fees in the face of rising scrutiny of the compensation paid to managers of so-called alternative investments.

[…]

Mr. [John] Paulson [founder of hedge fund firm Paulson & Co.] said he feels “pressure” to act in the wake of “enormous numbers in compensation” for hedge fund managers. Mr. Paulson, 58, earned a reported $2.3 billion last year, counting both fees and the appreciation of his own personal investment in his funds.

“Institutions are becoming a little more demanding…they are putting pressure on the management fee and the incentive fee,” he said Monday during a panel discussion at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Joseph Landy, co-CEO of $39 billion buyout shop Warburg Pincus, echoed Mr. Paulson’s experience.

“There are a lot of private-equity managers out there who can make a lot of money before they return a dime to investors,” Mr. Landy said. “Most of the pressure [to reduce fees] has been on the actual annual management fee.”

Neither he nor Mr. Paulson, however, were too concerned about any widespread threats to their businesses.

“We came out relatively unscathed from the crisis. We’re doing pretty much the same things we did as before [with] very little restrictions on how we invest the money,” Mr. Paulson said.

Paulson said he think more hedge funds will start using “hurdles”, a fee structure which prevents managers from collecting performance fees until they’ve met a certain benchmark return. From the WSJ:

John Paulson, founder of $22 billion hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co., said he predicted more use of instruments known as hurdles, which bar managers from collecting their traditional 20% performance fee until they have earned a minimum return over a benchmark.

Traditionally, hedge funds are paid for any positive performance whatsoever–even if it falls well short of targets—in addition to a flat annual fee in the range of 1-2% for operating expenses.

Pulitzer Prize Winner: Hedge Funds Not Worth The Risk For Pensions

balance

David Cay Johnston, former Pulitzer prize-winning reporter for the New York Times and lecturer at Syracuse University, has written a column calling for pensions to stop risking assets with hedge funds.

He says the nature of hedge funds make the investment “not suited” for pension funds. First, he takes hedge funds to task for their fee structure. From the piece, published on Al-Jazeera:

Hedge funds charge hefty fees. Many hedge funds charge what is known in the trade as 2 and 20. That is for a 2 percent annual management fee, or $20,000 per $1 million, and 20 percent of all gains. Julian Simon’s Renaissance Technologies charges a 5 percent base and 44 percent of gains. From 1982 through 2009, when it averaged extraordinary 35 percent annual returns after expenses, that was a great deal, but since then, Simon has underperformed the market.

Compare these numbers with the very well-managed ExxonMobil pension fund, which its latest disclosure reports show has overhead charges of less than $1,200 per $1 million. Vanguard 500 investors pay as little as $500 annually to manage $1 million.

To get a better sense of the numbers, consider a year when the market return is 5 percent and a hedge fund earns that. On a $1 million investment, after a 2 percent management fee and a 20 percent profit performance fee, the hedge fund investor will be ahead by $19,200, or less than 2 percent; the Vanguard investor will be ahead by $49,950, or almost 5 percent.

The other facet of his argument is that hedge funds, while not necessarily a bad investment for other entities, are not a “prudent” investment for pension funds to make. From the editorial:

Hedge funds simply are not appropriate for taxpayers and public-sector workers. They are, rather, for wealthy speculators willing to take big risks in the hopes of earning big rewards while being able to tolerate the chance that an investment will shrivel or even be wiped out.

Pension money should be invested prudently. “Prudent” comes from the word “provident,” meaning to prepare for the future. And while its origins are in religious concepts, failing to prudently handle earthly money can turn the end of life into hell.

Given survivor benefits in pension plans, these pools of money should be treated as widows-and-orphans money. Under ancient and well-tested principles, the money of such vulnerable people must be invested with exceptional care to safeguard from loss. That means investment-grade bonds (more on that below) and either blue chip stocks or broad indexes.

Only with the rise in the last six decades of modern portfolio theory — investing in many different arenas to spread risk — have we gotten away from the idea that for widows, orphans and pensioners, only high-grade corporate bonds and a few blue chip stocks paying big dividends are appropriate investments.

The rest of the piece can be read here.