Evan Frazier, CFA, CAIA
Senior Research Analyst
Model portfolios — or those which adhere to a specific set of guidelines surrounding asset allocation and rebalancing — are often utilized by investors because of their rules-based nature, which eliminates the need for constant monitoring. One such model is the “60/40 portfolio,” which consists of a 60% allocation to diversified equities and a 40% allocation to a broad basket of fixed income securities. Due to the imperfect correlation between stock and bond returns, the 60/40 model has enjoyed decades of success at both providing its users with strong absolute returns and suitable protection during market drawdowns. Additionally, there is an intuitive attraction of the 60/40 portfolio due to its relative simplicity of holding just stocks and bonds as its underlying investments. That said, skepticism abounds regarding the model’s viability going forward in light of the current interest rate environment and low forecasted equity returns, particularly for those investors like endowments and foundations with specified spending requirements.
The aim of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of the 60/40 model going forward and provide guidance to investors whose spending targets require an expected return that is consistent with the historical performance of 60/40 portfolios, which has typically hovered around 8%.
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