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What are tactical adjustments? In their 1986 asset allocation research, Brinson, Beebower, & Hood defined tactical asset allocation as:

“…strategically altering the investment mix weights away from normal in an attempt to capture excess returns from short-term fluctuations in asset class prices (market timing);”

When it comes to tactical asset allocation, a growing body of evidence shows investors who make tactical moves in their portfolios do best when both technical analysis and fundamental analysis align.

Turn on any media outlet and there’s plenty to worry about. Will China’s slowing economy lead to a global recession? Has the Federal Reserve waited too long to raise rates? Are energy stocks in a long term bear market? Will Donald Trump really become our next president?!


But what is real “risk” for individual investors? In general, risk is uncertainty of the future. Technically speaking, risk for investors the standard deviation of returns. Most investors understand key tenets of portfolio management, such as the power of diversification in reducing the risk of future portfolio returns. (We discuss such topics in detail in our white paper.)

But with all of this attention focused on the markets and the portfolio, we fear many investors are missing the forest through the trees. What about the uncertainty associated with retirement? How long should you plan for? What about the risk that your portfolio won’t get you there?

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