ASR's Quarterly Asset Allocation Survey

Fieldwork dates: 27th Aug – 10th Sep 2020

No. of participants: 186, representing USD $7 trillion of assets under management

Key takeaways:

• The Macro Environment:

Economy has rebounded but investors think there is more to come. They put the probability that the Global business cycle will be higher a year from now at 68%.

• Inflation: 

Investors are much more concerned about upside surprises to inflation – and the search for inflation hedges.

• Bonds: 

Investors think that there is a 64% probability that 10yr Treasury yields will be higher a year from now. Bias in favour of a bear steepener.

• US Credit: 

Investors expect further outperformance from US corporate credit – particularly from High Yield.

• Emerging Market (EM) Assets: 

Investors are much more positive towards EM assets – thanks to growing conviction of cyclical recovery, higher commodity prices, weaker USD, and improved appetite for credit risk.

• Global Equities: 

60% probability that Equities will be higher a year from now, with bias in favour of Cyclical, Value, & EM.

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What is the survey about?

Every quarter, ASR surveys Chief Investment Officers, Asset Allocators, and Multi-Asset Specialists from around the world. The ASR investor survey is different from other investor surveys in seven key respects:

  1. We wish to help investors better understand the probability of specific market outcomes within a specific time period. What is the likelihood of a certain financial event occurring over the next 12 months? Respondents tick one of five options (very likely / somewhat likely / no strong opinion / somewhat unlikely / very unlikely). By attributing a notional probability to each option, we can estimate an overall probability.

  2. Our survey focuses on investors who are responsible for having an investment outlook across a range of asset classes; other surveys tend to focus more on equity managers.

  3. The survey is short: we only ask twenty questions on calls that we believe are central to how CIOs and multi-asset specialists perceive the outlook for financial markets.

  4. The survey is confidential. All the fieldwork is managed by a third party, Extel-WeConvene, who ensures that the individual responses remain anonymous.

  5. Many surveys ask fund managers for their positioning and how they plan to change their exposure. Increasingly, investors view this as confidential information. We are not interested in investors’ positioning; we are interested in how they view different market outcomes.

  6. The survey will allow us to compare fund managers’ probabilities with those implicit in the market. It should also allow us to identify ‘high conviction” calls (i.e. the highest probability events) as well as multi-asset outcomes where investors have the weakest conviction. We may also be able to flag polarising events, i.e. events where the majority of respondents have strong, opposing views and where few respondents are neutral.


For more information or to participate in the survey, please contact us.

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