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 from the Q3 survey:


• 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.

186 participants, representing USD $7 trillion of assets under management

Image shows: ASR Asset Allocation Survey: Composite Optimism Indicator

What is the survey about?


ASR’s Multi-Asset Survey is a survey of probabilities.


Every quarter we ask over 200 CIOs, asset allocators, economists, and multi-asset strategists about the outlook for financial markets for the next 12 months. However, instead of asking them about how they are positioned (as many surveys do), we are trying to map how they see the financial world in terms of probabilities, and then compare those probabilities with how often those events have actually occurred over the past decade

The ASR investor survey is different from other investor surveys:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Would you like to become a survey participant?

We are keen to hear from institutional investors who would like to participate in our surveys. All survey participants receive the full report for every survey completed. 

Please fill in the form below to register your interest and a member of the team will be in touch. 

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