ASR's Quarterly Asset Allocation Survey

Fieldwork dates: 14th May – 28th May 2020

No. of participants: 235, representing institutions with in excess of USD $20trillion AUM

Key takeaways:

Corporate Credit back in favour
Policy responses to the Covid-19 recession have restored confidence to corporate credit. Respondents to ASR’s Asset Allocation Survey see a 66% probability that US Investment Grade will outperform Treasuries and a 55% probability that High Yield will outperform Investment Grade.


Equities expected to beat bonds over the next year
This belief that an insolvency crisis has been averted has helped equities. Investors have placed a 64% probability that stocks will beat bonds over the next 12 months. But the probability of higher corporate earnings (a low 46%) presents a risk.

Inflation view the key differentiator
Inflation is now a key differentiator between panellists, according to our cluster analysis of responses. Over a third of the panel expect inflation to accelerate, while just 18% expect an inflationless L-shaped recovery and for this rally to falter.

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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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