Review the fundamentals of modern finance by catching up on the Summer Sessions hosted by State Street Associates’ team of academic and industry experts. Go back to the basics connecting theory to practice with trends like inflation, cryptocurrencies and ESG investing. To view a short overview video of the Summer Sessions, click here.
Replays are available on our research platform, Insights, in the Experts’ Corner, the exclusive home of our Summer Sessions recordings.
To read comprehensive notes of each session, use the links below.
How Media Narratives and Individual Investors Drive Markets
The equity market’s historic rebound following the Covid-19 downturn of 2020 was driven in part by the collective actions of millions of individual investors, many buying stocks for the first time. This expanded group of actors, who increasingly interact on social media to develop and spread trade ideas, has the potential to change market dynamics, introducing new risks and opportunities. In this session, Ronnie Sadka-the senior associate dean for faculty, chairperson and professor of Finance, and the Haub Family Professor at the Carroll School of Management, Boston College - will review the basics of behavioral finance and explain how investors should think about these principles in the modern era with a focus on the link between viral narratives and retail trading.
Asset Allocation: From Theory to Practice and Beyond, Part I - Fundamentals
Harry Markowitz transformed the process of asset allocation into a science with his 1952 paper on mean-variance analysis. And for the last several decades, mean-variance analysis has been the dominant approach to asset allocation. But even today, many of the core principles of asset allocation are widely misunderstood and mistakenly applied. In this first of a three-part series, Mark Kritzman, SSA founding partner and co-author of “Asset Allocation: From Theory to Practice and Beyond,” will review the key principles of effective asset allocation. He will reveal the conditions in which mean-variance analysis works or fails, how to apply it properly in the first case, and how to extend it to meet real-world complexities in the second case.
Asset Allocation: From Theory to Practice and Beyond, Part II - Fallacies
When fallacies are repeated often enough, they start to be seen as conventional wisdom. By now, the domain of asset allocation is chock full of harmful fallacies. These range from the falsely inflated importance of asset allocation itself, to the mistaken notion that time diversifies risk, or that factors offer superior diversification. In this second part of a three-part series, David Turkington, head of Portfolio and Risk Research at State Street Associates and co-author of “Asset Allocation: From Theory to Practice and Beyond,” will set the record straight on the most common misunderstandings. The resulting insights show tangible ways to build better portfolios.
Asset Allocation: From Theory to Practice and Beyond, Part III - Challenges and Solutions
Today’s investors confront low yields, new forms of risk, and increasing demands from stakeholders at the same time. The practical side of asset allocation must rise to the challenge. In this final section of our three-part series, Will Kinlaw, head of State Street Associates and co-author of “Asset Allocation: From Theory to Practice and Beyond,” will share best practices for creating and maintaining an effective asset allocation while facing issues like illiquidity, sudden regime shifts, forecast uncertainty, and much more. He will show how to extend traditional methods to build a process that meets an investor’s goals and inspires confidence.
Introduction to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
As the financial sector adjusts to the far-reaching implications of the blockchain revolution and debates the long-term viability of cryptocurrencies, investors need to understand the fundamental concepts that underpin digital assets. In this session, Antoinette Schoar - the Stewart C. Meyers-Horn Family Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management - will cover the basics of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and digital assets with a focus on how they could change financial markets and the risks and limitations that investors need to understand.
Introduction to Investor Behavior
Sophisticated investors have long recognized that market participants are not always 100 percent rational and that behavioral biases and trends can influence markets. It is essential that investors learn to recognize these patterns - both in themselves and the markets at large - as well as how to measure and account for them when managing portfolios. In this session, Kenneth A. Froot - the André R. Jakurski Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at Harvard Business School, academic partner at State Street Associates, and renowned economist - will review key principles of behavioral finance with a practical focus on implications for investment management.
Introduction to Private Markets
Private markets have grown dramatically in recent years as investors have sought the higher returns and diversification these assets can introduce to portfolios. These potential benefits also come with a range of complexities. In this course, Josh Lerner - the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School and academic partner at State Street Associates, as well as the author of multiple books including “Patient Capital” and “The Money of Invention” - will review the core attributes of private markets and what investors need to know today.
Introduction to Inflation
As the global economy re-emerges from the global Covid-19 pandemic and central banks around the world continue to hold interest rates near historic lows, inflation risk looms large in the minds of investors. In this session, Alberto Cavallo - the Edgerley Family Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, co-founder of PriceStats, an academic partner at State Street Associates, and member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - will discuss the fundamentals of how inflation is measured, what drives it, and how to think about the risk to investors in 2021.
Introduction to Central Banking
In an increasingly interconnected world, it is impossible to succeed as an investor without a firm grasp on economic fundamentals and policy levers. In this session, Robin Greenwood - the George Gund Professor of Finance and Banking - will review the fundamental tenets of central banking with a focus on the main questions global investors should be thinking about in 2021.
Introduction to ESG Investing
Sustainable investing poses many challenges to investors. As new data, taxonomies, and standards emerge, investors are scrambling to understand their exposure and identify concrete steps they can take not only to position their portfolios but also make positive impact and improve risk-adjusted performance. In this session, George Serafeim - the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and academic partner at State Street Associates - will walk you through an ESG roadmap built upon his foundational research from why and how investors use ESG information, to financial materiality, corporate strategies, value for price, climate metrics, and roles of ESG ratings and disagreement.