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Portfolio Design: A Modern Approach to Asset Allocation

ISBN: 978-0-470-93123-3
368 pages
March 2011, ©2011
Portfolio Design: A Modern Approach to Asset Allocation (047093123X) cover image


Portfolio Design – choosing the right mix of assets appropriate to a particular investor – is the key to successful investing. It can help you accumulate wealth over time, while cushioning the blow of possible economic downturns. But in order to successfully achieve this goal, you need to be familiar with all of the major asset classes that go into modern portfolios and learn how much they add to portfolio diversification. Thoughtful asset allocation provides discipline to the investment process and gives you the best chance of building and safeguarding wealth. Wharton Professor Richard C. Marston, 2014 recipient of the Investment Management Consultants Association’s  prestigious Matthew R. McArthur Award, will guide you through the major decisions that need to be made when designing a portfolio and will put you in the best position to balance the risk-reward relationship that is part of this endeavor. 

Portfolio Design is to be read by investment advisors. The book is rich in information about individual asset classes, including both traditional assets like stocks and bonds as well as alternative assets such as hedge funds, private equity, real estate, and commodities. So it should appeal to all sophisticated advisors whether or not they are trying to qualify for one of the major investment designations. In fact, the book is designed to be read by any advisor who is as fascinated as Marston by the investment process.

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Table of Contents



About the Author.

About the Book.


CHAPTER 1 Asset Allocation.

CHAPTER 2 Long-Run Returns on Stocks and Bonds.

CHAPTER 3 Small-Cap Stocks.

CHAPTER 4 Value and Growth Investing.

CHAPTER 5 Foreign Stocks.

CHAPTER 6 Emerging Markets.

CHAPTER 7 Bonds.

CHAPTER 8 Strategic Asset Allocation.

CHAPTER 9 Hedge Funds.

CHAPTER 10 Venture Capital and Private Equity.

CHAPTER 11 Real Assets—Real Estate.

CHAPTER 12 Real Assets—Commodities.

CHAPTER 13 Asset Allocation with Alternative Investments.

CHAPTER 14 Investing and Spending by Foundations.

CHAPTER 15 Investing and Spending in Retirement.

CHAPTER 16 The Discipline of Asset Allocation—Rebalancing.



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Author Information

RICHARD C. MARSTON is currently James R.F. Guy Professor of Finance and Director, George Weiss Center for International Financial Research at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He was a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship, Fulbright Fellowship, and the Sanwa Bank Prize in International Finance. He has been a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1979, a visiting professor at London Business School, ESSEC in Paris, and the Sasin Institute at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, and Visiting Scholar at the Bank of Japan. Since 1999, he has been Academic Director of the Private Wealth Management Program at Wharton, a week-long program for ultra-high-net-worth investors, and he is a long-standing faculty member in the Certified Investment Management Analyst program at Wharton, having taught asset allocation to over 5000 financial advisors.
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"Wharton professor Richard Marston has captivated investors and investment professionals for over thirty years, including the 600 ultra-high-net-worth investors who have completed Wharton's five-day Private Wealth Management program. Never boring, and always practical, Dick Marston knows both institutional investors and individual investors well—their concerns and challenges. Portfolio Design will no doubt become a timeless reference for any serious investor."
—Charlotte Beyer, founder and CEO, Institute for Private Investors

"Richard Marston's tremendous insight into building well-diversified and successful investment portfolios has benefited a generation of financial advisors and individual and institutional investors. Marston offers a dynamic and cutting-edge understanding of the asset allocation process."
—Phil C. Shaffer, CIMA, Managing Director, Graystone Consulting, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

"After taking a bruising the past couple of years, many advisors who only learned the basics of asset allocation have too quickly dismissed the science of effective portfolio design. Many of these advisors have turned their back on the essential knowledge, tools, and skills for a new age of sophisticated investors. For more than twenty-three years, the best and brightest financial advisors in the world have learned asset allocation and portfolio design strategies from Dr. Marston on their path to become Certified Investment Management AnalystSM (CIMA®) practitioners, the premier credential for investment consultants. Advisors who are serious about serving their clients' investment objectives will consume this book from cover to cover."
—Sean R. Walters, CEO/Executive Director, Investment Management Consultants Association®, the credentialing body for CIMA® certification

"Dick has done it again! He has synthesized a vast body of knowledge into an incisive foundational tome for financial advisers. He uses the prism of historical returns to make sense of recent downturns and dispels common myths in various asset classes. For financial advisers seeking a solid foundation on which to base their advice, Portfolio Design is a must-read."
—Stephen M. Horan, PhD, CFA, Head, Professional Education Content and Private Wealth, CFA Institute

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