Smart Beta Investing: A Fad or a Trend?

Smart beta is fast becoming a hot topic for investment managers and everyone. Even Investopedia reported it as the most searched for term in 2015.

However, the key question here is whether this is a fad or an effective alternative for investors to choose from investment options. As more funds jump on the bandwagon to exploit this opportunity, practitioners should ask themselves – how do we navigate this space and are we correctly positioned in this fast-evolving smart beta landscape? They should also gain a better understanding of how firms are differentiating themselves in this growing market and be aware of what investors are seeking.

This session by Amit Sinha, Portfolio Manager at Pacific Life, covered the significance, challenges, and opportunities surrounding smart beta investing.

Understand trends in the smart beta space, including trends within trends (more factors and
new strategies)
Identify the value addition of smart beta investing – what do investors want, what will they gain, and does this involve just low fees and semi-active investing?
Recognize challenges faced by smart beta funds (it’s not just the product that matters)

Amit is a Portfolio Manager at Pacific Life, where he manages a multi-asset fund based on systematic investment strategies. Prior to joining Pacific Life, he co-founded JPMorgan’s pension advisory group and played a key role in growing the business to over $20 billion in assets. In 2011, he helped sell the business to Pacific Life, where he joined the management team of its institutional advisory business.

Over the past 15 years, Amit has worked with large institutional investors such as pension funds to develop multi-asset cash and derivatives based hedging and low cost portfolio strategies. Amit also invests in and advises early stage fintech startups that improve financial decision making using technology, behavior and design.