Investment Beliefs

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As an asset manager or pension trustee, you should worry less about the stocks and products you pick for your clients and more about getting your fundamental investment beliefs right.

After a steep decline in the global stock markets and a recovery that is still uncertain, it is simply is not enough to have a good organization, good staff and a well-defined mission. You need to formulate your own set of investment beliefs: a clear view on how you perceive the way capital markets work and how your fund can add value and strive for excellence. Funds which establish and implement a well-defined investment philosophy have been shown to earn consistently better results.This practical book provides the framework for determining your own investment beliefs and guidance on how to imbed, communicate and monitor them. Its research is based on a survey of the world’s leading fund managers, viewed as excellent companies in the asset management industry. The book includes a speed-read summary at the start of each chapter, useful checklists, and case-studies spanning organizations from a variety of different countries and industries. It also provides a timely overview of the major debates in the industry and an introduction to the issues that matter for long-term survival in financial markets

With investment beliefs firmly in place, you will be able to more easily
navigate the investment options available, knowing that your choices and decisions are in accordance with your values and objectives. Successful implementation of investment beliefs might well be one of the decisive factors in becoming a winner or loser in the investment management industry in 2020.

“A very thorough body of knowledge on investment beliefs. Professors Kees Koedijk and Alfred Slager have made a major contribution to this topic and have become the current thought leaders on this topic. Investment beliefs help guide the management and administration of an investment fund by providing a foundation for corporate policies, aligning interests and serving as an educational tool. If your investment fund does not have a clear set of investment beliefs, give this book to every member of your Investment Committee, and it soon will.”

Graham Pugh PhD

Investment Risk Management, OMERS

“This is an impressive contribution to trustee knowledge and understanding, written in an accessible manner with thought-provoking ideas and guides for action.  The author integrates theories of investment with financial innovation and governance to produce an ‘handbook’ for advanced decision-making; it can be read to education and it can be read to mobilise investment strategy.  I strongly recommend “Investment Beliefs” to trustees and investment professionals.”

Prof. Gordon L. Clark

University of Oxford

“Investing is the mean to an end. Koedijk and Slager have outlined the importance of clear goals and objectives for the investment policy of pension funds. They show how Investment beliefs can help to recognize the do’s and don’ts, how they can be developed and how they can be put to work. Sound investment beliefs are an important addition to the toolkit of trustees and their asset managers. This book is a helpful guide to make it work.”

Else Bos

CEO, PGGM Investments

“As pension fund trustee you should focus on the important issues for your pension fund like the risk appetite, the asset allocation and the choice of investment instruments. Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the dynamics of the financial markets and the characteristics of the specific instruments. Be keen on mitigating the agency risks in the contracts with your outside managers. Make explicit why and how the specific choices the board makes will add value for the fund. This process of understanding, making choices and supervise implementation can be approached in a structured way by formulating and discussing the investments belief system. This book shows you the way. Koedijk and Slager did a great job in bridging the gap between academic research and everyday practice. By reading and applying it, you will greatly increase the effectiveness of you board role.”

Prof. Jean Frijns

VU Amsterdam

“Wonderful reading with a clear and well thought out message: The key to achieving the desired performance by pension funds and asset managers is having the right investment beliefs and putting them into practice. Pension trustees and asset managers would be wise to carefully study the recommendations made by Professors Kees Koedijk and Alfred Slager in Investment Beliefs: A Positive Approach to Institutional Investing. The time devoted to studying the contents of this book will translate into enhanced performance and the avoidance of financial fiascos.”

Frank J. Fabozzi PhD

CFA Professor in the Practice of Finance Yale School of Management - Editor, The Journal of Portfolio Management

“The authors are early narrators of an important realisation in the investment world – that investors need to develop and implement ‘good’ investment beliefs to be successful. The book guides us on what ‘good’ might look like.  It is also a highly readable account of the practical issues investors encounter in this area and draws from many interesting live examples. I’d argue it should be required reading for trustees and investment committee members globally.”

Roger Urwin FIA

Global Head of Investment Content, Investment Consulting Towers Watson