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Coming Soon: The Allocator’s Edge

Last week, I broke the internet* when I shared the news that my forthcoming book – The Allocator’s Edge: A modern guide to alternative investments and the future of diversification – was available for pre-orders and scheduled to be released late October.

*(Ok maybe I didn’t break the internet, but my WiFi connection was definitely spotty for like 20 minutes that day.)

This book has been a passion project of mine for the last couple of years and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how the final product turned out. The cherry on top of this sundae – I (somehow) got the one and only Cliff Asness to write the book’s foreword. Yes, THE Cliff Asness. Cliff sits atop my investing Mount Rushmore and the research from him and his colleagues at AQR is the spark that ignited my interest in alternatives over a decade ago. To have his involvement is literally a dream come true for me.

So why did I decide to write a book about alternative investments?

There is a tremendous amount of responsibility that comes with being a fiduciary and managing the life savings of others. With interest rates at historic lows, the job of building balanced portfolios that meet investors’ objectives has gotten harder and harder.

I’m hardly the first person to observe the muted return expectations that traditional 60/40 portfolios face in the years ahead. Yet as obvious as the math is for the bond side of the portfolio (starting yields are a pretty good approximation of future returns) many allocators seem unprepared, or unwilling, to ditch the security blanket that is 60/40 and incorporate additional diversifying investments into their portfolio mix.

My raison d’être with The Allocator’s Edge is to reach other forward-thinking financial advisors and investment professionals involved in the asset allocation process who believe we can do better than the status quo.

I believe there are a lot of investment professionals out there who truly want to build better portfolios on behalf of the people and entities they serve, but are unsure as to how. I’m excited to help others with this endeavor by sharing the knowledge I have accumulated over the years specific to this “third pillar” of portfolios.

I don’t consider myself to be an evangelist or zealot for alternatives, but I do believe we are entering a golden age of non-traditional investments as complements to traditional asset classes.

Alternative investments including private equity, hedge funds, catastrophe reinsurance, real assets, non-traditional credit, alternative risk premia, digital assets, collectibles, and other novel assets are now available to investors and their advisors in ways that they never have been before.

The pursuit of diversification is not as straightforward as it once was ― and the classic 60/40 portfolio may no longer be sufficient in helping investors achieve their most important financial goals. With the ever-present need for sustainable income and risk management, alternative assets are poised to play a more prominent role in investor portfolios.

The three parts of The Allocator’s Edge address:

1. Why the future may present challenges for traditional portfolios; why the adoption of alternatives has remained elusive for many allocators; and why the case for alternatives is more compelling than ever thanks to financial evolution and innovation.

2. A comprehensive survey of the asset classes and strategies that comprise the vast universe of alternative investments.

3. How to build durable and resilient portfolios that harness alternative assets; and how to sharpen the client communication skills needed to establish proper expectations and make the unfamiliar familiar.

The Allocator’s Edge is written with the practitioner in mind, providing financial advisors, institutional allocators, and other professional investors the confidence and courage needed to effectively understand, implement, and translate alternatives for their clients.

Early reviews for The Allocator’s Edge

They say it takes a village and that could not be more true when it comes to writing a book. In addition to my wonderful editor at Harriman House, Craig Pearce, I had the luxury of being able to share early manuscript drafts with some of my most respected peers in the wealth management, asset management, and institutional allocator communities. These people were instrumental in shaping the book’s final form by sharing honest feedback and helping me uncover blind spots. This book is better because of their help and I am forever grateful for it.

Many were also kind enough to share their endorsements:

“Do you think stocks are expensive? Do you shudder at bond yields? If you’re nodding your head, then this book is for you. In The Allocator’s Edge, Phil Huber unpacks the misunderstandings and misconceptions that often accompany alternative investments. From private equity and hedge funds to catastrophe bonds and non-traditional lending, Huber explains alternative strategies in a way that can teach a financial professional and also make sense to the layman.” ― Michael Batnick, Director of Research at Ritholtz Wealth Management and co-host of the Animal Spirits podcast

The Allocator’s Edge really hits the mark as a primer in understanding why alternatives are important and sets a solid foundation for how to incorporate non-traditional exposures in portfolios. I would certainly recommend this to analysts, financial advisors, or other investors looking to be more conversant and comfortable with this third “bucket”―one I believe will be critical to delivering clients’ desired outcomes over the next decade.” ― Shannon Saccocia, Chief Investment Officer of Boston Private Wealth

“Phil has a breadth of knowledge across investing that I’m envious of. I can’t believe how much this book covers, and how high quality the analysis across each section is. If I were a financial advisor or institutional allocator seeking to expand my knowledge of alternative investments, this is the book I’d pick up first.” ― Ali Hamed, co-founder and General Partner at CoVenture

“Grab your highlighter and get ready to learn. The Allocator’s Edge offers the sophisticated investor a comprehensive look into the world of alternative investments. Phil Huber clearly articulates the essential concepts in an approachable manner that makes this book a valuable resource to allocators, advisors, and investing enthusiasts.” ― Peter Lazaroff, Chief Investment Officer at Plancorp

“With equity capital markets near all-time high valuations and interest rates close to all-time lows, it appears the traditional 60/40 portfolio that has served investors well for decades will be challenged to generate the rates of return needed going forward. In The Allocator’s Edge, Huber provides investors a practical guide how to incorporate alternative investments into a portfolio framework to bridge this gap.” ― Chris Schelling, Director of Alternatives, Venturi Private Wealth, and Author, Better than Alpha

“With low interest rates and elevated equity valuations, traditional portfolios are increasingly at risk of being bodyslammed. Phil provides readers a ringside seat to the modern alternative investment landscape, covering everything from farmland to digital assets. This comprehensive guide extends beyond the why and into the how, with concrete and actionable takeaways for financial advisors and asset allocators to bring their portfolios into the 21st century.” ― Meb Faber, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer of Cambria Investment Management

“With language easy enough for a novice investor to understand and a depth of insight for experienced investors to value, Phil Huber has created the modern, comprehensive guide to alternative investing. For anyone looking to expand their investment palette beyond stocks and bonds and learn not just what alternatives are available but how to deploy them in a portfolio, The Allocator’s Edge is essential reading.” ― Corey Hoffstein, Chief Investment Officer at Newfound Research

“The Allocator’s Edge shows just how much the investable universe has expanded and provides a practical path to true diversification. What Huber prescribes is not (yet) the conventional wisdom, but it will be. A decade from now, Huber’s philosophy and quest for safer, more reliable portfolios will be mainstream―and the investor/RIA of the future built upon it. The Allocator’s Edge is bold in vision, full of accumulated wisdom, and immensely practical, giving allocators advice they can implement today to bring greater financial security to those they care for. If you are managing money for others, read this book.” ― Ross Stevens, Founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Holdings Group

“Phil does a wonderful job explaining the current predicament financial advisors face in meeting the needs of their clients and offers a clear explanation of alternatives available. His articulation and display of the need for alternatives is handcrafted for any advisor to copy and paste to make the case for their clients. Phil’s description of the past, present, and future of alternatives is an effective manual for anyone looking to understand where to go. I highly recommend having The Allocator’s Edge on your reference bookshelf.” ― Ted Seides, founder of Capital Allocators, LLC

“Phil Huber has written an important book on an important topic. We know that building good portfolios is getting harder, and Phil gives us a toolkit and a roadmap for getting the job done.” ― Brian Portnoy, Ph.D., CFA, Founder, Shaping Wealth

“The Allocator’s Edge has always been about unlocking the power of uncorrelated risk premia. As democratization and access to product grow, all investors need to arm themselves with requisite knowledge. Phil Huber has put together an excellent set of guiding principles to help today’s allocator navigate and harness the complexity premium.” ― William J. Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the CAIA Association

“Phil Huber has created a clear roadmap for investing for the next decade―his book is that rare combination of insightful and entertaining.” ― Matt Kadnar, Partner and Portfolio Manager, GMO

When I set out to write this book, I had four main priorities with the end reader in mind. I wanted it to be:

  • Interesting
  • Accessible
  • Comprehensive
  • Actionable

While ultimately the readers will determine whether or not I have succeeded, I am confident that all of those boxes have been checked.

Thank you in advance to all who support this project! I truly hope you enjoy The Allocator’s Edge when it arrives on your doorstep later this fall.

Pre-order your copy today:

The Allocator’s Edge: A modern guide to alternative investments and the future of diversification (Amazon)

About the author

Phil Huber, CFA, CFP®

Phil is the Head of Portfolio Solutions for Cliffwater, a leading alternative investment adviser and fund manager. Prior to joining Cliffwater in 2024, Phil was the Chief Investment Officer for Savant Wealth Management, a multi-billion dollar wealth management firm. Phil has been involved in the financial services industry since 2007. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He is a member of the CFA Society of Chicago. More about me here. Twitter: @bpsandpieces

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