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White Papers

Read white papers, investment research and analysis from our experts at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

Guide to Asset Classes

By Schwab Center for Financial Research

November 7, 2018

The benefits of asset class diversification are well documented. This paper will help investors better understand the role each asset class plays within their portfolio.

The Elegance of Indexing 

By Anthony Davidow

January 23, 2017

Indexing has evolved a great deal over the last several years. Based on market demand, indexing has evolved from 'cheap' beta strategies designed to mimic ​​the major indexes, to ‘smart' beta strategies that attempt to improve the market experience over time​.

Schwab's Global Asset Allocation Philosophy 

By Anthony Davidow

November 14, 2016

Schwab believes in the merits of a globally diversified portfolio. In this paper, we will discuss why global asset allocation still makes sense and make the case for allocating to non-U.S. markets.

Strategic Beta Strategies: An Evaluation of Different Approaches

By Anthony Davidow

April 22, 2016

The last several years have seen a proliferation of strategic beta strategies. Strategic beta strategies are designed to provide exposure to markets based on non-price-weighted fundamentals. Often referred to as "smart beta" or "alternative beta", these strategies offer the potential for attractive risk-adjusted returns relative to traditional market-cap indexes. This paper discusses the differences amongst the various strategic beta strategies.

Nearing Retirement? Assess Downside Risk, Upside Potential

By Rob Williams

August 15, 2016

Protecting your investment portfolio against downside risk can help ensure that you can live on your past investments when retirement comes.

The Case for a Global Perspective

By Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA

July 07, 2015

We believe a global perspective that incorporates portfolio allocations to U.S. and international stock markets along with global benchmarks for performance are vital to successful long-term investing.

Capitalizing on Global Real Estate

By Anthony Davidow

August 29, 2014

Global real estate has historically provided growth, income and diversification benefits relative to traditional stock and bond investments. With yields at generationally low levels, investors have been seeking alternative sources of income. Global real estate has historically provided attractive returns and diversification benefits to a traditional portfolio. This paper discusses the merits and role of global real estate.

The Wealth Building Power of Equities and the Elegance of Indexing

By Charles Schwab

April 29, 2014

Many investors lack the time or the expertise to determine which specific stocks—or bonds or other investments—they should hold in their portfolio. In addition, they may not have enough money on hand to sufficiently spread out their risk by holding a large number of different securities across sectors, industries, and companies. This paper discusses the benefits of indexing, and how it has evolved over time.

Emerging Markets: Countries and Companies Matter

By Anthony Davidow

May 28, 2014

China and other emerging market countries represent significant investment opportunities. There are also a number of risks, including geopolitical risks, economic uncertainty, currency fluctuations, and a lack of open and regulated financial markets. The challenge for investors is how to efficiently access these markets. This paper discusses the various ways that investors can access the emerging markets.