Imagine a Tool Where All Your Risks Are Managed in One Place

Look-through analysis can expose concentrated portfolio exposure to factors that make you vulnerable to certain market conditions. Step forward Morningstar Direct Lens

Morningstar 22 September, 2023 | 9:40AM
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As buy-side analysts piece together work in research, data, and portfolio-construction platforms, clunky tools slow down the process. Disconnected platforms drag out evaluation and conceal potential opportunities.

With more efficient portfolio risk analytics, you can save time and test your hypotheses faster. Quickly peel apart the holdings in managed investments, models, ETFs, custom benchmarks, and client portfolios to see what’s below the surface.

Here's how.

Categories of Risk Exposures

The return premia of factors like investment style or sectors shift with the markets.

But advisers can prepare portfolios for market moves by making informed decisions across the portfolio. Look-through analysis can expose concentrated portfolio exposure to factors that make you vulnerable to certain market conditions.

Morningstar's new Direct Lens interface makes it easier to roll up data across the portfolio and test how changing an investment or weighting would affect the overall portfolio.

Delve into a range of key factors, explained below.

Sector Exposure

Detailed, specific analysis of sector exposure can help analysts understand the risk sources in their portfolio and what levers to pull in market headwinds.

In the last year, cyclical and sensitive sectors have staged a resurgence thanks to excitement about artificial intelligence (AI) and a more stable US economy. With a 190% return in the first half of 2023, Nvidia (NVDA) became the poster child for the tech sector and its continued double-digit gains.

Meanwhile, consumer defensive and basic materials sectors stumbled. The energy sector also slumped in the second quarter stemming from the reverberations of declining oil prices.

Have sector trends tipped the balance of your asset allocation? Portfolio risk analytics can reveal rebalancing opportunities.

Currency Exposure

After pulling even with the Euro in 2022, the US dollar weakened in 2023. Foreign equity returns benefited, as developed European markets posted 2.66% gains in the second quarter of 2023 and 23.42% gains over the trailing year.

How did fluctuating exchange rates affect your investments? At the portfolio level, you can see how currency hedges and exposures to foreign markets influenced returns.

Interest rate exposure

Bonds are particularly sensitive to shifts in interest rates. When interest rates rise, bond prices generally fall, leading to potential losses for bondholders.

But after a choppy first quarter, the second quarter of 2023 proved to be less volatile for interest rates and credit markets.

Use look-through analysis to see how holdings contributed to overall interest-rate exposure and how trimming positions could affect returns.

Liquidity Exposure

Portfolios heavy in hedge funds, options contracts, stock futures, and other illiquid assets make it difficult to sell assets on short notice for a reasonable price.

In the second quarter of 2023, liquidity proved to be a favourable return factor. What overall risk does this pose for your portfolio? With efficient portfolio analysis tools, you can efficiently sum up and present your findings to your investment team.

International Exposure

International diversification doesn't always reduce risk, especially if it means investing in the same style or sector. Risk modeling helps you understand the real-time return premia associated with investment risk factors.

After a so-so finish in Q1, Emerging Latin America paced all regions in the second quarter. Brazil’s farm sector surged, and soybean sales are expected to reach record numbers in 2023. Mexico’s economy also boomed, propelled by the service sector’s expansion.

In Direct Lens, analysts can quickly see how a portfolio (or a specific fund) invests in Latin America and regions across the globe.

Analyse as You Construct with Direct Lens

The Morningstar Direct Lens interface makes it easy to build, edit, and analyse portfolios. In one place, you can look through individual holdings and roll up exposure across the portfolio.

Fine-tune asset allocations, sector exposure, and style-box positioning to bring your investment vision to life. The new tool combines attribution with the deep, broad funds and competitive analysis data you trust from Morningstar.

See it for yourself with a 20-minute demo.

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The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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