Global Asset Allocation Shifts

BIS Working Papers  |  No 497  | 
24 March 2015

We show that global asset reallocations of U.S. fund investors obey a strong factor structure, with two factors accounting for more than 90% of the overall variation. The first factor captures switches between U.S. bonds and equities. The second reflects reallocations from U.S. to international assets. Portfolio allocations respond to U.S. monetary policy, most prominently around FOMC events when institutional investors reallocate from basically all other asset classes to U.S. equities. Reallocations of both retail and institutional investors show return-chasing behavior. Institutional investors tend to reallocate toward riskier, high-yield fixed income segments, consistent with a search for yield.

JEL classification: G11, G15, F30

Keywords: Portfolio Rebalancing, Mutual Funds, Momentum, Search For Yield, Monetary Policy