Practical analysis for investment professionals
05 December 2023

Research and Policy Center 10 Most Popular Articles of 2023

“Future State of the Investment Industry” resonates.

CFA Institute launched its Research and Policy Center (RPC) this year to be a positive influencing force in the global investment industry, transforming research insights into actions that strengthen markets, advance ethics, and improve investor outcomes for the ultimate benefit of society.

The RPC brings together CFA Institute expertise along with a diverse, cross-disciplinary community of subject matter experts working collaboratively to address complex problems. It is informed by the perspective of practitioners and the convening power, impartiality, and credibility of CFA Institute, whose mission is to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.

Below are the most popular top 10 articles of 2023 published by the RPC since its inception:

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1. “Future State of the Investment Industry”

This report frames the most significant developments that will affect the investment industry in the next five to 10 years and is our most popular content of all the articles of 2023. It provides a road map for investment professionals to navigate the changes and improve client outcomes.

2. Handbook of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Applications in Investments

Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data have their thumbprints all over the modern asset management firm. Like detectives investigating a crime, the practitioner contributors to this book, edited by Larry Cao, CFA, put the latest data science techniques under the microscope. And like any good detective story, much of what is unveiled is at the same time surprising and hiding in plain sight.

3. “Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2023”

This report delivers the world’s most comprehensive comparison of 47 retirement income systems, representing 64% of the global population, and suggests ways to improve the efficacy of each pension system studied.

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4. “Applying Economics — Not Gut Feel — to ESG”

Mainstream economics can be applied to ESG once we realize that it is no different from other investments that create financial and social value. This paper by Alex Edmans overturns conventional thinking on 10 key ESG issues by applying sound economic principles.

5. Valuation of Cryptoassets: A Guide for Investment Professionals

The valuation of bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptoassets is a challenge for the investment industry. Urav Soni and Rhodri Preece, CFA, review the tools available to value cryptoassets, and in doing so, aim to help practitioners better understand the dynamics of cryptoassets.

6. “Harry Markowitz in Memoriam”

Harry Markowitz transformed investing with his mathematical approach to portfolio selection. Decades later, his analytical framework remains at the core of modern behavioral finance. William Goetzmann, executive editor of the Financial Analysts Journal, explains the legacy of Markowitz’s innovations.

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7. “CFA Institute Global Survey on Central Bank Digital Currencies”

This report by Stephen Deane, CFA, and Olivier Fines, CFA, gauges demand for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) by examining the attitudes of a significant segment of potential CBDC end-users. It is based on a CFA institute global membership survey.

8. “An Exploration of Greenwashing Risks in Investment Fund Disclosures: An Investor Perspective”

Nicole Gehrig and Alex Moreno analyze investment fund disclosures related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information through the lens of investors to understand the nature of disclosure issues that could give rise to a perception of greenwashing.

9. “Thematic Investing with Big Data: The Case of Private Equity”

Using natural language processing to score companies by the news frequency of terms related to private equity, Ludovic Phalippou creates an index weighted by theme exposure and liquidity, whose returns are highly correlated with non-traded indexes.

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10. “Gen Z and Investing: Social Media, Crypto, FOMO, and Family”

This brief examines Gen Z’s attitudes and behaviors around investing. It is based on data from a November–December 2022 online survey of 2,872 Gen Zs aged 18 to 25, Millennials, and Gen Xers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and China.

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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.

Image credit: ©Getty Images /Steve Chan

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About the Author(s)
Mark Fortune

Mark Fortune has more than 30 years of experience as a financial writer and editor, with a focus on institutional investment management. He has worked in various editorial roles at organizations that include Institutional Investor, Pageant Media, Markets Group, and the New York investment management firm Cohen & Steers.

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