Process. Diversification. Timeliness.
These terms define the Northern Global Tactical Asset Allocation Fund, once an institutional-only product but now available to retail investors, who can share the advantages of an approach that annually updates strategic exposures to stocks, bonds, cash and real assets, makes tactical bets to over- and underweight these strategic norms and rebalances regularly.
The Fund is designed to provide easy and competitively priced access to Northern Trust's best investment thinking by leveraging asset allocation recommendations of Northern Trust's Investment Policy Committee (IPC). But, for co-portfolio managers Peter Flood and Dan Phillips, the processes driving the Fund's strategic and tactical positioning are anything but easy. Changes made to the Fund's asset mix represent a rigorous decision-making process.
As a fund-of-funds, the Northern Global Tactical Asset Allocation Fund can invest in mutual funds, ETFs and other securities and investments.
With broad diversification at their command, Flood and Phillips fine-tune the portfolio to put risk on — or off — the table. Their moves draw upon the expertise of Northern Trust's IPC and Tactical Asset Allocation committee and global portfolio managers.
The rationale for tactical asset allocation is straightforward: Economic and market outlooks and conditions are in flux. Being in the right asset class in the right amount at the right time is important for growing and preserving wealth.
Which is where Northern Trust's allocation process comes into play.
The Fund's objective of capital appreciation and current income reflects IPC's model portfolio, with a structure based on the same strategically weighted, global blend of traditional and alternative asset classes.
"We're long-horizon investors," says Flood, "but with flexibility to respond to evolving economic and market developments."
The IPC meets at least monthly to update investment outlooks for each geographic region and asset class for the next 12 to 18 months. Tactical changes to the Fund's risk level and positioning relative to its benchmark weights are made as appropriate. Which is good, since in a fast-moving world, pictures can be blurry. "We believe the key is to get the big picture right," says Flood, "and we have demonstrated that we have the people and processes to do that."
Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
Asset Allocation Risk: An asset allocation strategy does not guarantee any specific result or profit nor protect against a loss.
Equity Risk: Equity securities (stocks) are more volatile and carry more risk than other forms of investments, including investments in high-grade fixed income securities. The net asset value per share of this Fund will fluctuate as the value of the securities in the portfolio changes.
Interest Rate Risk: Increases in prevailing interest rates will cause fixed income securities, including convertible securities, held by the Fund to decline in value.
International Risk: International investing involves increased risk and volatility.