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Ben Inker: 'The Portfolio We're Running Today Is Abnormal Even for Us'

GMO’s head of asset allocation discusses value’s underperformance, why a 60/40 portfolio is apt to be a losing proposition after inflation, and what the market is missing about emerging-markets value.

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Our guest on the podcast is Ben Inker. Ben is GMO's head of asset allocation. In that capacity, he leads GMO's asset-allocation team and is a member of the firm's board of directors. He joined GMO in 1992 after obtaining his bachelor's in economics from Yale University. Prior to assuming his current role, Ben was an analyst on GMO's quantitative equity and asset-allocation teams, a portfolio manager of various equity and asset-allocation portfolios the firm offers, co-head of international quantitative equities, and CIO of quantitative developed equities. Ben is a CFA charterholder.


Ben Inker bio 

Ben Inker articles 

GMO’s Research Library 

GMO Global Asset Allocation

Asset Allocation

GMO 7-Year Asset-Class Return Forecast, 2Q 2020 

Uncertainty Has Rarely Been Higher; Oddly, Neither Has the Stock Market,” by Ben Inker and Jeremy Grantham, June 4, 2020. 

Stocks Are Too Risky. What GMO’s Inker Says to Buy Instead,” by Jack Otter, Barron’s, May 24, 2020. 

Mean reversion definition, Investopedia.

GMO Mean Reversion Strategy 

GMO’s Mean Reversion Strategy Is Tested in Today’s Market,” by Bailey McCann, Institutional Investor, July 25, 2016. 

60/40 Portfolios Face Double Trouble Ahead,” by Rick Friedman, GMO Insights, Feb. 26, 2020. 

ESG Investing

GMO’s ESG Capabilities 

Climbing the ESG Learning Curve: Lessons Learned in Emerging Markets,” by Amit Bhartia, Binu George, and Hardik Shah,” GMO Insights, Nov. 4, 2019. 

ESG Managers Say Pandemic Is a Stress Test That Proves Their Point,” by Alastair Marsh,, April 9, 2020. 

Emerging Markets

Emerging Markets: Tamed Child O’ Mine,” by Amit Bhartia, Mehak Dua, and Alvaro Pascual, GMO White Papers, July 7, 2020. 

COVID-19: Risk and Resilience in Emerging Markets,” by Amit Bhartia, Tiger Tong, and Uday Tharar, GMO White Papers, April 16, 2020. 

GMO: 5 Reasons to Own Emerging Market Stocks Now,” by Bernice Napach, ThinkAdvisor, July 13, 2020. 

“Emerging Markets Value: A Rare Ray of Sunshine from GMO’s Strategists,” by David Snowball, Mutual Fund Observer, Dec. 1, 2018. 

Value Investing

"The Trouble with Value," by Ben Inker. 

Risk and Premium: A Tale of Value,” by John Pease, GMO White Papers, July 30, 2019.

During the Coronavirus Crisis, Does Value Investing Still Make Sense?” by Robin Wigglesworth, Financial Times, May 14, 2020. 

"GMO Is Feeling Pain Reminiscent of the Late 1990s,” by Christine Idzelis, Institutional Investor, Oct. 10, 2019. 

Portfolio Construction and Strategy

"How to Lose Your Job in Asset Allocation," by Jeremy Grantham and Ben Inker. 

GMO Benchmark-Free Allocation Fund

GMO Alternative Allocation Fund 

GMO’s Systematic Global Macro Strategy