“Reach for yield”—This is the commonly heard explanation for why pension plans shift their portfolios toward alternative assets. But we show that the new portfolios also hold more bonds, offer lower average returns and produce smaller and less volatile solvency deficits. These shifts are part of a broader strategy to reduce solvency risk.
The TSX index rose by 9.5 percent in November 2020, adding large gains to an already sharp V-shaped recovery. The economic outlook improved at that time as well. We ask whether the stock market gains since last autumn are due to improving forecasts of firms’ earnings.