The Best Opportunity
Is Rarely the Obvious One

See how the short-term focus of other investors creates opportunities in small-cap stocks. Also, discover how the market’s lack of understanding of active currency management and the impact of global monetary easing creates alpha potential for macro investors.

Actively

Curious

We’re willing to look beyond 90-day reporting increments and more toward 3-, 4-, or 5-year timeframes when we're trying to ascertain how large a company's earnings stream can grow.

Corey Tobin, Partner
Research Analyst, U.S. Growth Equity Team

From Finding Opportunities in Small Cap

We’re willing to look beyond 90-day reporting increments and more toward 3-, 4-, or 5-year timeframes when we're trying to ascertain how large a company's earnings stream can grow.

Corey Tobin, Partner
Research Analyst, U.S. Growth Equity Team

From Finding Opportunities in Small Cap

We separate the currency decision from the asset decision and by doing that we are able to add return, generate excess value in a way that can be diversifying to the whole.

Tom Clarke, Partner
Portfolio Manager, Dynamic Allocation Strategies Team

From Active Currency: The “Forgotten” Alpha

We separate the currency decision from the asset decision and by doing that we are able to add return, generate excess value in a way that can be diversifying to the whole.

Tom Clarke, Partner
Portfolio Manager, Dynamic Allocation Strategies Team

From Active Currency: The “Forgotten” Alpha

Central bank monetary easing has led to a very low volatility, high risky asset return environment and that creates complacency among investors.

Brian Singer, CFA, Partner
Head of Dynamic Allocation Strategies Team

From Monetary Policy: Navigating a Troop of Gorillas

Central bank monetary easing has led to a very low volatility, high risky asset return environment and that creates complacency among investors.

Brian Singer, CFA, Partner
Head of Dynamic Allocation Strategies Team

From Monetary Policy: Navigating a Troop of Gorillas

Unique Drivers
of Alpha

WILLIAM BLAIR ALPHA DRIVERS VIDEOS

Our portfolio managers and analysts discuss differentiated approaches to pursuing alpha in small caps and macro investing.

Finding Opportunities in Small Cap

Small cap stocks can be underappreciated by investors due to a short term focus, lack of understanding, and/or lack of information, which create opportunities to add alpha.

PLAY VIDEO

02:21

Our focus on exploiting stock price inefficiencies has been critical to our success.

Mike Balkin, Partner
Portfolio Manager, U.S. Growth Equity Team

Active Currency: The “Forgotten” Alpha

Active currency management is one of the most misunderstood and unrecognized components of investment management, offering significant potential alpha and diversification benefits.

PLAY VIDEO

02:32

We find that currencies provide a powerful diversifier to a portfolio because currency moves tend to be uncorrelated to capital markets, increasing macro diversification benefits.

Brian Singer, CFA, Partner
Head of Dynamic Allocation Strategies Team

We find that currencies provide a powerful diversifier to a portfolio because currency moves tend to be uncorrelated to capital markets, increasing macro diversification benefits.

Brian Singer, CFA, Partner
Head of Dynamic Allocation Strategies Team

Monetary Policy: Navigating a Troop of Gorillas

Global central banks are like a troop of 800-pound gorillas harassing capital markets with their coordinated easy monetary policies. Their influence creates significant risks, but also reveals significant opportunities.

PLAY VIDEO

02:38

WILLIAM BLAIR MACRO MOTION CHART

See How Macro Diversification Works

In our interactive motion chart, see how our Dynamic Allocation Strategies team navigates macro risks by dynamically managing market and currency exposures worldwide.
VIEW MOTION CHART

WILLIAM BLAIR STRATEGIES

Small Cap Growth Strategy

Portfolio of high-quality small-cap growth companies whose stocks are attractively valued.

Small-Mid Cap Growth Strategy

Portfolio of high-quality small- and mid-cap companies that seeks to provide attractive long-term investment returns with lower levels of risk.

Macro Allocation Strategy

Top-down portfolio that seeks to capitalize on fundamental opportunities through active management across asset classes, geographies, currencies, and risk themes.

WILLIAM BLAIR BLOG POSTS

The Changing IT Security Landscape

As malicious actors realize the value of company data, the need for enhanced IT security has dramatically increased, creating investment opportunities in cybersecurity.

Turkey: A Game of Chicken

Turkey’s President Erdogan has engaged in a game of chicken against the markets broadly and the U.S. specifically. In this environment, we believe the lira is a very attractive investment opportunity.

4 Things That Keep Us Up at Night

When the next market decline comes, we believe it will be sharper and deeper than investors expect. Four compounding concerns keep our team up at night.

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Any statements or opinions expressed are those of the author as of the date of publication, are subject to change without notice as economic and market conditions dictate, and may not reflect the opinions of other investment teams within William Blair Investment Management, LLC.

This content is for informational and educational purposes only and not intended as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Investment advice and recommendations can be provided only after careful consideration of an investor’s objectives, guidelines, and restrictions.

Factual information has been taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but its accuracy, completeness or interpretation cannot be guaranteed. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary research and should not be interpreted as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation, nor as the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. William Blair does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal counsel for specific tax questions and concerns.

Investing involves risks, including the possible loss of principal. Equity securities may decline in value due to both real and perceived general market, economic, and industry conditions. The securities of smaller companies may be more volatile and less liquid than securities of larger companies. Investing in foreign denominated and/or domiciled securities may involve heightened risk due to currency fluctuations, and economic and political risks, which may be enhanced in emerging markets. Investing in the bond market is subject to certain risks including market, interest rate, issuer, credit, and inflation risk. Currency transactions are affected by fluctuations in exchange rates; currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Diversification does not ensure against loss. Any investment or strategy mentioned herein may not be suitable for every investor. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

The MSCI ACWI IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets. The MSCI ACWI Small Cap Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures small cap representation across developed and emerging markets. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of emerging markets. The MSCI World Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based benchmark that measures the investment grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market, including Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, mortgage-backed securities (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass-throughs), asset-backed securities and commercial mortgage backed securities. The Russell 2000 Index is a market capitalization-weighted index designed to represent the small cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. Index performance is for illustrative purposes only. The indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested in directly.

Alpha is a measure of an investment's return in excess of the market's return, after both have been adjusted for risk.

Half-life is a statistical measure of the time required for the discrepancy between price and value to contract by half of its starting value. Fundamental value estimates are based on the Dynamic Allocation Strategies team's proprietary research.

P/E Ratio is a measure of valuation which compares share price to earnings per share, calculated using estimates for the next twelve months.

Standard deviation is a statistical measurement of variations from the average.

QUANTITATIVE MODELS—FACTOR DEFINITIONS

The William Blair Earnings Trend Model captures information about short- and medium-term changes in analyst estimates in an attempt to anticipate future estimate changes and stock performance. The score combines measurements of earnings revisions, momentum, and earnings surprise.

The William Blair Valuation Model combines varying metrics used to characterize the relationship between the stock’s trading price and its intrinsic value. By going beyond using only one or two measures, the model attempts to build a more holistic version of a stock’s worth vis-a-vis the market. The score combines measurements of earnings/cash flow based, asset-based, and model-based factors.