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Flirting with Models

Aug 16, 2021

In this episode I speak with David Berns, co-founder and CIO of Simplify ETFs and author of the book Modern Asset Allocation for Wealth Management.

Our conversation centers around the idea of what it means to build a portfolio for a human being. This concept arises both technically and philosophically in David’s work, where he emphasizes the importance of higher return moments in portfolio optimization, but goes about achieving this end through more holistic risk preference analysis.

David expands upon the ideas of risk aversion, loss aversion, reflection, and how both our personal balance sheets and our standard of living expectations impact the portfolio choices we should be making. While there is no straight forward prescription, David emphasizes that simply being aware of these different factors can help advisors select more appropriate portfolios. And, hopefully, as the toolkit of investment options expand, adopt exposures that can better shape investor return distributions.

I hope you enjoy my conversation with David Berns.