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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2222-3436
Print version ISSN 1015-8812

Abstract

SAVILLE, AD. Using an inflation-augmented price-earnings ratio to guide tactical asset allocation. S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.2, pp.211-227. ISSN 2222-3436.

Asset allocation plays a central role in determining investment outcomes, and available evidence shows that portfolio results can be enhanced through tactical asset allocation if managers use the simple price-earnings ratio as a predictor of equity returns. Recently, some international evidence has emerged which shows that, by augmenting the price-earnings metric with information about consumer price inflation, further enhancements can be achieved in tactical asset allocation. This study reviews these arguments as they apply to South Africa, and finds that an inflation-augmented price-earnings ratio is more successful in forecasting equity returns than is the simple price-earnings ratio. Moreover, the metric is found to be significant in explaining relative asset class returns. On a risk-adjusted basis, however, the tool fails to improve the portfolio results when compared to a buy-and-hold strategy.

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