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This study documents the transitory nature of "efficient" weights in six commonly employed asset classes, going beyond a simple stock and bond classes and using a 30 year data window. We review the literature on asset class diversification, including its failures during the recent credit crisis. Results show that asset class diversification benefits are inconsistent and, contrary to common academic wisdom before recent times, historical asset class covariances (even estimated with decades of data) are poor estimates of future values.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Journal of Accounting and Finance, published by North American Business Press. Copyright restrictions may apply.

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