The Investment Innovators Curve

Insights derived from Fidelity's Institutional Investor Innovation Study can help firms define their investment philosophy and understand its impact to decision-making in a looming low return environment.

A New Dimension to Benchmarking Portfolio and Organizational Performance

For almost 20 years, Fidelity has been conducting primary research to understand decision-making among institutional investors and provide a benchmark for firms of varying types and sizes. Using a new framework we call the Investment Innovators Curve, this year's study seeks to help firms define and understand the philosophical drivers of their organization and their investment approach.

With macroeconomic changes potentially on the horizon, organizations are beginning to see headwinds that will pressure them to squeeze returns out of lower yields and with a higher risk profile. This may be a natural time for reflection on how your firm will navigate these changes. We believe that adapting and applying the Investment Innovators Curve can provide investors with new and meaningful insights into the levers that they and their peers push on while pursuing their portfolio objectives.

Investment leaders can consider where they sit on the Investment Innovators Curve,* based on their organization's ability and willingness to experiment with new investment approaches or asset classes. Where does your firm fall on the curve?

Investment Innovators Curve


"We are frequently one of the first to try a new asset class or investment approach, even if it's extremely new and/or unproven."

Early Adopters:

"We are not the first to try a new asset class or investment approach, but will quickly follow if we notice others are trying it.

Early Majority:

"We are curious about new asset classes or investment approaches, but are more pragmatic. We'll wait until it's more common/ established before investing."

Late Majority:

"We adopt a new asset class or investment approach out of necessity. Once it's mainstream and has clear, demonstrated value, we'll invest in it."


"We are very risk-averse when adding new asset classes or investment approaches to our portfolio. We would rather be late to a new investing trend than bear the potential risks involved with new approaches."

Download the executive summary

Understanding your firm through the lens of the Investment Innovators Curve.


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