What is SPIVA®?

SPIVA Scorecards are issued every six months in a number of markets around the globe.  But what is SPIVA?  Where does the data used to generate the scorecards come from and who does it apply to?  In a recent video interview, I spoke with one of the Scorecard’s authors, Aye Soe, Senior Director of Global Read more […]

Low Volatility and High Beta: When Opposite Paths Meet

By design, the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index sometimes takes large positions in sectors.  Particularly in times of turmoil, the rankings-based methodology of the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index offered refuge by steering clear of sectors such as financials in 2008 and the technology sector during the 2000-2002 deflation of the bubble. On the flip side, Read more […]

Why Risk Control Works

Recently, institutional investors with long-term investment horizons have responded with aversion to market volatility by considering a number of risk control strategies.  Risk control strategies use dynamic asset allocation (between an index and cash) to target a stable level of volatility in all market environments.  For institutional investors with long-standing liabilities, ranging from defined benefit Read more […]

Why Might Actively Managed Bond Funds Underperform their Benchmarks?

Over the long term, actively managed bond funds have not outperformed their benchmarks  as evident in the SPIVA U.S. Scorecard for year-end 2014.  In a recent blog post, I analyzed the performance data of this scorecard.  Many wonder what might be causing the results to be one-sided.  For example, in a recent post on Practical Stock Read more […]

The Rieger Report: 2015 Headwinds & Tailwinds for Municipal Bonds

As we near the end of the first quarter, investment grade tax-exempt bonds tracked in the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index have returned 0.93% year-to-date underperforming relative to the over 2% return of the investment grade corporate bond market tracked in the S&P U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index. High yield bonds are showing similar Read more […]

The Rieger Report: Municipal Bonds and the Taxman

The tax season for U.S. taxpayers is upon us.  For bond income what you keep after Uncle Sam takes his share can be more important than what you earn. Income, Yield and Duration: Investment grade municipal bonds on average have a higher coupon cash flow to bondholders than corporate bonds and that cash flow is exempt from federal taxation.  The Read more […]

U.S. Preferred Stock: Equity & Bond Characteristics Helping or Hurting Performance?

In this prolonged low interest rate environment, the S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index has performed well, returning 2.92% year-to-date.   Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (TR) is up a modest 0.6% and long term bonds tracked in the S&P/BGCantor 20+ Year U.S. Treasury Bond Index are up 4.53% in total return.  So far, the preferred stock market with characteristics of Read more […]

Hedging Geopolitical Risk With Oil

This morning, I woke up to the headline Oil just spiked again, on news Saudi Arabia is bombing rebel positions in Yemen. It was the perfect reminder of a call I had earlier in the week from a large pension looking for an oil index to hedge geopolitical risk. After the call, my colleague asked, “Why would Read more […]

Dreams to Sell

If there were dreams to sell, a poet asked, what would you buy?  Much more prosaically, if you could design your dream investment process, what would it look like? A simple way to think about the question is to separate success into two dimensions: frequency and magnitude.  Frequency means how often we “win” (i.e., how Read more […]

A Tale of Two Benchmarks: Reconstitution Effect

This is the second in a series of blog posts relating to the in depth analysis of performance differential between the S&P SmallCap 600 and the Russell 2000. Numerous studies have been conducted on Russell’s annual reconstitution process in June, particularly regarding the downward price pressure placed on the Russell 2000.  As winners from the Russell 2000 Read more […]