Minimizing the Pain of Regret

There are many extraordinarily talented minds engineering optimal portfolios, objectives of which include maximizing return per unit of risk, among others.  The capital asset pricing model (CAPM) posited the market portfolio as optimal in the mean/variance sense, but over the years, this notion has been questioned.  CAPM, like the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH), will likely Read more […]

The Red Zone

In grid-iron football, The Red Zone refers to the area between the 25 yard line and the goal line, the last remaining ground the offense must battle through in order to score a touchdown.  This is a somewhat apt metaphor for what we’re currently witnessing with the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Unless you’ve been living Read more […]

Passive Investing – Myth or Reality? Part 1

Indexing is certainly not a myth, and while active investing is a popular reality in Indian markets, we are seeing the slow and steady rise of indexed products.  In a recent article, John C. Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Group, said, “We are in the middle of a revolution led by indexing.”[1]  John C. Bogle’s Read more […]

S&P GSCI Rebalance Triggers Brent Outflows 8X Bigger Than For WTI

The S&P GSCI annual rebalancing is beginning today to adjust the commodity weights to their 2017 target weights over the next five days.  Energy remains the biggest sector in the index in 2017, targeting 56.2%, despite a significant decrease from its 2016 target weight of 63.1% and ending weight on Jan, 6. 2017 of 62.2%. Read more […]

The Source of Uncertainty

In 2017 politics, not economics will be the major source of market uncertainty.  The world’s major economies moved past the financial crisis and Great Recession: unemployment rates are at more acceptable levels and central banks are discussing the end of quantitative easing. Equity markets in the US and the UK made new all-time highs while Read more […]

Dow Jones Industrial Average® 2016 Year in Review

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 2016 at 19,762.60 – up 2.337.57 points for a 13.42% annual return, the best year since 2013 when the market surged over 26%. Biggest Themes – markets were driven by the crash (and partial recovery) in oil prices, Fed-watching, China, Brexit and questions regarding the US economy. Oh yeah, Read more […]

Year in Review: 2016 Asset Class Performance

The high-yield corporate bond segment, as measured by the S&P U.S. High Yield Corporate Bond Index, was the top-performing asset class for 2016, posting a total return of 17.2%.  Despite a rather tumultuous first quarter, 2016 finished with a clear “risk-on” sentiment as evidenced by the asset classes that topped the list. On Feb. 11, Read more […]

Most Major Islamic Indices Lag Conventional Benchmarks in 2016 as Strong Q4 Financials Sector Gains Detract From Performance

Most of S&P Dow Jones Indices’ Shariah-compliant benchmarks lagged their conventional counterparts for the year, as the financials sector—which is largely absent from Islamic indices—outperformed, and health care—which tends to be overweight in Islamic Indices—was the worst-performing sector globally. The S&P Global BMI Shariah and Dow Jones Islamic Market World finished the year up 4.2% Read more […]

A New Metric for Smart Beta: The Cost-Adjusted Factor Efficiency Ratio

With an increasing number of smart beta strategies that track the same factor in the marketplace, it is more important than ever to understand the underlying drivers of risk and return of these strategies, which can vary greatly.  This is because the underlying portfolio construction of these strategies determines risk and return and, ultimately, the Read more […]

Smart Beta in India

2016 has been an unpredictable year on many fronts, whether it was Leicester City FC winning the Premier League, the Brexit, or the U.S. election results.  In India, “demonetization” and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are fundamentally altering fund managers’ target portfolios.  Active institutional fund managers have the benefit of professionally run research teams. Read more […]