Surprising but Explainable

Equal-weight indices have a small-cap tilt. Therefore, one might naturally assume that the volatility of equal-weight indices is higher than that of their cap-weighted counterparts. Surprisingly, this is not always the case, and we can understand why using the lens of dispersion and correlation. Exhibit 1 shows that the volatility of the S&P 500® Equal Read more […]

Latin America Scorecard: Q3 2018

This quarter has brought mixed expectations for the region. The quarter itself resulted in overall positive returns. However, Latin America is still in the red for the year. The S&P Latin America 40, a widely used benchmark for the region, ended the quarter strong with a return of 6.4%. The countries that contributed to this Read more […]

Adding the “Factor Flavour” to Indexing

Many people believe that index-based investing and market beta are synonymous. With the growing popularity of index-based investing, exchange-traded funds and index funds based on market benchmarks such as the S&P BSE SENSEX, S&P BSE 100, and S&P BSE 500 are slowly gaining ground. Investors have been familiarizing themselves with market returns linked to these Read more […]

Looking Through The Sector Lens

We’ve recently noted that this month’s market turmoil created a radical reversal of factor returns, poking holes in this year’s momentum bubble. A similar trend has occurred within sectors.  During the first nine months of 2018, Consumer Discretionary and Info Tech dominated performance, as seen in Exhibit 1. For the first two weeks of October, Read more […]

Playing Defense and Offense With Factor Strategies

The domestic equity market, as measured by the S&P Composite 1500®, ended Q3 2018 with a gain of 10.47%. Over the past 10 years, the S&P Composite 1500 had annualized returns of 12.05%, showing an impressive bullish run since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Perhaps reflecting the market environment, growth-oriented investment styles, such as momentum Read more […]

Breaking Down Volatility

“Data! Data! Data!” he cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay.” – Sherlock Holmes (in “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”) Despite yesterday’s hand wringing loss for equity markets— the S&P 500 dropped 3.3%—the index is still up 5.8% year to date 2018. Nevertheless, losing in one day a third of what the equity market Read more […]

Momentum Bubble Deflating?

Yesterday’s decline in the U.S. and global stock markets is striking not simply because of its magnitude but also because it represents a radical reversal of factor returns from the first three quarters of 2018. Readers of our quarterly factor dashboard will recognize this graph, which shows the total return of the S&P 500 and Read more […]

Ways To Avoid Getting Pink-Slipped In Retirement

Maybe you can’t technically get fired after retiring, but running out of income in retirement is a real risk many people fear.  According to TIAA, 49% of Americans say their No. 1 goal for a retirement plan is to provide guaranteed monthly income in retirement, and 68% of Americans would first choose a retirement paycheck that Read more […]

Housing Slows

Sales of new and existing single-family homes have fallen since their recent high in November 2017 while pending home sales are flat to down so far this year.  Starts of new single-family homes are volatile but also remain below the peak seen at the end of 2017.  Recent press reports of declining activity in several Read more […]

Beyond the SPIVA® Europe Mid-Year 2018 Headlines – Delving Deeper Into the Data

The S&P Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) Europe Mid-Year 2018 Scorecard is often cited for its latest headlines surrounding the active vs. passive debate. But beyond the SPIVA headlines, there is an extensive offering of insightful data that has been carefully measured and presented to help readers dig deeper. Let’s look at just one example from Read more […]