One Commodity Conundrum Despite 2nd Best April Ever

The Dow Jones Commodity Index and S&P GSCI total return indices gained 9.1% and 10.1%, respectively, in April. For the S&P GSCI, it was the best month in a year, and the second best April ever in history since 1970, only after last year’s April, when it gained 11.1%. Further, the S&P GSCI is up 15.5% since Feb Read more […]

Preferences of Preferred Stock

Preferred stock is a hybrid security that has characteristics of both stocks and bonds.  In the capital structure, preferred shares are subordinate to bank loans and senior corporate bonds, but they are senior to common stock.  If a company had to file for bankruptcy and the assets of the company were liquidated, preferred shareholders would Read more […]

Why This New Way To Invest In Oil In Hong Kong Matters

Now, there has been a long bull market where stocks have outperformed commodities for eight consecutive years, ending in 2015. It’s a record. If markets behaved just as they have in the past, then some investors might say it’s time to switch asset classes. However, the high correlation between risky assets experienced recently like during the Read more […]

Are employers’ efforts to control healthcare costs futile?

The question for the future of the private insurance system is this: are employers’ efforts to control healthcare costs futile?  Recent data from the S&P Healthcare Claims Indices would suggest that this may actually be the case.  According to the indices, costs for self-insured employers, known as Administrative Services Only (ASO) in the healthcare industry, Read more […]

Performance Analysis of Unconstrained Bond Funds

Most unconstrained bond funds claim to offer the following potential benefits: Low correlation to core fixed income; Attractive risk-adjusted returns; and Actively managed downside risk mitigation. We examined each of these claims for the average performance of unconstrained bond funds since 2011 and noted that fund performance varied among them. Persistently Higher Correlation to the Read more […]

Buybacks, Dividends, Capex, and Long-Term Value Creation

This is the fourth and final in a series of blog posts relating to the launch of the S&P Long-Term Value Creation (LTVC) Global Index. In our recent paper “Long-Termism Versus Short-Termism, Time for the Pendulum to Shift?” we discussed reasons why short-term corporate behaviors persist in developed economies.  One of the key drivers was Read more […]

Asian Fixed Income: What Does it Look Like Without India and China?

According to the S&P Pan Asia Bond Index, India and China together represented 79% of the overall market value as of April 18, 2016.  While foreign investor access to these countries is opening up, the investability is still limited.  The market value excluding these two countries is around USD 2 trillion, as tracked by the Read more […]

The Power of a Consensus Glide Path

Some who follow target date fund (TDF) performance have taken note that lately, the S&P Target Date Index Series has outperformed many TDFs.  In most historical periods, index performance was middle of the pack.  However, 2015 was an exception, as shown in Report 2 of our Year-End 2015 Target Date Scorecard.  Every vintage of the Read more […]

A Closer Look at the SPIVA India Year-End 2015 Scorecard

In 2015, the S&P BSE SENSEX remained volatile and ended in the red, at -3.68%.  In contrast, the S&P BSE India Government Bond Index ended the year in the black, at 8.33%.  The net investment by domestic mutual funds in the Indian equity and debt markets was significantly higher than the net investment by foreign Read more […]

Metals Don’t Reflect Chinese Demand Growth

After China reported year-over-year first-quarter growth that showed signs of improvement, it overpowered negative news of the Doha oil production meeting failure and sent commodities rallying. Investors’ attention quickly shifted from oil to the other economically sensitive sector, industrial metals. Many believe the uses for metals in construction and automobile manufacturing are the driving force behind the sector. Read more […]