Active Management Lags in Small-Cap Equity

Small caps have a reputation among many market participants as being an inefficient asset class that lends itself to active management.  But our S&P Indices Versus Active (SPIVA®) scorecards have repeatedly challenged this perception.  Exhibit 1 shows that in 13 of the last 17 calendar year periods, the majority of actively managed, small-cap U.S. equity Read more […]

SPIVA® U.S. Mid-Year 2018 Summary

The latest results from the SPIVA U.S. Mid-Year 2018 Scorecard show improvement in the relative performance of actively managed domestic equity funds against their respective benchmarks. During the one-year period ending June 30, 2018, the overall percentage of all domestic funds outperforming the S&P Composite 1500® increased to 42.02%, compared with six months prior (36.57%). Read more […]

Cost of Retirement Income Q3 2018 Update

Real U.S. interest rates have shifted upward YTD in 2018, with a larger shift on the short end than the long̬̬—producing a flatter curve. Exhibit 1 shows the real yield curve (from 5 to 30 years) at the end of each quarter since December 2017 and also includes data as of Oct. 9, 2018 to Read more […]

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 […]

Every Country’s Stock Market Loses From Trade Tensions

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently released its World Economic Outlook, October 2018, with estimated global trade tension scenario impacts on GDP.  Overall, the IMF states that recent tariffs will hurt GDP and that additional tariffs will weaken it further.  In the long term, according to the IMF’s scenario analysis (on p. 21,) the U.S. GDP 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 […]