Category Archives: Smart Beta

Does Low Volatility Enhance Dividend Investing in the Hong Kong Market?

As discussed in my previous blog, dividend investing has gained popularity across regions, driven by the low interest rate environment and aging demographics in different high income regions.  A similar trend is observed in China and Hong Kong.  Facilitated by the Hong Kong-Mainland Stock Connect programs, mainland market participants can more easily invest in the Read more […]

The Growth of Dividend Investing and Driving Forces

Dividend investing is an ever popular topic across different markets.  Market participants have been using ETFs to implement various dividend strategies for more than a decade.  The first dividend ETF, the iShares Select Dividend, was launched in 2003.  Nevertheless, dividend ETPs have experienced tremendous growth in assets since year-end 2009.  As of June 30, 2017, Read more […]

Credit Risk Measure in the S&P U.S. High Yield Low Volatility Corporate Bond Index

Common risk measures in equities include the volatility of price return and beta measuring price sensitivity to market.  However, in fixed income, volatility measures for bonds are not as straightforward as equities.  First, it can be challenging to obtain reliable daily prices for bonds that do not trade every day.  Second, using the simple measure Read more […]

Low Volatility, VIX and Behavioral Finance

As this week’s award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Richard Thaler confirmed, the existence of behavioral biases in finance is no longer a controversial theory.   People often prefer a small chance of a large gain to a near-certain chance of a small gain, even if the expected return from the latter is higher.  Read more […]

Avoid Unintended Stock Market Bets by Understanding Benchmarks

In a recent Financial Planning article,[1] Craig Israelsen advocated using stock market size segments to construct portfolios rather than a total market approach.  His conclusion may be perfectly valid for market participants willing and able to bear greater small-stock exposure, but his analysis fails to adequately take account of this source of risk.  He compared Read more […]

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Here are some recent headlines about the consequences of passive investing: Japan Central Bank’s ETF Shopping Spree Is Becoming a Worry Passive Market Share to Overtake Active in the US No Later than 2024 Passive investing boom is creating a ‘frightening’ risk for markets ETFs are taking over the world, and there’s nothing anyone can Read more […]

Impact of Term Structure on VIX® Futures Correlation with Bond Sectors

Recently my colleague wrote about the correlation between VIX (spot and futures) and two credit sectors (high-yield and emerging market bonds).  The blog shows that VIX futures exhibit stronger negative correlation than VIX spot and that this stronger negative correlation of bonds to VIX futures than to VIX spot comes mostly from down markets.  In Read more […]

Correlation Analysis of VIX® and High Yield and Emerging Market Bonds

The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX) measures the implied volatility of the S&P 500® over a 30-day period.  It is widely followed by market participants across asset classes to gauge market sentiment.  Traditionally, fixed income market participants have incorporated it into macro analysis. Can VIX-related products be used as hedging tools for some bond sectors that Read more […]

Carbon Exposure of Smart Beta Indices

Carbon emission awareness has been gaining greater prominence on many market participants’ radar as they continue to seek and demand carbon emission information and related risks for companies associated with climate change.  To address this need, the Financial Stability Board taskforce recently published a series of recommendations on how companies should report climate-related risks and Read more […]

Financials Gain More Prominence in Latest Low Vol Rebalance

Volatility has been generally subdued so far this year.  In the latest rebalance, the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index’s most significant sector shift was to Financials (adding 5% to bring the sector to 21% of the index).  Allocation in the remaining sectors did not deviate too far from the last rebalance. Technology’s weight, which increased Read more […]