Category Archives: Smart Beta

The Difference a Few Days Make

For investors, things looked very different between the end of January and the first part of February. Following a few days of market turmoil in February, volatility jumped to levels where it is once again at the forefront of investors’ consciousness. Volatility based on a 252-day lookback generally declined for S&P 500 sectors (Telecom excluded) Read more […]

What do inventories tell us about the economy?

Declining inventories and rising industrial production may create a strong backdrop for value and momentum strategies Falling business inventory ratios have often been a positive economic indicator. With business inventory levels on the decline, value and momentum strategies could be poised to outperform. A strategy that combines value and momentum could serve as a useful Read more […]

The Hunt for Value With High Earnings Expectations in Asia

In our previous blog, Earnings Revision Strategies in Asia, we discussed how those strategies performed in Asia. Although they worked well in various markets except Japan, there were some implementation challenges, such as high portfolio turnover and low liquidity for small-cap stocks. Therefore, implementing this strategy in combination with other fundamental factors with lower overall Read more […]

Earnings Revision Strategies in Asia

Factor-based strategies have been regularly used by market participants in their portfolio construction process. Apart from the established factors like value, size, volatility, etc., research on alternative factors has remained important to explain sources of alpha. One such alternative factor is consensus analysts’ earnings forecasts. Ample empirical research exists that explains the market’s reaction to Read more […]

Can Realized Volatility Predict Future Volatility for Preferred Securities?

The investment community routinely uses historical realized volatility as an indicator of future volatility. One prominent example of this is the construction of ranking-based, low volatility equity strategies where realized volatility is used to form low volatility portfolios. Can the realized volatility of an asset indicate its future volatility? We extend the low volatility analysis Read more […]

Quality and Diversification within the Preferred Stock Space

Preferred stocks are a class of stock that pays dividends at a specified rate and has a preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of assets. This asset class offers investors a unique place in the capital structure that is often overlooked. In addition, their relatively low correlations with traditional Read more […]

Factor Investing 101

For many years, active fund managers and institutional investors have often used a factor-based approach either to strategically construct portfolios or to tilt their portfolios toward well-known risk factors, such as low volatility, value, momentum, dividend, size, and quality, to capture the factor risk premium. Investors seeking to identify skilled active managers look to dissect Read more […]

Could Tax Reform Benefit Consumer Spending?

Investment strategies featuring the quality factor could benefit from current trends in consumer spending Retail sales surged by more than 5% in December, eclipsing previous highs. Consumer spending could be further bolstered by recently enacted federal tax cuts. Investment strategies that include the quality factor could benefit from higher consumer spending. Advance estimates of US Read more […]

Large-Cap Energy Stands Out in a Year of Low Volatility

Most sentient investors are aware of the low volatility that characterizes the current environment, with the S&P 500®’s trailing twelve-month annualized volatility at approximately half its level from a year ago. This trend was driven in part by some significant negative inter-sectoral correlations, for example between information technology and real estate versus financials, and energy Read more […]

Explaining Equal-Weight Indices

Our recent paper explores the characteristics and applications of equal-weight indices from various standpoints. Since a number of equal-weight indices have outperformed their corresponding cap-weighted parents over the past 15 years, one of the most interesting perspectives asks if factors can help to explain the excess returns of equal weight.  Which factors are most relevant? Read more […]