Category Archives: Strategy

October Outperformance for the S&P Risk Parity Indices

Traditionally known for spooky ghosts and witches, October was also a scary month for investors. In spite of an end-of-month rally, global stocks recorded their worst monthly loss since 2011, wiping out USD 5 trillion of investor value. Furthermore, investors were spooked by a rare simultaneous drop in bond prices. In short, this was not Read more […]

The Value of Research: Combining Capacity & Opportunity

How much should a portfolio manager be willing to pay for research?  This is a question any manager has to answer, but it has recently become more pertinent as newly imposed European rules require the costs of investment research to be unbundled from trading.  Here is a brief overview of a stylized framework for estimating Read more […]

Bonding with Defensive Equity Strategies

“The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.” – Aristotle Recent volatility in equity markets may be unsettling to some investors. Skittishness about the stock market is understandable, especially in the context of the serenity in 2017. Volatility levels are relatively higher and risk is on the radar of 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 […]

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 […]

Higher Concentrations in the S&P 500 could lead to Equal Weight Outperformance

At last Friday’s close, S&P Dow Jones assigned a number of technology and consumer discretionary names into a new “Communication Services” sector classification.  Relative to the old Telecommunication Services definitions, the sector has grown from 3 to 22 companies (not counting dual share listings) and is less concentrated in absolute terms.  However, Communications Services remains Read more […]

Using Trailing Dividend Yield Versus Indicated Dividend Yield

Over the past decade, the combination of low interest rate environments and shifting demographics has made income-focused investment strategies extremely popular. In constructing an income-producing equity index, the dividend yield of a security serves as a key criteria for eligibility and security selection. Dividend yield is usually calculated as a percentage of a stock’s annual Read more […]

The S&P Risk Parity Indices: Methodology

In earlier posts, we analyzed the historical performance, risk contribution versus capital allocation, and return attribution and leverage of the S&P Risk Parity Indices. The results demonstrate that this indices in this series could potentially serve as benchmarks to measure the performance of active risk parity strategies. In this post, we will dig deeper into Read more […]