THE Golden Question?

What is your long term outlook for gold and where do you see prices moving in the months ahead? This is one of the questions I was recently asked in a Reuters CCTV2 interview.  While we are not in the business of forecasting, we are in the indexing business where we measure markets – and Read more […]

Does Past Performance Matter?

The phrase “past performance is not a guarantee of future results” has never rung more true for active mutual funds.  Our semi-annual publication, the Persistence Scorecard, takes a look at the performance of top quartile active funds over three- and five-year consecutive 12-month periods.  Based on the most recently released report, out of 269 large Read more […]

When Diversification Fails

Diversification means different things in different contexts.  We can speak, for example, of diversification within an equity portfolio — i.e., of holding a number of stocks with potentially-offsetting risks, as opposed to concentrating on only one issue or on a handful of similar stocks.  Or we can think of diversification across asset classes — e.g., Read more […]

Where’s the beef?

While I was eating at a well-known restaurant chain, I saw this sign in the front window: So of course as a commodity lady my mind doesn’t think about choices like chicken or veggies, but I wonder what happened to the price of beef in the shortage and why is there a shortage?   The Read more […]

Passive Pensions

We read this morning that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is considering increasing its commitment to passive equity vehicles. This follows, by less than two weeks, a study suggesting that public pension funds generally could improve their performance by doing exactly what CalPERS is reported to be considering. Of course whenever you speak about Read more […]

Are Dividends the Answer to Growth for Income Hunters?

Dividend focused strategies as well as strategies offering exposure to alternative income sources have become popular and proliferated over the past few years given the low interest rate environment.  Throughout history, dividends constitute an important part of total equity return. In decades such as the 40s and the 70s, dividends constitute 50% or more of Read more […]

What’s in a Name

Picking the right ETF among the hundreds that are currently available is certainly a formidable task for many investors – one that has been made more difficult by iShares recent announcement that it is removing index names from a number of its ETFs. Why should this raise concerns for investors and for the financial industry Read more […]

25 and Counting for the Dow

The number 25.  Christmas Day.  The atomic number of manganese.  The jersey number typically reserved for a baseball team’s best slugger.  And to date in 2013, the number of new highs hit by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  Year to date through Friday (July 12) the Dow, ending the session at 15,464.30, has closed at Read more […]

Ready to Roll or Need to Weight?

In the past few years a number of indices have been launched with a goal of minimizing the impact of contango.  The first indices launched with this goal were the simple (1-5 month) forward indices and the relatively static S&P GSCI Enhanced. In the time period from Aug 2004-May 2011, mentioned in my prior post, these Read more […]