Capturing Global Flows: the S&P WCI

Commodity indices have seen tremendous success as investors look for asset diversification in their portfolio; simple exposure to the asset class; or even a hedge against inflation. Historically, the main commodity indices have been very much US centred and predominately denominated in USD. Why? The main reason is that these indices use exchange traded commodity Read more […]

Skipping Dessert?! Coffee, Sugar, Cocoa OR Bear, Bear, Bull

Sorry, grains and meats, you are not one of the four main food groups. Since this is the case, eating may have just become more expensive, especially for the high-end chocolate lover. Not me of course… but once again, as a commodity lady, when I consume goods (or goodies) and notice that prices are increasing Read more […]

Looking for What Works at the Fed

The FOMC, the Fed’s policy makers, meet Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  For investors the key agenda items are tapering and the future of QE3. Interest rate policy is almost forgotten as everyone prepares to scan the announcement expected at 2 PM Wednesday and then rush to either buy, or sell, bonds.  Market pundits seem Read more […]

Companies Dying Faster?

MIT’s Technology Review pitches an argument by Richard N Foster, well known consultant, which uses exits from the S&P 500 to show that companies suffer shorter lifespans these days and are dropping off indices faster than they used to.  Foster includes a chart showing a seven year moving average of corporate lifespans including a forecast beyond Read more […]

Tapering Away

Next week the Federal Open Market Committee, meeting for the first time since July, is widely expected to announce the tapering of its quantitative easing program.  Whether the Fed begins to reduce its bond purchases now or later this year, most observers recognize its inevitability.  Indeed, as we’ve noted before, even the anticipation of tapering Read more […]

Commodity Beta: Hogs-Wild? Hardly. Energy Fills the Thrill!

If you believe the S&P 500, which is market cap weighted, is considered the U.S. stock market beta, then the S&P GSCI, which is world-production weighted (analogous to market cap weighted), is the logical choice for commodity beta.  Typically, using an index, namely the S&P 500, as the benchmark for beta is standard practice in Read more […]

Puerto Rico Munis…have they hit bottom?

The S&P Municipal Bond Puerto Rico Index ended September 10, 2013 down 19.14% total return year to date which was up slightly from the previous day.  Its too early to tell if  these bonds have hit bottom.  Puerto Rico municipal bonds have been weighing on the muni market since mid July. Join S&P Dow Jones Read more […]

The Dow: 3 for 3

This morning (September 10th) S&P Dow Jones Indices announced three deletions and additions for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  This post explains why we made these changes. The press release is on www.spdji.com The Dow is price weighted – each stock’s weight is the ratio of its price to the total of the prices of Read more […]

Man Bites Dog

Everyone wants to invest with the ‘smartest guys in the room’. But what do the smartest guys invest in? Well, a poll of mutual fund professionals suggests a very surprising result. As regular readers of this blog will know, while there are plenty of managers who can show attractive returns over the past few quarters Read more […]

Beta, Smart and Dumb

The idea of “smart beta” is gaining increased acceptance, although not without some controversy.  I have to confess that I really dislike the term “smart beta,” and not just because I didn’t invent it.  “Alternative beta” I can live with, or “factor” indices, or “strategy” indices — but “smart” beta leaves me cold. Which is Read more […]