SPIVA® Latin America Year-End 2016 Results

Equity markets in Latin America saw gains across the board in 2016, with Brazil being one of the leaders, as the S&P Brazil BMI (BRL) returned 37.90%.  The Chilean market saw the largest yearly return since 2010, with a return of 13.53% for the S&P Chile BMI (CLP), while the S&P Mexico BMI (MXN) returned Read more […]

Better Carbon Disclosure Is the First Step Toward Meeting Japan’s Energy Transition Challenge

Japan’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is a 26% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 2013 levels.1 To achieve this, the Japanese government has set carbon targets for all sectors backed up by a national carbon tax and Tokyo emissions trading scheme. In the first Read more […]

Measuring ESG Improvement: Impact Reporting Versus Impact Measurement

As the importance of ESG investing grows, especially in the U.S., the ability to quantify and measure the impact of an ESG-incorporated portfolio will become more relevant.  In evaluating performance, traditional investors focus on standard metrics such as return, risk, tracking error, and other familiar modern portfolio theory statistics; however, ESG investors require all of Read more […]

Monetary Cycles and the Fixed Income Market – How Does the Slope Affect Returns?

In an earlier blog post, we provided a brief survey of recent monetary policy cycles in the U.S., showing that a higher Fed funds rate doesn’t necessarily affect the yield on Treasury bonds in the same way.  Policy rate changes affects short-term bond yields much more directly than longer-term yields (see Exhibit 1).  We argued Read more […]

15 Years of SPIVA – Where Does the Active Versus Passive Debate Go From Here?

In the inaugural publication of the Journal of Portfolio Management in 1974, Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson wrote that there is no “brute fact” that “there could exist a subset of decision makers in the market capable of doing better than the averages on a repeatable, sustainable basis.”[1]  That article partly inspired John Bogle to launch Read more […]

Managing Risk While Heading for Returns

Returns are definitely one of the key influencers of investment decisions.  However, poor governance can result in failures, as too much emphasis on returns may result in ignoring the need to understand and manage the potential risk.  It is important to understand the risks associated with an investment strategy.  Risk can have different interpretations depending Read more […]

Multi-Factor Merits: Are You Putting All Your Eggs in One Single-Factor Basket?

It is undeniable that an individual investor would need considerable skill (or luck) to navigate optimally between the various single-factor equity strategies.  If the goal is to outperform the benchmark, then simply choosing between a quality, value, momentum, or low volatility strategy may present the biggest risk.  While they all have been shown to hold Read more […]

Is Trump Making Commodities Great Again In His First 100 Days?

The short answer is no.  The S&P GSCI (Spot) is down 4.0% since Jan 20, which is the 6th worst start of the 8 presidencies measurable by the S&P GSCI.  Besides Trump, the data covers the start of the presidencies for Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. However, not all Read more […]

Gold Just Did This for Its First Time Ever in April

Commodities have continued their slump in April with the S&P GSCI Total Return losing 2.1% and Dow Jones Commodity Index (DJCI) Total Return losing 1.7% for year to date performance of -7.1% and -3.6%, respectively.  Only 2 of 5 sectors and 7 of 24 commodities were positive in April.  In the S&P GSCI, livestock gained Read more […]

The First 100 Days

In 100 days one can: Sequentially boil 48,000 three minute eggs Enjoy nearly 1,372 viewings of The Usual Suspects (a tally I’ll admit to being embarrassingly close to achieving) Assemble evidence to render an arbitrary judgment on the accomplishments of a newly-elected US President Tomorrow marks the end of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in Read more […]