Timeline of Percentage of Active Funds That Underperformed Their Benchmarks

The active versus passive debate has been a continuous subject of discussion in the evolving asset management industry.  S&P Dow Jones Indices launched the first SPIVA India scorecard in 2013 to provide a barometer on this subject. The Indian market has witnessed significant growth (albeit from a small base) in passive investment products that offer Read more […]

Comparing Active and Passive in Latin America – SPIVA® Latin America

The SPIVA Latin America Mid-Year 2017 Scorecard was released this week.  The report covers Brazil, Chile, and Mexico in selected fund categories.  In line with the rest of the world, widespread gains were seen in both fixed income and equity markets in Latin America in the first six months of 2017. The recent rise in Read more […]

September Splits Commodities, Led By Strong Energy

The energy fundamentals, helped by Hurricane Harvey, are now in place for solid rebalancing and for potentially continued strong performance. Metals have reflected bullish sentiment but have recently been hindered by Chinese growth and credit concerns. Agriculture has been well oversupplied on better than expected weather and from improving farming technologies. In September, three of Read more […]

A Framework for Offering Income in DC Plans

According to the latest Department of Labor statistics, more than 640,000 employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) plans are in existence in order to help nearly 90 million participants prepare for retirement.[1] To date, traditional measures of success included factors based on a plan’s inputs, such as participation rates, savings levels, and the relative performance of underlying Read more […]

Looking Ahead to China’s 19th National Congress

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), one of the most important political events this year, will be convened on Oct 18. The reshuffling of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) members is crucial to the centralization of power for the new government, as well as the economic and social policies in Read more […]

Rieger Report: A Tale of Two Bond Markets

The U.S. corporate and municipal bond markets seem to be neck and neck in total return performance for the first three quarters of 2017.  However, there are distinct characteristics of both of these markets that have played a key role and could cause the performance to vary significantly going forward. The intent of this blog post Read more […]

Green Bond Market: September 2017

In the first three quarters of 2017, green bond issuance reached USD 83 billion, nearing the issuance reported by the Climate Bond Initiative for full-year 2016 (see Exhibit 1).  France accounted for 18% (USD 14.8 billion) of the issuance, driven primarily by the USD 7.6 billion sovereign bond issued by the country in January. Commercial Read more […]

Most S&P and Dow Jones Islamic Indices Outperform Conventional Benchmarks in 2017

Most S&P and Dow Jones Shariah-compliant benchmarks outperformed their conventional counterparts year-to-date through September 27, 2017 as Information Technology and Health Care – which tend to be overweight in Islamic Indices – have been sector leaders, and Financials – which are underrepresented in Islamic indices – have experienced some weakness.  One notable exception has been Read more […]

Avoid Unintended Stock Market Bets by Understanding Benchmarks

In a recent Financial Planning article,[1] Craig Israelsen advocated using stock market size segments to construct portfolios rather than a total market approach.  His conclusion may be perfectly valid for market participants willing and able to bear greater small-stock exposure, but his analysis fails to adequately take account of this source of risk.  He compared Read more […]

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Here are some recent headlines about the consequences of passive investing: Japan Central Bank’s ETF Shopping Spree Is Becoming a Worry Passive Market Share to Overtake Active in the US No Later than 2024 Passive investing boom is creating a ‘frightening’ risk for markets ETFs are taking over the world, and there’s nothing anyone can Read more […]