Tag Archives: diversification

Two Dimensions of Risk

Investors have long regarded the market’s overall level of volatility as an indication of its riskiness.  The S&P 500 VIX Index, in particular, is often referred to as a “fear gauge” for U.S. equities since it tends to rise when investors are nervous and to fall when the markets are quiescent. Although S&P 500 VIX Read more […]

The Next Big Futures Market May Be OUT OF THIS WORLD or in CHINA

In my post about globalizing futures, technology and logistics were highlighted as key factors to expand local commodities into a global commodities.  What I failed to mention is that these same keys may unlock potential futures markets growth beyond Earth.  That may seem extraordinary but the potential is real since according to this article on Read more […]

Stock Picker’s Market?

This morning’s Wall Street Journal cites an adviser who opines that “the current stock market environment favors…active fund managers, who pick individual stocks in an attempt to beat broad market indices.”  This immediately raises the question of how to define a stock picker’s market, and how to determine whether today’s conditions are more auspicious for Read more […]

Where’s my free lunch?

Ever since Harry Markowitz published his June 1953 paper on portfolio selection, investors both institutional and retail have subscribed to the theory that diversification – and its use in combination with mean-variance optimized allocations – universally widens and almost always improves the possibilities of risk and return. At its core, the theory states that an Read more […]

A Simple Hedge Strategy

Alternative investments for high net worth investors are like the weather — everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it.  In fairness, alternative investments — hedge funds, private equity, and the like — are often hard to access and complicated to explain.  But if they can deliver on their promise of uncorrelated Read more […]

JOIN US! LIVE-WEBCAST – S&P Dow Jones 7th Annual Commodities Seminar

Please click here to register for our live-streaming of S&P Dow Jones Indices half-day complimentary seminar which has become Europe’s annual meeting point for commodity aficionados in less than a decade. It is the perfect opportunity for all who can’t attend in-person to join us and other leading industry professionals for an afternoon of education and Read more […]

Fear Gauge Spikes: Let’s Play Hot Potato

For what risk does the commodity investor get paid? At what point is the fear gauge so high the risk gets passed like a hot potato? The answers to these questions will help explain why post the global financial crisis there has been a link between VIX spikes and commodity losses. Let’s address the first Read more […]

How Badly is Gold Bleeding?

In light of much negative news about the bust in gold, I thought it might be interesting to share the impact the gold drop has had on dollar exposure in the two most widely used commodity indices, the S&P GSCI and DJ-UBS.  Below is a note we published today in a media bulletin: Good afternoon Read more […]

Index Rehab: Is Backwardation Back In-Style?

My colleague, David Blitzer, is discussing index construction in his blog series “Inside the S&P 500”, and so far has reviewed selecting stocks and the float adjustment. While the index construction principles of transparency, liquidity, and systematic rules-based methodologies are widely similar between equities, commodities and other asset classes, there are details that distinguish the asset 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 […]