Tag Archives: factors

Q&A: What is factor investing?

We recently hosted Tim Edwards, Senior Director, Index Investment Strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, for an in-depth discussion about factor-based investing and the role it can play in a diversified portfolio. Chris: What is factor investing? What are the factors? Tim: To be a factor, two things in particular need to be true. The Read more […]

Avoiding Beta Pollution in the Search for Value

In our latest S&P 500® Factor Indices Dashboard, Tim Edwards wrote, “Value’s return to form came after a decade of meagre pickings.  In fact, value recorded in its best annual relative performance since 2000.” Small wonder then that the S&P 500 Enhanced Value Index and S&P 500 Pure Value were popular topics of financial advisor Read more […]

Multi-Factor Indexes: More Bang for Your Buck

Many advisors are unsure whether introducing factor-tilt ‘smart beta’ strategies into portfolios will improve client outcomes. In fact, some factor tilt portfolios appear to provide the equivalent of levered exposures to a diverse set of alternative risk premia. This is because factor tilt portfolios may contain much greater than 100% exposure to several risk factors Read more […]

Using Factor Analysis to Explain the Performance of Dividend Strategies

Factor tilts have resulted in divergent dividend strategy performance following the November elections November’s US elections have buoyed investor optimism about the potential for tax reform, increased infrastructure spending, reduced regulation and accelerating economic growth. These expectations led to a 0.75% spike in the 10-year Treasury yield between Nov. 8 and Dec. 16, and a Read more […]

A New Metric for Smart Beta: The Cost-Adjusted Factor Efficiency Ratio

With an increasing number of smart beta strategies that track the same factor in the marketplace, it is more important than ever to understand the underlying drivers of risk and return of these strategies, which can vary greatly.  This is because the underlying portfolio construction of these strategies determines risk and return and, ultimately, the Read more […]

Visualizing Factor Exposures

Measuring the away-from-benchmark exposures of active portfolios (or “smart beta” indices) is not inherently complicated.  To what degree, for example, is a portfolio cheaper than its benchmark, or more tilted toward high quality stocks?  Practitioners typically approach the question in one of several ways: Calculating weighted average differences – e.g., the yield on my portfolio is Read more […]

Quality: A Driving Factor of Small-Cap Returns

Much has been written about the performance differential between the two leading small-cap indices, the S&P SmallCap 600® and Russell 2000.  Over a long-term investment horizon, the S&P SmallCap 600 has outperformed the Russell 2000 with less risk.  Part of the performance differential can be attributed to the June Russell rebalancing effect.  As winners from Read more […]

Details of the Two-Factor Model

After identifying value and low volatility as factors that can effectively explain the return and volatility of an investment-grade corporate bond portfolio, we proposed a two-factor model to capture the security selection process of active corporate bond managers. The underlying universe for our study is the S&P U.S Issued Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index from Read more […]

Is There Merit in Blending Factors in Smart Beta Strategies?

Despite the fact that many single-factor strategies have empirically delivered positive excess returns in the long run, they have suffered periods of substantial underperformance under certain market conditions due to their cyclicality.  Blending a number of desired factors with low correlations is a potential way to attain more balanced and diversified portfolios.  The obvious questions Read more […]

Harvesting the Size Factor Premium

Factor investing is a well-documented method of generating excess returns, but some of the practical aspects of it are often overlooked in academic research, which tends to focus on “pure” premiums. Investors wanting to access these factors – size, value, volatility, momentum, etc. – are presented with a number of investment alternatives that aim to Read more […]