Tag Archives: smart beta

Are Quality Stocks Expensive in China?

Quality investing has been one of the most widely accepted investment philosophies.  The attractiveness of quality stocks stems from their defensive nature under distressed market conditions.  In China’s A-Share market, quality stocks have gained renewed attraction in 2017.  In the first nine months of 2017, the quality portfolio outperformed the other factor portfolios in absolute Read more […]

Carbon Exposure of Smart Beta Indices

Carbon emission awareness has been gaining greater prominence on many market participants’ radar as they continue to seek and demand carbon emission information and related risks for companies associated with climate change.  To address this need, the Financial Stability Board taskforce recently published a series of recommendations on how companies should report climate-related risks and Read more […]

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 […]

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 […]

Smart Beta in India

2016 has been an unpredictable year on many fronts, whether it was Leicester City FC winning the Premier League, the Brexit, or the U.S. election results.  In India, “demonetization” and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are fundamentally altering fund managers’ target portfolios.  Active institutional fund managers have the benefit of professionally run research teams. 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 […]

The Making of a Passivist

I have few memories of my school French, but one of the fondest is of Moliere’s Monsieur Jourdain, who was delighted to learn in middle age that he had been speaking prose for the last 40 years.  Similarly, I did not realize until recently that I was a “passivist,” as the Wall Street Journal has now anointed the Read more […]

When Smart Beta Fails

How should an investor in a factor (or “smart beta”) index judge its performance?  In this respect at least, smart beta is like any other strategy: you should evaluate it against the claims that its vendors made before you bought it. This requires some subtlety.  Smart beta methodologies pick stocks based on fundamental or technical Read more […]