Tag Archives: S&P 500 Low Volatility Index

Most Things Are Relative

The S&P 500 Low Volatility Index measures the performance of the 100 least volatile stocks in the S&P 500. In its latest quarterly rebalance (effective at the market close on February 17, 2017), the index scaled back weightings in Utilities, Health Care and Real Estate while adding weight from the Technology, Financials and Consumer Discretionary Read more […]

Approaches to Achieving Low Volatility

Low volatility has been one of the most in vogue strategies during the past decade, with market participants still cognizant of the drawdowns that occurred during the financial crisis.  At S&P DJI, two of the most common strategies are applied to the S&P 500® universe to capture the low volatility anomaly—which is the observation that 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 […]

Dividend and Low Volatility-Investments

It’s been a tough start to the new year for the S&P 500®, with a 6.4% decline (as of Feb. 3, 2016).  However, the year-to-date performance of certain factor-focused smart-beta indices tied to subsets of the S&P 500 is relatively bright. The S&P 500 is a well-diversified US equity index, seeking to provide exposure to Read more […]

A Curious Incident

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” “That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle, “Silver Blaze” (1892) Sometimes, as Holmes appreciated, what is missing is as interesting as Read more […]

Low Volatility and High Beta: When Opposite Paths Meet

By design, the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index sometimes takes large positions in sectors.  Particularly in times of turmoil, the rankings-based methodology of the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index offered refuge by steering clear of sectors such as financials in 2008 and the technology sector during the 2000-2002 deflation of the bubble. On the flip side, Read more […]

Unconstrained Sector Weighting: A Feature, Not a Side Effect

Although the low volatility anomaly was first documented more than 40 years ago, it was the trepidation and volatility in the years following the most recent financial crisis that propelled the concept to the forefront of investor interest.  In recent years, the phenomenon has been well covered, by both academics and the investment community, in the Read more […]

Consistency is Bliss

Following three consecutive weeks of declines for the S&P 500®, pundits are asserting that investors have more to fear than simply the Ides of March.  As of the market close on Friday the 13th, the S&P 500 had declined 3% in March on a total return basis. Defensive strategies can provide some protection from market Read more […]

Shelter from the Storm

Like many in the northern hemisphere, the S&P 500® felt a bit blue in January.  With the traditional winter frost came winds of volatility, which, like many of our holiday guests, overstayed their welcome.  On a total return basis, the S&P 500 declined 3% in January, as market volatility from the fall of 2014 lingered Read more […]