Tag Archives: S&P 500

Impact of Allocation and Security Selection Decisions on Active Fund Performance: Evidence from the U.S. SPIVA Scorecard

The release of the SPIVA U.S. Mid-Year 2017 Scorecard provided a welcoming dose of optimism for proponents of active management.  One statistic, which was picked up heavily by financial media (Financial Times Article) and market participants, is that 52.49% of All Domestic Funds managed to beat the S&P Composite 1500® (the designated benchmark).  The conversation Read more […]

Capitalization and Its Discontents

Last week, readers of the Financial Times were regaled by suggestions that capitalization-weighted index funds were “hugely biased,” “undiversified,” and “too trusting of the market’s judgment on a handful of very large stocks.”  Criticisms of cap weighting aren’t new, of course, and at least in the near term seem not to have been very effective Read more […]

Low Volatility, VIX and Behavioral Finance

As this week’s award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Richard Thaler confirmed, the existence of behavioral biases in finance is no longer a controversial theory.   People often prefer a small chance of a large gain to a near-certain chance of a small gain, even if the expected return from the latter is higher.  Read more […]

Turning Point?

Here are six notable developments in the U.S. financial markets in September 2017. Smaller caps outperformed large caps. Value outperformed growth. Energy was the top-performing sector, and the utilities sector was the worst-performer. Developed markets posted gains, while emerging markets lost steam. Commodity indices rebounded, driven by recent strength in energy. U.S. 10-year and 30-year 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 […]

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 […]

Market Agnosticism

This weekend’s Financial Times brought John Authers’ provocative article on the frequency of financial crises.  Along the way, John gives us some excellent advice: “We should all work on the assumption that we do not know what will happen next.” John’s view of crisis prediction applies equally to the quotidian work of investment management.  Since we don’t Read more […]

Correlation Analysis of VIX® and High Yield and Emerging Market Bonds

The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX) measures the implied volatility of the S&P 500® over a 30-day period.  It is widely followed by market participants across asset classes to gauge market sentiment.  Traditionally, fixed income market participants have incorporated it into macro analysis. Can VIX-related products be used as hedging tools for some bond sectors that Read more […]

Financials Gain More Prominence in Latest Low Vol Rebalance

Volatility has been generally subdued so far this year.  In the latest rebalance, the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index’s most significant sector shift was to Financials (adding 5% to bring the sector to 21% of the index).  Allocation in the remaining sectors did not deviate too far from the last rebalance. Technology’s weight, which increased Read more […]