Why Taking a Local Approach to Index Construction Matters in Canada

While nearly everyone in the Canadian investment community has heard of the S&P/TSX Composite, few are aware of the key methodological intricacies that distinguish it from other broad market Canadian equity benchmarks. The most notable distinction is that the S&P/TSX Composite is designed specifically for Canadians (as are all S&P/TSX Indices), while many other Canadian Read more […]

S&P Risk Parity Indices Surge on the Back of a Rally in Treasuries

Expectations have diverged in 2019, as equity markets welcomed a dovish Fed, while the bond market exhibited pessimism. In the second quarter, the S&P 500® finished up 4.3% despite ongoing trade tensions, while the yield on the 10-Year U.S. Treasury Bond fell 40 bps to 2.0% and the U.S. Treasury curve remained inverted. The S&P Read more […]

Why the Volatility Spike is the Low Volatility Strategy’s Best Friend

The first half of 2019 saw one of the biggest rallies in the domestic market; the S&P 500® rose 18.54% on a total return basis despite concerns of slow economic growth, a trade war, and a possible rate hike. During the same period, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index surprised the market and rose even Read more […]

Do Active Funds in India Benefit from Higher Active Risk Exposure?

Fund managers typically follow a factor or a style of investing and aim to construct portfolios by balancing active sector exposures and stock-selection risks within a sector. Tracking error is one way to measure a fund’s deviation from its respective benchmark to determine how “active” it is. As measured in the SPIVA® India Year-End 2018 Read more […]

Implied Plunge Protection

Ever since its formation in response to the “Black Monday” crash of October 1987, the United States “Working Group on Financial Markets” has been accompanied by (persistently-denied) rumours that the group used government funding to make large equity purchases whenever the market fell – giving rise to its informal moniker of the “Plunge Protection Team”.  Read more […]

2019 Mid-Year Persistence Scorecard – Key Highlights

When it comes to investing, market participants often consider past performance to be indicative of future results.  The same goes for fund selection.  Notwithstanding the evidence showing that most active managers in most regions typically underperformed their benchmarks, consistently beating peers is one way to differentiate a manager’s luck from skill.  Here are a few Read more […]

Corn Pops to a New High

Several catalysts, including U.S. Corn Belt production issues, drove corn futures prices to a new five-year high in June 2019. Investors were net short corn in May 2019, and the short covering contributed to the break higher. Prices broke through the 2017 peak after heavy floods in the Midwest prevented farmers from planting corn in Read more […]

Understanding the ESG Consequences of Factor-Based Investing: Part 2

    In our previous blog, we looked at the S&P Factor Indices’ ESG exposures, showing that factor exposures can have an influence on ESG scores. In this blog, we’ll discuss these scores at the sector level and see how implementing an ESG or carbon reduction strategy on poorer ESG-performing factor indices can help investors Read more […]

S&P and Dow Jones Islamic Market Indices Largely Outperformed Conventional Indices in Q2 2019

Developed Market Indices Continued to Outperform Conventional Indices, Emerging Markets Lagged Global S&P and Dow Jones Shariah-compliant benchmarks outperformed their conventional counterparts YTD in 2019, as Information Technology—which tends to be overweight in Islamic indices—has been a sector leader, while Financials—which is underrepresented in Islamic indices—continued to underperform the broader market. The S&P Global BMI Read more […]

S&P China 500 Declined 2.8% in Q2 2019; Gains Stood at 20.2% YTD

The S&P China 500 declined 2.8% in Q2 2019, as the U.S.-China trade tensions and threat of company sanctions weighed on returns, even as expectations for eased tensions improved. The decline followed the 23.6% Q1 2019 surge in the index, ultimately leading to overall healthy gains of 20.2% YTD. Chinese stocks generally lagged global benchmarks Read more […]