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Jan 18, 2022

Increasing Diversification of the Australian Equity Market

Equity markets have changed considerably over the past 10 years, reflecting the growth of stocks and sectors in each market. While this growth has led to increased concentration in most of the world’s largest equity markets, Australia is a notable exception, as diversification has improved both in terms of stock concentration and along sector lines….

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Jan 18, 2022

Global Islamic Indices Advanced 20% YTD, Outperforming Conventional Benchmarks in 2021

Global equities gained in the last quarter of the year, climbing 5.8% as measured by the S&P Global BMI. Shariah-compliant benchmarks, including the S&P Global BMI Shariah and Dow Jones Islamic Market (DJIM) World Index, outperformed their conventional counterparts by approximately 2.5% in the quarter due largely to their overweight in the U.S. Information Technology…

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Jan 13, 2022

S&P 500 Twitter Sentiment Indices: Factor Analysis

We previously introduced the S&P 500 Twitter Sentiment Indices and analyzed their performance characteristics. We noted how the indices seek to capture the Tweet-based sentiment premium, with their differentiated performance being driven by differences in index construction and sector weighting. In this blog, we will examine their exposure to standard risk factors and analyze their…

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Jan 12, 2022

A Stellar 2021 for Indian Equities

Indian equities had a stellar 2021—the S&P BSE SENSEX rose over 23%, outpacing most major emerging markets, though slightly lagging the S&P 500®, which gained 29%. Information Technology and Financials were the top contributors, adding 9% and 6%, respectively, to the performance of the Indian bellwether. Smaller Indian companies did even better than blue chips;…

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Jan 12, 2022

No Safe Harbor for Stockpickers

We can use volatility and its components dispersion and correlation to analyze stock selection conditions globally. Most active managers run less diversified, more volatile portfolios than their index counterparts. Active managers should prefer above-average dispersion because stock selection skill is worth more when dispersion is high. The role of correlation is more subtle. While counterintuitive,…

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Jan 10, 2022

Smart Factories to the Supply Rescue

With the global economy ramping up from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages and supply chain bottlenecks are hampering manufacturers. Fortunately, there is relief on the way. Digitalization is sweeping through manufacturing plants and transforming today’s sleepy mills into the smart factories of tomorrow. The catalysts include several of the technological forces driving…

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Jan 10, 2022

S&P 500 Twitter Sentiment Indices: Performance Characteristics

In a previous blog, we introduced the S&P 500® Twitter Sentiment Index and the S&P 500 Twitter Sentiment Select Equal Weight (EW) Index, highlighting their objective and construction. At the core of these indices is a model-based sentiment score that captures the direction and magnitude of the sentiment associated with a given company. S&P DJI…

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Jan 5, 2022

Commodities Crushed It in 2021

The market standard commodities benchmark, the S&P GSCI, crushed it in 2021, rising 40.35% and outpacing other similar commodity indices and asset classes, as high and rising inflation provided a great backdrop for this inflation-sensitive asset class. Commodities finished strong in December, rising 7.59% over the month as energy bounced back and Omicron COVID-19 variant…

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Jan 4, 2022

Focusing on Factor Indices

Factor indices have two important uses. First, they can be used as benchmarks to help clients of specialist managers disentangle how much of the manager’s performance is attributable simply to factor exposure, and how much is attributable to the manager’s stock selection beyond the factor. Second, factor indices can be used as investment vehicles to…

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Dec 20, 2021

Active Management: Naughty or Nice?

The history of active investment management is, for the most part, a history of failure and frustration. Most active managers underperform most of the time, and success in one period seems not to predict subsequent success. We have long argued that active underperformance is not coincidental—it happens for identifiable and understandable reasons, and is therefore…

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