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berlinda_liu

Berlinda Liu

Director, Global Research & Design, S&P Dow Jones Indices

Berlinda Liu is Director, Global Research & Design at S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI). In this role, she is responsible for quantitative research & design covering volatility, commodity, and other derivative-based indices and strategies.
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Aug 20, 2020

Recalled to Life: The S&P SmallCap 600’s Persistent Outperformance after the Russell Reconstitution

S&P DJI’s paper, A Tale of Two Benchmarks (first published in in 2009 and later updated in 2015 and 2019), showed that the S&P SmallCap 600® has structurally outperformed the Russell 2000, primarily benefiting from S&P DJI’s index inclusion criteria for profitability, liquidity, and public float. The paper also delves deeper into several secondary attribution…

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Jul 7, 2020

Viewing 20 Years of Indexed Core Assets Growth through a SPIVA® Lens

In 1973, Princeton professor Burton Malkiel wrote the book, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, laying out a case against the mutual funds of the time as persistently underperforming market indices. Malkiel recommended[i] that the New York Stock Exchange create a fund that simply bought and held stock in the companies comprising the indices. Somewhat…

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Jul 1, 2020

Can Top-Performing Funds Stay on Top over Time?

Many market participants attempt to identify future top-performing funds using managers’ track records. This practice implicitly assumes that managers’ successful track records reflect skill and that their superior performance will be repeated in the future. Since genuine skill is likely to persist, one key measure of active management skill is the consistency of a fund’s…

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Jun 10, 2020

Active Managers: No Place to Hide

In the first quarter of 2020, the global economy experienced not a slowdown, but a shutdown. As COVID-19 swept the world, outsized market movements became the new norm. The S&P 500® finished its worst quarter (-19.6%) since 2008’s global financial crisis. International equities fared even worse as the S&P International 700 lost 22.4%. While investors…

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Jun 2, 2020

The Challenge of Finding Outperforming Active Funds in Canada

The SPIVA® Canada Year-End 2019 Scorecard was released recently. Despite the strong performance of broad equities, 2019 proved to be yet another challenging year for active funds in Canada. Here are a few highlights from the report. Strong Market Performance Did Not Translate to Active Fund Outperformance The S&P/TSX Composite posted its highest annual return…

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May 26, 2020

VIX Back to Normal? Not Really

The U.S. equities market had a wild start in 2020. Following the March 2020 sell-off, the S&P 500® posted its largest monthly gain (12.8%) since 1987. Meanwhile, VIX® went from its long-term median to an all-time high within a month before it settled around 30. One thing that has been debated lately is whether VIX,…

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May 19, 2020

Risk-Adjusted SPIVA® Year-End 2019 Scorecard: Most Active Managers Still Lagged

In addition to absolute returns, institutional investors also evaluate active funds by risk-adjusted returns. This is not surprising since Modern Portfolio Theory tells us that higher returns tend to be associated with higher risk. Our Risk-Adjusted SPIVA Scorecard was introduced in 2018 as an extension of the standard SPIVA Scorecards. It aims to assess whether…

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Apr 7, 2020

What’s New in the S&P Risk Parity Indices Methodology?

Launched in August 2018, the S&P Risk Parity Indices were designed to be a transparent, passive alternative to active risk parity funds. The index series comprises several indices that are differentiated by volatility targets in an 8%-15% range. This blog compares the original and new methodologies. After consultations with stakeholders, S&P Dow Jones Indices has…

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Apr 6, 2020

SPIVA U.S. Year-End 2019 Scorecard: Active Funds Continued to Lag

2019 was a remarkable year for risky assets. All benchmarks tracked in the SPIVA U.S. Year-End 2019 Scorecard delivered positive returns. Information Technology-heavy and more internationally diversified companies of the S&P 500® pushed the index to its second- and fourth-highest annual return since 2001 and 1990, respectively. In addition, the S&P MidCap 400® (26.2%) and…

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Mar 24, 2020

Why the S&P 500® VIX® Short-Term Futures Index Rose More than VIX in March

Markets are down over 20%, COVID-19 is a global pandemic, negative global growth is looming—all of that just in the first 20 days of March! During same time period, VIX rose 65%, while the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index jumped 175%. With a long-term beta of 0.7 to spot, a question might be—why did…

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