Berlinda Liu

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

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.

Berlinda joined Standard & Poor's in December 2007. Prior to S&P DJI, she was an equity derivatives strategist at both Bear Stearns, London, and Credit Suisse, New York, where she joined as a business analyst.

Berlinda is a CFA charterholder. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international business management from Wuhan University of China and a master’s degree in information system management from Carnegie Mellon University, in addition to her master’s degree in computational finance from Carnegie Mellon.

Author Archives: Berlinda Liu

The S&P Risk Parity Indices: Return Contribution and Leverage

My earlier blog showed that equal risk allocation is different from equal capital allocation. The S&P Risk Parity Indices had roughly equal risk contribution from all three asset classes, while about 60% of the capital was allocated to fixed income. The historical performance of each asset class also showed that equal risk allocation did not Read more […]

The S&P Risk Parity Indices: Risk Contribution Versus Capital Allocation

In a prior blog, we showed that the S&P Risk Parity Indices tracked the average performance of active risk parity funds closer than a traditional 60/40 equity/bond portfolio. In this second part of the blog series, we will examine the risk contribution and capital allocation of these indices. The principles behind risk parity strategies relate Read more […]

Benchmarking Risk Parity Strategies

Since the launch of the first risk parity fund—Bridgewater’s All Weather fund—in 1996, many investment firms have begun offering risk parity funds to their clients. Risk parity funds became especially popular in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, when many investors witnessed the failure by traditional U.S. dollar-based asset allocation to provide downside Read more […]

Innovation in Indexing: Incorporating Options in Indexes to Help Achieve Defined Investment Outcome as a Packaged Solution

For decades, sophisticated institutional investors have been using combinations of options to achieve desired investment outcomes or specific payoff structures. With innovations in indexing, it is now possible to gain passive exposure to those predefined outcome goals. Before we begin to explore how those index strategies are constructed and how such access may be possible, Read more […]

Decomposing Recent Volatility Events Part 2

In my previous blog, we compared a daily inverse index to a “true short” and discussed the increasing vega exposure in the S&P 500® VIX® Short Term Futures Inverse Daily Index over the past couple of years. In this blog, we analyze how the mechanics of a VIX futures index, a low volatility environment, and Read more […]

Decomposing Recent Volatility Events Part 1

After a strong January 2018, the U.S. equity market started February with a roller coaster ride. The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®), which has been relatively quiet over the past couple years, spiked up and crossed the 50 mark intraday on Feb. 5, 2018. On the same day, the S&P 500® VIX Short Term Futures Inverse Read more […]

Buying High and Selling Low: The Counterintuitiveness of VIX® Trading

With 2017 in the rear view mirror, we can look back and observe that short VIX strategies rank as one of the most profitable strategies of the year. The S&P 500® VIX Short-Term Futures Inverse Daily Index returned 186.39%, and selling VIX futures has become a popular income-generating strategy. 2017 was also a year marked Read more […]

Selling Equity Options or VIX® Futures: Two Different Ways to Short Volatility

2017 was a great year for shorting VIX futures strategies. The S&P 500® VIX Short-Term Futures Inverse Daily Index returned 186.39%. Selling volatility does not rely on interest rates or dividends. Historically, investors have been selling options to generate income. Compared to selling equity options, selling VIX futures is an operationally simple strategy that can Read more […]

Impact of Term Structure on VIX® Futures Correlation with Bond Sectors

Recently my colleague wrote about the correlation between VIX (spot and futures) and two credit sectors (high-yield and emerging market bonds).  The blog shows that VIX futures exhibit stronger negative correlation than VIX spot and that this stronger negative correlation of bonds to VIX futures than to VIX spot comes mostly from down markets.  In Read more […]

VIX Hit Below 10 in Q2: What Do We Know From the Past?

With the French election ending in the defeat of Le Pen, one more risk factor has been removed from the table and low volatility has returned.  In Q2, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX®) fell below 10 seven times, and the closing level of 9.75 on June 2, 2017, was the lowest since 1993.  Do these Read more […]