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Craig Lazzara

Managing Director, Index Investment Strategy, S&P Dow Jones Indices

Craig Lazzara is a Managing Director and emeritus global head of the Index Investment Strategy group at S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI). The IIS team provides research and commentary across the S&P DJI product set, with particular emphasis on the active vs. passive debate, factor indices, and index dynamics. Craig previously served as product manager for S&P DJI’s U.S. equity and real estate indices. These include the S&P 500® and the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, two of the most widely tracked benchmarks in the world.
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Oct 4, 2023

Active Success: Still Elusive

Anyone even vaguely conversant with our SPIVA® Scorecards will realize that most active managers underperform passive benchmarks most of the time. This result is robust across geographies and across time, and is reflected in our recently issued mid-year 2023 report for the U.S. market. Although the scorecard covers 39 categories of equity and fixed income…

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Jul 27, 2023

Mean Reversion

Over more than 20 years of live history, the S&P 500® Equal Weight Index has outperformed the S&P 500 by a substantial margin. Between Dec. 31, 1990, and June 30, 2023, Equal Weight’s compound annual growth rate was 11.82%, well ahead of the cap-weighted S&P 500 at 10.55%. This performance edge is a product of…

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Jun 6, 2023

Active or Agnostic?

In order to generate value for his clients, an active investment manager must deviate from a passive benchmark—by choosing sectors, or styles, or individual stocks that the manager predicts will outperform. The manager’s value is dependent on the accuracy of his predictions; the better he is at identifying the best sectors, or styles, or stocks,…

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May 24, 2023

Persistently Disappointing

If you’ve ever read a prospectus (or, for that matter, an S&P DJI research report), you know that “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” At one level, if you understand that, you understand the most important thing about S&P DJI’s Persistence Scorecards. For the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Canada (with Australia coming…

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Apr 18, 2023

The Same, Only Different

In the first quarter of 2023, the best performing of the 17 factor indices featured in our monthly factor dashboard was S&P 500® High Beta (up 12.5%), while the worst performer was S&P 500 Momentum (-3.2%). This may seem odd at first blush, since both indices are, in some sense, performance chasers—Momentum in absolute and…

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Apr 10, 2023

Unwisely Concentrated

Anyone familiar with our SPIVA Scorecards will recognize that most active managers fail most of the time. Anyone familiar with active managers will recognize that they can be quite creative in proposing both excuses and remedies for this historical record. One of their most persistent suggestions, in fact, is that active management simply isn’t active…

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Mar 22, 2023

Measuring Home Prices

Compared to stock and bond markets, where prices update continuously throughout the trading day, the value of residential real estate is hard to observe; and while one buyer’s shares of stock XYZ are interchangeable with another’s, houses are not similarly fungible. Yet the value of an investor’s house is often a significant component of his…

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Feb 27, 2023

Collections of Factors

Traditional investors think of portfolios (whether active or indexed) as collections of stocks. We can equally well think of portfolios as collections of factors—defining factor in the academic sense, as an attribute with which excess returns are thought to be associated. If we’re correct in assessing these attributes, it should be possible to explain portfolio…

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Feb 16, 2023

Peak Passive and Market Efficiency

With more than $7 trillion tracking the S&P 500 alone, we estimate that index funds now encompass between a quarter and a third of the capitalization of the U.S. equity market. This extraordinary growth must surely rank as one of the most important developments in contemporary financial history. When will it end? For at least…

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Jan 30, 2023

What Performance Reversals Suggest

Investment results in 2022 were distinctly different from those of the recent past. The S&P 500®, which had doubled in the three years between 2019 and 2021, fell by more than 18% last year, and Exhibit 1 shows that there were regime shifts among factor indices as well. The dominance of Value over Growth in…

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