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Craig Lazzara

Managing Director, Core Product Management, S&P Dow Jones Indices

Craig Lazzara is a Managing Director in the Core Product Management group at S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI). His responsibilities focus on providing thought leadership and educational outreach for S&P DJI’s core, alternative beta, and style indices globally. Prior to assuming his current role, Craig founded the Index Investment Strategy team, which 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. He 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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Sep 13, 2022

Defense and Volatility

As the equity market has waned and waxed in 2022, investor interest has naturally turned toward ways of mitigating portfolio losses. Some factor indices can serve this goal, but investors searching for a defensive strategy need to define their search carefully. It’s natural to think that defensive strategies will be less volatile than the market…

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Sep 12, 2022

The Power of Style

At some risk of oversimplification, the 16.1% decline in the S&P 500® for the first eight months of 2022 can be divided into three intervals, as the market fell by 20.0% through June, rallied in July, and then resumed its decline in August. This story, of course, is still evolving: for all we now know,…

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Aug 30, 2022

Defense in the Balance

Balanced portfolios traditionally (and definitionally) hold a mix of stocks and bonds. Stocks have been the better-performing asset over time, but with a level of volatility that many investors find unacceptably high. Although bonds are usually included in a balanced portfolio more as a volatility dampener than a return enhancer, during the bull market in…

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Aug 2, 2022

Time Sensitivity and Volatility Management

We all know that in the long run, the U.S. stock market has performed very well, compounding at well over 10% per year for nearly a century. We also know that sometimes the market performs very poorly, as the S&P 500®’s 20% decline in the first half of 2022 reminds us. For an investor who…

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Jul 11, 2022

Patience Is a Virtue

With the first half of 2022 in the books, commentators have noted that this year’s -20.0% total return for the S&P 500® is the worst January-June result in more than 50 years. Painful as the first six months were, what might they tell us about the rest of the year? History gives us both bad…

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Jun 22, 2022

Combining Dividend Strategies

Throughout this year’s market turmoil, dividend strategies have been among the most reliable sources of relative, if not absolute, performance. Through June 21, 2022, e.g., when the S&P 500® had declined -20.4% YTD, the S&P 500 High Dividend Index (roughly speaking, the 80 highest-yielding stocks in the 500) sustained a loss of only -3.7%. The…

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Jun 7, 2022

Seven Days in May

The performance of S&P 500®-based factor indices in May 2022 was generally favorable. Most factors outperformed the S&P 500, with the league table dominated by value and dividend tilts. The overall results for the month, however, obscure the intra-month dynamics: between the end of April and May 19, the S&P 500 fell by 5.5%, compounding…

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May 9, 2022

Value Resurgent, Part 2

The years between 2017 and 2021 were a frustrating half-decade for value investors. The S&P 500 Growth Index advanced at a compound annual rate of 24.1%, more than double the 11.9% return of its Value counterpart. Despite occasional (and sometimes prematurely celebrated) periods of success, Value underperformed Growth in four years of the five (and…

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Apr 26, 2022

Growth Managers’ Perfect Storm

Anyone familiar with our SPIVA reports will realize that most active managers fail most of the time. In 21 years of SPIVA data, a majority of large-cap managers underperformed the S&P 500 18 times; the most recent of the three exceptions came in 2009. Even in that context, 2021 was a year of above-average difficulty,…

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Mar 22, 2022

Holding Period Returns

What is the appropriate observational period for evaluating an investment strategy? This question is important, because different observational periods can produce different conclusions. For example, for the first 11 weeks of 2022, one of our better-performing factor indices has been the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index. Through March 18, 2022, Low Vol had declined 4.7%,…

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