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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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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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Jan 11, 2023

Style Chicken or Sectoral Egg?

Anyone who has perused our S&P 500® Factor Dashboard for December 2022 (and it’s a shame if you have not) will recognize Exhibit 1 below. The horizontal axis represents the difference between the weighted average value and growth scores (at the beginning of 2022) for each of the 17 factor indices in our dashboard, while…

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Oct 12, 2022

Making a Virtue of Necessity

When the market declines by nearly 24%, as the S&P 500® did in the first nine months of 2022, investors typically lick their wounds and wonder what comes next. Spoiler alert: I don’t know. But there are ample historical data to explore amidst our befuddlement. First, the bad news: Exhibit 1 shows that there is…

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Sep 29, 2022

Shooting Hoops with Michael Jordan: An Allegory

I am not a particularly good athlete, and perhaps the sport at which I am most inept is basketball. Despite that, let’s assume that I somehow challenge Michael Jordan, arguably the best player in the history of the game, to a free throw shooting contest. What are my chances of success? (Stay with me, I…

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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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