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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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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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Mar 18, 2022

The Odds Are Against You

S&P Dow Jones Indices’ SPIVA (S&P Index Versus Active) scorecard, first published in 2002, has become our industry’s de facto scorekeeper of the relative performance of active managers. We recently released the U.S. SPIVA results for 2021. Nothing in the 2021 report was surprising, as most active managers continued to underperform benchmarks appropriate to their…

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Feb 2, 2022

Value Resurgent

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of indices designed to distinguish growth and value investment styles. Investment managers had classified themselves as growth or value specialists (among other possible differentiators) before 1992, but until then it wasn’t possible to evaluate a value manager against a systematically defined value benchmark or a growth…

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Jan 27, 2022

On Schedule

The poet tells us that in spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Experience tells us that in January, an active manager’s fancy turns to thoughts of triumph. Earlier this month, we learned that 70% of the institutional investors questioned in a recent poll thought that “markets will favor active management”…

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Dec 20, 2021

Active Management: Naughty or Nice?

The history of active investment management is, for the most part, a history of failure and frustration. Most active managers underperform most of the time, and success in one period seems not to predict subsequent success. We have long argued that active underperformance is not coincidental—it happens for identifiable and understandable reasons, and is therefore…

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Dec 2, 2021

Alpha, Omicron: Why?

Over the past week, global financial markets have been roiled by the discovery of the “Omicron” COVID-19 mutation. It’s far too soon to know how much this new variant will impact the world’s economy—but its discovery suggests an interesting thought experiment in, of all things, corporate governance. The experiment is this: suppose Omicron turns out…

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Sep 30, 2021

Why Benchmarks Matter

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a webinar on the basics of passive management. A portfolio manager in the audience posed an important question which I’ll paraphrase: “If my goal is to earn a return of X%, why is an index’s performance relevant?” Otherwise said, if I want to earn a particular absolute…

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Sep 23, 2021

The Importance of Order

We all know that stock market returns vary substantially over time. For example, the S&P 500®’s performance between 1981 and 2020 ranged from -37% (2008) to +38% (1995). The market’s compound annual return for this period was 11.5%. Investors, however, live with actual portfolio values, not abstract rates of return. Obviously, and other things equal,…

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