Category Archives: Equities

Illustrating the Value of Liquidity

Let’s suppose for a moment that you are given a choice between two hypothetical exchange traded funds (ETFs) tracking the same index.  Fund A has an annual management fee of 0.4% while Fund B has an annual management fee of 0.1%.  At first glance, Fund B seems like the better option: it offers similar performance Read more […]

Using Sectors To Express Views

The S&P 500® is up 21.42% year-to-date and is within striking distance of its all-time high.  Although this may suggest the presence of a strong “risk-on” environment, there are signs that the bull market’s stride is changing.  Defensive assets have fared relatively well amid concerns over economic growth and trade tensions, while the inversion of Read more […]

Performance Characteristics of the S&P/B3 Low Volatility High Dividend Index

After exploring the rationale behind the implementation of a low volatility high dividend strategy in Brazil in our previous blog, we will now examine the recently launched S&P/B3 Low Volatility High Dividend Index. The index is designed to measure the performance of the least volatile stocks among a specified group of high-dividend-yielding constituents from its Read more […]

What’s Inside the S&P China A-Share Factor Indices? Sector Allocation versus Stock-Selection Effect

After examining the risk factor exposure of the S&P China A-Share Factor Indices in our previous blog, we further explore the sector bias and associated impact on index performance. Apart from the S&P China A-Share Enhanced Value Index, all the S&P China A-Share Factor Indices tended to underweight the Financials sector,[1] though other unique sector Read more […]

Rotating Between Growth and Value: The S&P 500® Growth Value Rotator Index

Growth and value are two investment styles based on fundamental analysis. A growth company typically has promising earnings potential and tends to invest more in future growth rather than dividend payouts, while a value company tends to be more established, with stable growth rates and dividend distributions. While most market participants are familiar with single-style Read more […]

The Calm That Was

Through the end of July, equities had netted a nice gain for 2019 (though the picture looks a lot different so far in August). Unusually, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index® outperformed in an environment when it has typically lagged its benchmark. (The S&P 500 gained 20.2%, while the low volatility index was up 20.8%, Read more […]

Size Matters for Active Large-Cap Fund Performance

Over the 15-year period ending March 31, 2019, the biggest 25% of active large-cap equity funds managed about 90% of all the assets under management (AUM) held in active large-cap equity funds. This may suggest that investors’ fund selections skew toward larger funds. But is bigger always better? This topic has been widely debated: although Read more […]

The Case for Positive Earnings Criteria in International Small-Cap Benchmarks

We recently published a research paper, “Building Better International Small-Cap Benchmarks,” offering a comprehensive look at the recently launched S&P Global SmallCap Select Index Series. These indices are designed to measure the performance of small-cap companies with positive earnings. Why incorporate positive earnings criteria into small-cap benchmarks? The initial foundation stems from two prior studies[1],[2]; Read more […]

Concentration Concerns

Readers of this morning’s Wall Street Journal learned (on the front page, no less) that many of the largest investors in the U.S. equity market hold similar portfolios.  “The overlap in the top 50 stockholdings between mutual funds and hedge funds…now stands at near-record levels, a study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found.”  An Read more […]

For Active Managers, Staying on Top Is Not Enough

S&P DJI’s Mid-Year 2019 Persistence Scorecard may offer a hint of encouragement for active fund managers. Performance persistence, measured over the three-year period ending March 2019, rose from prior periods. Among the domestic equity funds that were in the top quartile as of March 2017, 11.36% were able to go on and maintain their top-quartile Read more […]