Category Archives: Equities

Raising the Bar in Canadian Small Caps

Prior research has demonstrated that profitability matters for small-cap companies in the U.S. and in global equity markets. For example, the S&P SmallCap 600®—which includes an earnings eligibility criteria—has outperformed the broader Russell 2000 Index (with lower volatility) over its 25-year track record. Our new S&P/TSX SmallCap Select Index extends this phenomenon to Canadian equities, Read more […]

Common Confusion

The critics of passive investing are nothing if not creative.  One of their objections to the growth of index funds stems from the putative problem of “common ownership.”  The argument is that index funds’ ownership of many of the competitors in most industries encourages or facilitates collusive behavior.  “[T]he fear is that by owning chunks Read more […]

Stock Pickers: Hope Springs Eternal

The Wall Street Journal recently quoted several active managers who claim that “conditions for stock picking are improving”. Their rationale is that declining correlations among stocks in the S&P 500 have made it easier for active managers to select stocks based on fundamental analysis. We have heard this argument before, most notably in 2014 when, Read more […]

Integrating Low-Carbon with Single Factors in Asia

Factor investing in Asia has grown at a rapid pace, with smart beta passive AUM growing at a 42% compound annual growth rate over the past five years, albeit from a relatively lower base.[1] With increasing awareness of climate change and related risks, investors may look to integrate carbon screening into their factor portfolios. In Read more […]

Should Green Benchmarks Include Fossil Fuel Stocks?

As green investing becomes ever more mainstream, there is greater scrutiny of the myriad “environmentally friendly” investment products that have emerged. Several green-labeled benchmarks have been criticized for including oil and gas stocks, for instance, sparking some controversy within the sustainable investment community. However, while efforts to make financial products more transparent are laudable, not Read more […]

The Performance of Carbon-Efficient Portfolios in Asian Markets

In recent years, governments have become increasingly aware of the perils of greenhouse gases and have aimed to penalize the source of pollution while looking to incentivize low-carbon technologies. In addition, investors are now considering an organization’s future financial position to discount potential write-downs of assets and the effect on revenues, costs, cash flows, and Read more […]

A Noble Metal Idea

S&P Dow Jones Indices, the world’s leading index provider, launched the S&P GSCI Gold Dynamic Roll 70/30 Futures/Equity Blend in November 2019. It is the first single-commodity-focused futures/equities blended index of its kind in the gold market. In the current environment where investors are looking to diversify, this product is designed to provide a reliable Read more […]

SPIVA® U.S. Mid-Year 2019 Highlights

The SPIVA U.S. Mid-Year 2019 Scorecard was published recently. The report shows that the strong rally in the domestic equities market in the first half of 2019 did not necessarily translate into success for active managers. Active managers’ performance relative to the benchmark indices showed significant discrepancies in different market segments. For the one-year period Read more […]

Outperforming with Systematic Sector Bets Using the S&P 500 Sector Rotator Daily RC2 5% Index

Given the current market conditions, the popularity of strategies that rotate between factors or sectors, providing agility in their allocations with the goal of capturing outperformance in changing economic regimes, has increased considerably. One of these strategies is the S&P 500® Sector Rotator Daily RC2 5% Index. The index rotates between the top three sectors Read more […]

A Way of Seeing

A wise man told me years ago that sometimes the things we see are less important than our way of seeing.  As more formerly-active investors begin to use passive vehicles, it’s useful to consider if there’s a distinctly index-centric way of seeing, and what its elements might be.  I think that there are at least Read more […]