Category Archives: Equities

Some Inconvenient Truths

Today’s Wall Street Journal brought the latest in a string of articles suggesting that we have entered a period of particular opportunity for active investment management — a so-called “stock-picker’s market.”  Because the average correlation of stocks within the S&P 500 or other major indices has declined, it’s argued, “active managers are going to do Read more […]

Buybacks and the S&P 500® EPS

Buybacks do not increase S&P 500 Index earnings-per-share (EPS), the Dow is a different story. On an issue level, share count reduction (SCR) increases EPS, therefore reducing the P/E and making stocks appear more ‘attractive’. SCR is typically accomplished via buybacks, with the vital statistic being not just how many shares you buy, but how Read more […]

Examining Emerging Market FX Contagion: It was all about Relative Risk-adjusted Performance

A large number of emerging markets currencies declined en masse during the period from 30 April 2013 through 31 January 2014, with many observers applying the moniker of contagion.  Over the whole period many emerging market currencies were clustered in the range of losing between 9% and 22% of their value against the US dollar, Read more […]

How do you know if an ETF is truly passive? A formulaic approach to ETF identification

The acronym “ETF” was once a reliable term to identify exchange traded funds using passive investment strategies, specifically those tracking transparent, rules based independently calculated indices.  “Today, the ETF acronym is being used broadly by the fund industry and media outlets to include non-fund product structures and active management strategies”[1].   Furthermore “active ETFs stand out Read more […]

War Risk

Russia and the Ukraine are dominating trading around the world since last Friday. The charts show the losses and rebound in the stock markets and currencies in the Ukraine and Russia.  The bounce back reflects both a seemingly more moderate comment from Russian President Putin on Tuesday morning as well as the markets pausing after Read more […]

COMMODITY COMEBACK

It is no surprise that now might be the perfect environment for brewing commodities.   The S&P GSCI was up 4.5% in February and was in backwardation for the first time in February since 2004. In 2004, the S&P GSCI returned 17.3%. 22 of 24 commodities in the S&P GSCI were positive in February. All 5 sectors were positive, led by agriculture, Read more […]

Why Size Matters

This morning’s Financial Times revisits the argument that smaller funds generally have a performance advantage over larger funds.  One contention advanced in favor of this view is that as funds grow, they “have” to hold more large-cap stocks, and that this large-cap weighting hurts overall performance: “Outperformance in large-cap companies is harder to achieve because Read more […]

Incorporating Smart Beta Strategies in Asset Allocation

It is now a well-established trend that institutional investors are allocating to smart beta / risk premia strategies. In a recent survey of 300 institutional investors, 42% of the investors say they have committed a portion of their portfolios to smart beta, while a further 24% say they intend to do so in the future. Read more […]

US Quantitative Easing – A boon or bane for the “Fragile Five”?

2013 was a seminal year for US equities with markets going up 33%. Emerging markets on the other hand did not fare so well and were relatively flat with a negative 1.27%. India ended the year down at 4.8%, hit strongly by currency woes, but the year was very volatile for most emerging markets. Some Read more […]

Weekend with the G20

The weekend meeting of 20 major global economies representing 85% of world GDP called for adding half a percentage point of growth each year to 2018 through renewed and aggressive stimulus.  So far this is talk, but there is a chance for action.  The G20 will convene again in November to show what they’ve done.  Read more […]