Category Archives: Fixed Income

Risk-Adjusted SPIVA® Year-End 2019 Scorecard: Most Active Managers Still Lagged

In addition to absolute returns, institutional investors also evaluate active funds by risk-adjusted returns. This is not surprising since Modern Portfolio Theory tells us that higher returns tend to be associated with higher risk. Our Risk-Adjusted SPIVA Scorecard was introduced in 2018 as an extension of the standard SPIVA Scorecards. It aims to assess whether Read more […]

Municipal Bonds Are Being Left Behind

Corporate bonds have garnered a lot of attention lately, as the Federal Reserve continues to stabilize markets by establishing multiple facilities that support both the primary and secondary corporate bond markets. As a result, credit spreads have tightened significantly from where they were in March. Since March 23, 2020, the option-adjusted spread on the S&P Read more […]

ETFs Add to African Access

The exchanged-traded fund (ETF) structure has led to increased investment options within fixed income, and the African markets are a clear example of this. Over the past few years, several African ETFs have been introduced to the market, tracking indices provided by S&P Dow Jones Indices in South Africa, Nigeria, and Namibia, giving investors options Read more […]

Liquid, Long/Short Alternative Strategies Performed Strongly in Q1 2020

With the stock market in the midst of a historic slump, many investors may be looking to alternatives to protect against a prolonged downturn. The S&P Strategic Futures Indices are designed to measure the performance of passively constructed, liquid, and transparent solutions by spreading risk evenly across global futures markets utilizing a long/short trend-following strategy Read more […]

Indexing Managed Futures Strategies

Managed futures strategies generally tend to be trend following, which means that when an individual asset shows a clear price uptrend (or downtrend), the strategy will hold a long (or short) position in the asset. The strategies use a wide variety of quantitative models that utilize highly liquid, regulated, exchange-traded financial derivatives across equity, fixed Read more […]

Q1 2020 Performance Review for the S&P Risk Parity Indices

It comes as no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on global markets in the first quarter of 2020. The S&P 500® suffered steep declines, and U.S. Treasury yields fell (prices rose) as investors favored a flight to quality. In commodities, the S&P GSCI ended March down an extraordinary 29.4%, the largest Read more […]

Delivering Low Volatility Exposure to High Yield Bonds

The last few weeks have been challenging for business the world over. People working from home and aggressive social distancing have led to business contraction and the expectation of rising default. On March 19, 2020, an S&P report expected that the U.S. trailing 12-month speculative-grade corporate default rate would rise to 10% within the next Read more […]

Distressed in Distressing Times

Jeff Gundlach has been recently quoted as asking, “the Fed can buy up corporate bond ETFs and thereby prop up prices of corporate bonds, but what happens when there are defaults and the artificial Fed price is replaced by the recovery value?” We have already seen how the S&P U.S. Corporate Investment Grade Corporate Bond Read more […]

Federal Reserve Becomes Buyer of Last Resort

In a previous blog, we discussed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s initial responses to the current market volatility and resultant dislocations. In short, dropping rates to 0% and adding over USD 1 trillion to the funding markets did little to abate the severity of the situation. In an effort to prevent a liquidity crisis from turning Read more […]

U.S. Corporate Debt Market under Pressure

Since mid-February, the market has turned sharply down in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P 500® has fallen about 32% from its peak this year. Equity volatility shot up, as VIX® went from historical lows to the 70-80 range, which was last seen in November 2008. The 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond yield reached 0.32% Read more […]