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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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Sep 13, 2021

Headwinds on the Active Horizon

Active managers’ performance was disappointing in 2020, despite the market’s heightened volatility. As the market continues to march upward in 2021, it’s natural to wonder if current conditions are favorable for stock pickers.  We expect active managers’ difficulties to persist. We can think of volatility in terms of its components: dispersion and correlation. Active managers…

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Jul 22, 2021

The S&P 500 and DJIA: Divergent Paths to Similar Results

The S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average® (DJIA) are two of the best known and most used indices in the world. They are both designed to represent U.S. large-cap companies. As we detailed in a recent paper, the S&P 500 and DJIA have similar long-term risk/return profiles. As of April 30, 2021, the…

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Jun 9, 2021

Riding the Value Wave

U.S. equity markets seemed to undergo a fundamental change of direction in September of last year. Exhibit 1 illustrates the shift; our growth indices, which had outperformed value handily through the end of August, have lagged ever since. The spreads between growth and value are even greater when we compute them using our Pure Growth…

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Jun 8, 2021

The Potential Value of U.S. Equity Allocation to Chinese Investors

The Chinese financial market has continued to evolve and mature over the past decade. More and more domestic Chinese investors are starting to take note of investment opportunities from global markets. What are the potential benefits of allocating globally for Chinese investors? In this blog, we will use the CSI 300 Index as a proxy…

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May 26, 2021

The Dow and the World Around It

Only one index has endured through half of American history. Explore the historic path of the original index icon.   To learn more about the history of the DJIA and to celebrate its 125th anniversary, please visit: https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/en/landing/topic/djia-125/

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May 25, 2021

Something New with Something Old: DIY DJIA®

The growth of index funds has, in the main, helped to lower the costs and improve the performance of the average investor’s portfolio. Now, some are seeking to improve upon even the relatively low costs of conventional index funds via so-called “direct indexing”, by which investors purchase securities to match an index themselves, disintermediating the…

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May 24, 2021

How Now The Dow?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average® (DJIA) will celebrate its quasquicentennial on Wednesday, which marks exactly 125 years since the index’s first publication. Before one of the world’s most watched and widely cited benchmarks hits this milestone, here is an overview of “The Dow®,” including its origins, what has stayed the same over the years, and…

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May 12, 2021

Equity: Diversity and Inclusion

We can think of an active equity portfolio as a combination of a benchmark (the S&P 500®, for example) and a set of active bets that measure the portfolio’s deviation from the benchmark. The relative size of the active bets is sometimes called “active share,” and is a convenient way to judge a manager’s aggressiveness….

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Apr 29, 2021

Woodstock for Capitalists

Berkshire Hathaway is scheduled to hold its annual shareholders’ meeting this Saturday, May 1. This is the second consecutive year in which the meeting will be virtual; in 2019, attendance was nearly 40,000, which makes social distancing somewhat difficult. We noted two years ago that Berkshire’s investment performance, though formidable over the long run, had…

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