Category Archives: Strategy

What’s New in the S&P Risk Parity Indices Methodology?

Launched in August 2018, the S&P Risk Parity Indices were designed to be a transparent, passive alternative to active risk parity funds. The index series comprises several indices that are differentiated by volatility targets in an 8%-15% range. This blog compares the original and new methodologies. After consultations with stakeholders, S&P Dow Jones Indices has Read more […]

The Trade-Off between Upside Participation and Downside Protection

Financial market history is rife with prolonged bull market periods and deep corrections. With no proven way to correctly time the market, market participants can stay fully invested and attempt to capture the potential upside, but they also have to endure and recover from the full depths of drawdowns. Hence, some market participants may choose 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 […]

Pandemic Affects Canadian Sectors Differently: Evidence from the Information Technology Sector

The S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology Index gained a whopping 62% in 2019, topping all other Canadian equity sectors and beating the broad market S&P/TSX Composite by about 40%. Given the traditionally cyclical nature of the Information Technology sector and its outsized gains during the bull market, the sector might be expected to lag during the Read more […]

Have Inverse Indices Been Able to Provide the Hedge You Expected?

Since March 9, 2020, we have seen equities and bonds fall together. As bonds fail to provide the diversification benefit in the short term, some investors may choose to use inverse exchange-traded funds as short-term trading tools for an explicit hedge. Inverse strategies typically aim to replicate the daily performance of their underlying indices with Read more […]

Wash Your Hands of Market Timing with Risk Control

The market highs of February 2020 already seem like a strange, distant past, in which people socialized, worked in offices, and were blissfully unappreciative of their abundant supply of toilet paper. Life has changed. With that change, the S&P Europe 350® lost a third of its market capitalization in just a month. The market may Read more […]

Why the S&P 500® VIX® Short-Term Futures Index Rose More than VIX in March

Markets are down over 20%, COVID-19 is a global pandemic, negative global growth is looming—all of that just in the first 20 days of March! During same time period, VIX rose 65%, while the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index jumped 175%. With a long-term beta of 0.7 to spot, a question might be—why did Read more […]

Riding through Volatility with the S&P Balanced Global Bond and Equity Futures Index

The S&P Balanced Global Bond and Equity Futures Index (the S&P BEF Index) is designed to deliver consistent returns through various market cycles by exploiting the complementarity between equities and bonds during market crisis, and adjusting the allocation to component indices on a daily basis to achieve a stable risk level (what we call a Read more […]

Putting Defensive Indices to the Test

In January 2019, we highlighted several indices designed to reduce the impact of large equity market drawdowns. Here we analyze the same suite of indices divided across three broad categories: defensive equity, multi-asset, and volatility. This analysis simply reviews performance since the S&P 500®’s high on Feb. 19, 2020, through the close on Friday, March Read more […]

Multi-Asset Income Strategies in a Low Interest Rate Environment

One of the most significant characteristics of the post-financial crisis world has been the global persistence of low, or even negative, interest rates. The entire U.S. Treasury curve yielded below 1% for the first time in history on March 9, 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, before the long end reverted recently on Read more […]