Category Archives: Strategy

Taking the Discretion out of Factor Selection: The S&P Economic Cycle Factor Rotator Index

Amid the turbulent markets of 2019, the S&P Economic Cycle Factor Rotator Index has been holding steady. The index rotates its allocation between four indices benchmarked to factors—momentum, value, quality, and low volatility—seeking to pick the relevant factor for each phase of the business cycle. The index uses a signal that is based off the Read more […]

Staying the Course: S&P MARC 5% Q3 2019 Performance

Despite still ending the quarter higher, Q3 2019 was relatively subdued across asset classes when compared to the stellar performance we saw in equities in Q1 and Treasuries and gold in Q2. Exhibit 1 shows that the gains captured in Q1 and Q2 continued to compound in Q3, with the YTD performance of the S&P Read more […]

The Road Less Traveled

It is a truth universally acknowledged that liquidity is critical to market health; typically when liquidity falls, volatility rises.  The Financial Times recently cited claims that the increased use of passive investment vehicles had caused trading volumes in individual S&P 500 constituents to decline.  Should we be alarmed? In reality, the notion that single-stock traders Read more […]

S&P Risk Parity Indices: Positioning for Uncertainty

Uncertainty has been a common theme throughout 2019, and the third quarter proved no different. The quarter was dominated by uncertainties surrounding the U.S.-China trade talks as well as falling global growth forecasts. Demand for high-quality fixed income assets increased, pushing the yield on the 10-Year U.S. Treasury Bond down 34 bps. In spite of Read more […]

S&P 500 Quality High Dividend Index In Volatile Markets

The U.S. stock market has experienced a decade-long bull market since the global financial crisis. In fact, from March 9, 2009, to Sept. 6, 2019, the S&P 500® delivered a strong gain of 448% on a total return basis. For market participants who fear an economic slowdown and a stock market pullback, the S&P 500 Read more […]

S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Part III: Sector Composition, Performance Attribution, and Factor Exposure

In this blog, the third in our introduction to the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats®, we will cover sector composition, performance attribution, and factor exposure. Sector Composition As shown in Exhibit 1, the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats has diversified sector exposures, with some sector bets, given different dividend-paying practices among sectors. Historically, the S&P Read more […]

2018 Institutional SPIVA®: A Couple of Takeaways

S&P Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) scorecards provide mainstay performance comparisons between active managers and benchmarks.  Our latest Institutional SPIVA scorecard shows once again how difficult active managers found it to beat benchmarks, net- or gross-of-fees.  Here are a couple of highlights. 2018 proved challenging for institutional equity managers, although institutional fixed income managers showed some Read more […]

S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Part II: Risk/Return

From Dec. 31, 1999, to June 30, 2019, the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats® generated a total return of 590.3%. Of the contribution, about 57% was from dividend income, while 43% came from price appreciation. In this blog, we will look at the risk/return characteristics in detail. Favorable Risk-Adjusted Returns The S&P High Yield Dividend Read more […]

The Outperformance of the S&P U.S. High Yield Low Volatility Corporate Bond Index since Q4 2018

The S&P U.S. High Yield Low Volatility Corporate Bond Index[1] is designed as a low volatility strategy in the high yield bond universe. The index aims to deliver higher risk-adjusted returns than the underlying broad-based benchmark through mitigating uncompensated credit risk. The back-tested index performance demonstrated the efficacy of the low volatility strategy, with reduced Read more […]

Illustrating the Value of Liquidity

Let’s suppose for a moment that you are given a choice between two hypothetical exchange traded funds (ETFs) tracking the same index.  Fund A has an annual management fee of 0.4% while Fund B has an annual management fee of 0.1%.  At first glance, Fund B seems like the better option: it offers similar performance Read more […]