Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 […]

Unicorns: Only in Fairy Tales

“A company for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is” -Description of company marketed during the South Sea Bubble (1720) Private companies, particularly those hailing from Silicon Valley and combining just the right mix of buzzwords, have captured both headlines and investor attention.  The media report breathlessly on 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 […]

A Look at Index History Part 2

This is more an eyewitness account than an analytical review of the growth of indexing since I joined S&P in 1982. The growth in indexing in the 20 years from S&P 500 futures in 1982 to the bottom of the tech bear market in 2002 was just a warm up. Two trends encouraging index growth Read more […]

How Is Your Undefined Benefit Plan Going?

I have probably been receiving them for years, but lately I have noticed opposing position papers in my inbox. Some claim Americans need a revival of defined benefit (DB) plans because of a looming retirement crisis, while others contend that defined contribution (DC) plans are doing great and there is no cause for alarm. DC Read more […]

2018 Retirement Funding Update for DC Account Holders

2018 produced negative absolute returns across a number of asset classes, particularly international stocks. A broad benchmark of stocks traded outside of the U.S., the S&P Global ex-U.S. BMI (US Dollar) Gross Total Return Index, lost 14.18% of its value. Nevertheless, many investments kept pace with the change in cost of securing future retirement income, Read more […]

Proactive Fiscal Policy to Be More Proactive: Takeaways From China’s State Council Executive Meeting on July 23, 2018

On July 23, 2018, China’s state council executive meeting hosted by Premier Li Keqiang announced that fiscal and monetary policy will be further fine-tuned to boost domestic demand. The meeting reiterated that China will strike a balance between “easing and tightening” and keep liquidity “reasonable and sufficient.” It was also stressed that China will not Read more […]

Assessing the Potential of Value Factors in the Indian Market

The value factor looks to bucket stocks that have inexpensive valuation and trade at a discount to their fundamental value, with the hypothesis that inexpensive stocks should outperform overvalued stocks. Observations in empirical research suggested that the value factor performed best when the economy was in recovery and growth was accelerating from trough.[1] We recently Read more […]

The Benefits of Having a Retirement Income Goal and How to Estimate It

Individuals preparing for life after full-time employment may find that planning for a particular range of inflation-adjusted retirement income is more effective than planning for a particular range of wealth. Wealth levels are unintuitive because they do not provide practical spending guidelines. They are also heavily influenced by random variables (market returns). Using one’s wealth Read more […]