The Uncommon Average

The US stock market has delivered an average annual return of around 10% since 1926.[1] But short-term results may vary, and in any given period stock returns can be positive, negative, or flat. When setting expectations, it’s helpful for investors saving for retirement to see the range of outcomes experienced historically. For example, how often Read more […]

S&P Composite 1500®: Measuring Market Trends

The S&P Composite 1500 measures the U.S. equity market by combining three world-renowned benchmarks – the S&P 500®, S&P MidCap 400®, and S&P SmallCap 600® – which together encompass approximately 90% of U.S. equity market capitalization.  With 2019 in the rear-view mirror, it is obvious that last year was extremely positive for U.S. equities:  the Read more […]

From “Hard to Beat” to Nigh-On Impossible

Our SPIVA® reports have shown, year after year, that market-cap weighted benchmarks are, to put it kindly, hard to beat.  However, in 2019 a range of circumstances made “hard to beat” become nigh-on impossible for the S&P 500®. In general, there are three common ways by which an active portfolio can outperform its benchmark: over Read more […]

Strongest Annual Performance for the S&P GSCI Since 2007

The S&P GSCI ended 2019 up 17.6%. This was the S&P GSCI’s 10th-strongest performance since 1990 and its best annual return since the heights of the so-called commodity super cycle in 2007. Across the commodity markets, gains were driven by the petroleum complex and precious metals, while agriculture and livestock detracted from headline performance. Petroleum Read more […]

The Rising Importance of Dividends When Earnings Slow

Summary With Q3’s earnings season substantially complete, 2019 earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to decline on a year-over-year basis. After several strong quarters last year, the first three quarters this year have seen marked earnings deceleration. Providing 1/3 of historical S&P 500 total returns, dividends could become important when the market may be Read more […]

Emerging Markets: Enter the Dragon

The 2010s proved to be a disappointing decade for the S&P Emerging BMI, at least in relative terms. With a few weeks to go until the finish line, the index stands at a total return of 50% in U.S. dollars, compared with 160% for the S&P Developed BMI, as of Dec. 16, 2019. Although emerging Read more […]

The Effects of Dispersion in Carbon Intensity Scores on Carbon-Efficient Portfolio Construction

In this blog, we investigate the dispersion of carbon intensity scores in detail and its effect on carbon-efficient portfolio construction via equal- and market-cap-weighted approaches. A company’s carbon efficiency is measured by its carbon intensity score (C.I. score), provided by Trucost, which is defined as the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a company’s direct operations Read more […]

Commodities – What to Watch for in 2020

In this blog post, we present five eclectic thoughts for commodity investors to ponder as we look forward to the New Year and the start of a new decade. S&P 500® versus S&P GSCI Similar to the 1990s, the last decade saw equities radically outperform commodities. Prior to that, the 2000s were more volatile, with Read more […]

Equity Markets React to the U.K. Election

At the General Election on Thursday, U.K. voters handed a resounding victory to Boris Johnson’s Conservative party.  The British electorate awarded the party with 365 out of 650 seats, the largest outright majority of any U.K. government since 2001, and the biggest victory for the Conservative party since Margaret Thatcher’s final victory in 1987. Exhibit Read more […]

Volatility Did Not Help Active Managers’ Persistence Scores

While many investors appear to believe that winners persist over time, the most recent S&P Persistence Scorecard underscores the well-known disclaimer that “past performance is no guarantee of future results”: irrespective of asset class or style focus, few fund managers consistently outperformed their peers. Some market participants believe that active managers with successful track records Read more […]