Tag Archives: alternative weighting

Jun 15, 2021

Valuing Equal Weight

We have previously discussed the impact of Equal Weight’s rebound on its exposure to the momentum factor. We now turn our attention to its exposure to the value factor, as the recovery in smaller caps and value stocks has been an important tailwind for the strategy. The S&P 500® Equal Weight is typically biased toward…

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May 11, 2021

Mean Reversion and Momentum

After almost four years of underperformance, we witnessed a change in fortune in February 2021, as the relative performance of the S&P 500® Equal Weight Index turned positive. By the end of April, Equal Weight had outperformed the S&P 500 by 11% over the prior 12 months, as we see in Exhibit 1. Equal Weight’s…

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May 10, 2021

Equal Weight Indexing during Economic Recovery

2020 was a year for the history books – especially from a finance perspective. With COVID-19 ripping throughout the globe, we saw equity markets decline rapidly as several countries closed their borders. At the same time, however, we saw some companies flourish as people spent more time at home. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google1…

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Dec 8, 2020

Reversal or Recovery?

When we think about reversals in the market, we likely think of brief turnarounds in performance.  But what if it’s more? What makes a reversal turn into a recovery is a full-fledged long-term improvement in performance. We can apply this logic to Equal Weight’s recent experience.  After consistent underperformance since April 2017, the S&P 500®…

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Feb 10, 2020

Unusual, but Not Unprecedented

Since its inception, the S&P 500® Equal Weight Index has outperformed the S&P 500 by 1.4% annually. Year-over-year performance margins, however, are anything but steady. Exhibit 1 shows that the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index and its cap-weight counterpart have gone through many performance cycles over the past 30 years. Mega caps experienced record performance…

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Feb 4, 2019

S&P 500 Performance in 2018: How Much Does Size Matter?

2018 certainly proved to be a turbulent period for equities, and the market was especially volatile in the fourth quarter, effectively wiping away all the gains that the S&P 500® had generated in the first three quarters of the year. Overall, the S&P 500 returned -4.38% in 2018. Despite landing in negative territory, the S&P…

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Oct 17, 2018

Surprising but Explainable

Equal-weight indices have a small-cap tilt. Therefore, one might naturally assume that the volatility of equal-weight indices is higher than that of their cap-weighted counterparts. Surprisingly, this is not always the case, and we can understand why using the lens of dispersion and correlation. Exhibit 1 shows that the volatility of the S&P 500® Equal…

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Jan 30, 2018

Investing in a World of Unknown Future Outcomes: The Benefits of Equal Weighting

Consider this thought experiment: You “know” that 499 of the companies in the S&P 500® will return exactly 5% next year. One will return 100%. You have no way to determine which stock will be the big winner, or to know or infer anything about its characteristics. You can invest in either a cap-weighted S&P…

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Feb 24, 2016

Watch Your Weight: How a Few Stocks Can Tilt the Scales

Not all indexes are created equal. That’s because they weight the individual holdings differently. Market-cap indexes provide the largest weighting to the largest holdings regardless of fundamental characteristics, whereas fundamental indexes break the link between price and weight. With the proliferation of smart beta strategies, investors have more access and choice to select alternative weighting…

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