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Tag Archives: dispersion

Jun 9, 2022

Opportunity to Outperform

It’s been a challenging year for U.S. equities as investors adjust to a new rising rate regime, with inflation concerns at the forefront, coupled with uncertainty around future economic growth. Market commentators have argued that this environment is ideal for stock pickers to shine. This argument is correct, but with a caveat. With the S&P…

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Mar 11, 2022

Style Perspectives In Vogue

U.S. equities have had a tough start to the year amid rising inflation concerns, anticipated rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, earnings misses from several mega-cap companies, and ongoing geopolitical tensions emanating from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Exhibit 1 shows that the S&P 500®, S&P MidCap 400®, and S&P SmallCap 600® all declined in the first…

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Mar 3, 2022

Kensho Correlations

The Wall Street Journal reported that many active managers struggled to outperform the market in 2021. This underperformance is not surprising, as we observed less than ideal prospects last year for active management both in the U.S. and globally. Dispersion and correlation provide convenient lenses through which to analyze stock selection conditions. All else equal,…

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Jan 12, 2022

No Safe Harbor for Stockpickers

We can use volatility and its components dispersion and correlation to analyze stock selection conditions globally. Most active managers run less diversified, more volatile portfolios than their index counterparts. Active managers should prefer above-average dispersion because stock selection skill is worth more when dispersion is high. The role of correlation is more subtle. While counterintuitive,…

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Dec 20, 2021

Active Management: Naughty or Nice?

The history of active investment management is, for the most part, a history of failure and frustration. Most active managers underperform most of the time, and success in one period seems not to predict subsequent success. We have long argued that active underperformance is not coincidental—it happens for identifiable and understandable reasons, and is therefore…

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Sep 13, 2021

Headwinds on the Active Horizon

Active managers’ performance was disappointing in 2020, despite the market’s heightened volatility. As the market continues to march upward in 2021, it’s natural to wonder if current conditions are favorable for stock pickers.  We expect active managers’ difficulties to persist. We can think of volatility in terms of its components: dispersion and correlation. Active managers…

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May 13, 2021

When Active Management Looks Easier

How can style bias impact the perception of active manager outperformance? S&P DJI’s Craig Lazzara and Anu Ganti discuss how a better understanding of style bias can help market participants interpret active manager performance and our SPIVA results. Learn more: https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/en/research/article/style-bias-and-active-performance/

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Mar 30, 2021

Opportunity Does Not Equal Attainment

We’ve previously argued that most managers should prefer above-average correlation, because the incremental volatility a manager accepts to pursue an active strategy will be lower when correlations are high. In addition, active managers should prefer above-average dispersion, because stock selection skill is worth more when dispersion is high. Both correlation and dispersion rose in 2020….

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Dec 9, 2020

The Distribution of Alpha

Investment management is a zero sum game. The source of outperformance for a market’s outperformers is the underperformance of the same market’s underperformers. Properly measured, the weighted average sum of the winners’ gains is exactly equal (before costs) to the weighted average sum of the losers’ losses. This identity, along with the professionalization of the…

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Nov 18, 2020

SPIVA® Latin America Mid-Year 2020 Scorecard: Convergence to Underperformance

We recently published our industry-famous SPIVA report for the Latin America region. SPIVA, which stands for S&P Indices Versus Active, analyzes the performance of actively managed mutual funds against their respective category benchmark. In the case of Latin America, S&P Dow Jones Indices began publishing the scorecard in 2014, covering Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. The…

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