Tag Archives: Equities

Market Conditions Favored Government Bond Funds in Second Half of 2018

The SPIVA® U.S. Year-End 2018 Scorecard shows a reversal of the relative short-term performance of fixed income funds at the end of 2018 from six months prior. Combined with the interest rates move, this might shed some light on understanding the duration positioning of active funds. We focus on government bond funds for our analysis, Read more […]

S&P and Dow Jones Islamic Indices Outperform Conventional Benchmarks in Q1 2019

Information Technology and Financial Sectors Biggest Contributors Global S&P and Dow Jones Shariah-compliant benchmarks outperformed their conventional counterparts in Q1 2019 as Information Technology—which tends to be overweight in Islamic indices—finished the quarter at the top of the sector leaderboard while Financials—which is underrepresented in Islamic indices—underperformed the broader market. The S&P Global BMI Shariah Read more […]

S&P 500® Has Best First Quarter in over 20 Years – But Upward Momentum Slows

The S&P 500 finished Q1 2019 up 13.07%. This was the best first quarter return since the 13.53% posted in Q1 1998. January’s 7.87% return was the best start to the year since 1987 (13.18%). The hot start cooled some with the 10th-best February since 1987, at 2.97%. In March, the upward momentum slowed further, Read more […]

The Height of the Hurdle

Indexing provides many rewards, including a reduction in volatility. Asset owners should demand higher returns to justify the volatility that active management entails. For managers who put their stock selection skills to the test, it is worth understanding the height of the volatility hurdle in managing a portfolio’s risk/return profile. We can illustrate this by Read more […]

2018 SPIVA® Scorecard: Volatility Does Not Help Active Performance

Contrary to the myth that active managers tend to fare better than their benchmarks during volatile markets, 68.83% of domestic equity funds lagged the S&P Composite 1500® during the one-year period ending Dec. 31, 2018, making 2018 the fourth-worst year for active U.S. equity managers since 2001 (see Exhibit 1). Evidence from the SPIVA U.S. Read more […]

Can All the Children be Above Average?

February has been a great month for factor index performance: of the 17 S&P 500®-based factor indices reported in our quarterly factor dashboard, 11 have outperformed the “vanilla” S&P 500 so far.  Our indices focused on quality and shareholder return are having particularly strong months, with the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats®, the S&P 500 Buyback Read more […]

As goes January, so … what?

“The more you look at ‘common knowledge’, the more you realise that it is more likely to be common than it is to be knowledge” – Idries Shah, Reflections Statements such as “sell in May and go away” can become accepted wisdom without always facing proper scrutiny.  Another aphorism, particularly timely at the present moment, is Read more […]

Looking at Sectors With a Style Lens

We’ve previously observed that we can view the world through both a factor and a sector lens, but what about overlaying sectors and style? This is indeed possible, as sectors can serve as implementation vehicles to achieve a particular view on style. Using value and growth scores that are reset annually for every constituent within Read more […]

Volatile but Not Necessarily Disastrous

In 2018, the S&P 500 declined for the first time in 10 years. The year’s 4% decline is obviously de minimis compared to 2008’s 37% plunge, though investors may feel it more keenly since the fourth quarter’s 14% decline erased what had been a profitable year.  Nonetheless, the risk landscape changed dramatically in 2018 compared Read more […]

Breaking Down Volatility

“Data! Data! Data!” he cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay.” – Sherlock Holmes (in “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”) Despite yesterday’s hand wringing loss for equity markets— the S&P 500 dropped 3.3%—the index is still up 5.8% year to date 2018. Nevertheless, losing in one day a third of what the equity market Read more […]