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Tag Archives: IIS

Jun 30, 2021

U.K. Small Caps: Mind the Gap!

A gap between the 12-month performances of the S&P United Kingdom SmallCap and S&P United Kingdom SmallCap Select Index hints at a “junk rally” in U.K. stocks, but the longer-term data suggests that those looking to participate in an ongoing recovery in the world’s fourth-largest economy might be wise to maintain a selective approach. As…

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Jun 18, 2021

The Good Days of Yesteryear

With the S&P/TSX Composite Index up 16% YTD through June 17, 2021, the Canadian equity market seems to have put the pandemic in the rearview mirror. In this environment, predictably, the S&P/TSX Composite Low Volatility Index underperformed, up 11% over the same period. One-year volatility levels (no longer capturing the uncontrolled panic at the onset…

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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 21, 2021

A Return to Normalcy?

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago produced the highest-ever monthly volatility reading for the S&P 500® in March 2020. Volatility began to decline as the market’s recovery began, but if we measure volatility on a 12-month trailing basis, as we do in Exhibit 1, we see the sustained impact of last year’s…

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May 20, 2021

Concentrating on Technology

After the dominant performance of large-cap technology stocks in 2020, concentration concerns naturally come to mind. The HHI, or Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, is a widely-used concentration measure; it’s defined as the sum of the squared index constituents’ percentage weights (usually taken as whole numbers). For example, the HHI for an equally-weighted 50 stock portfolio is 200…

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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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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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Mar 18, 2021

SPIVA and Style

Last week S&P Dow Jones Indices released its SPIVA® U.S. Year-End 2020 Scorecard. As has been the case for 17 of the past 20 calendar years, the majority of active large-cap managers underperformed the S&P 500®. Performance was better for mid- and small-cap managers, as Exhibit 1 shows. What caused the advantage for smaller-capitalization strategies?…

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Mar 8, 2021

A Change in Fortune

Three months ago, we observed that times of severe underperformance for Equal Weight can bode well for future performance. This reflection had become reality by the end of February. After almost four years of underperformance, the S&P 500® Equal Weight Index outperformed the S&P 500 by 1.6% over the past 12 months, as we see…

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Feb 23, 2021

Man Bites Dog: The Year for Active Management?

For at least five years, we’ve noticed that, despite historical performance, active managers regularly proclaim that this year will at last be the time when active management shows its value. I suspect that most advocates of indexing derive at least some guilty pleasure from observing this ritual. (I know I do.) So, we want to…

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