Tag Archives: index dynamics

A Conundrum in a Different Key

Volatility, dispersion, and correlation are elements of what we’ve elsewhere characterized as The Active Manager’s Conundrum. Active managers should prefer: Low volatility, which is typically associated with higher returns High dispersion, which means a larger payoff for correct stock selections High correlation, which reduces the opportunity cost of a concentrated portfolio The conundrum arises because Read more […]

Making Sense of the Active Manager’s Conundrum

Why are the market environments most conducive to generating positive absolute returns the least conducive to producing positive relative returns? Explore the active manager’s conundrum with S&P DJI’s Craig Lazzara and Anu Ganti. Read more here: https://spdji.com/research/article/the-active-manager-s-conundrum

Is Volatility an Investor’s Friend or Enemy?

Explore how high volatility and high dispersion can impact passive and active managers’ performance with S&P DJI’s Craig Lazzara. Get the latest Dispersion, Volatility, & Correlation dashboard: https://spdji.com/documents/commentary/dashboard-dispersion-2020-03.pdf    

Glory or Embarrassment?

Active funds generally lagged their passive benchmarks in 2019, but the market environment in 2020 has already shifted radically. Volatility has skyrocketed as the S&P 500® and other indices have fallen. Ironically, it is precisely in a time such as this, when absolute returns are hard to come by, that relative returns might be most Read more […]

With VIX Above 80, Expect 5% Daily Swings in the S&P 500

Volatility – it is sometimes said – takes the elevator up but takes the stairs down.  Like seismic activity, volatility can rise precipitously, but tends to decay more slowly; aftershocks and tremors continue to roil markets after any major repricing occurs.  The practical consequence is that, once the markets become volatile, they tend to remain 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 […]

Introducing the U.S. S&P Select Industry Dashboard

We recently launched the monthly U.S. S&P Select Industry Dashboard, which provides key metrics, analysis of correlation and dispersion, and historical risk/return data for 20 investable select industry indices. The dashboard is a natural extension of our U.S. Select Sector Dashboard, which provides analysis for investable sectors across the large-, mid-, and small-cap ranges. For Read more […]

Large-Cap Energy Stands Out in a Year of Low Volatility

Most sentient investors are aware of the low volatility that characterizes the current environment, with the S&P 500®’s trailing twelve-month annualized volatility at approximately half its level from a year ago. This trend was driven in part by some significant negative inter-sectoral correlations, for example between information technology and real estate versus financials, and energy Read more […]

Active Managers: Hope for high dispersion, not just low correlations

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that, according to analysis by Credit Suisse, the correlation among S&P 500 sectors had fallen close to its lowest level ever, and that this was good for active equity managers, “who find it easier to make money betting on specific companies or trends when stocks aren’t all moving together.” Read more […]

Low Volatility, VIX and Behavioral Finance

As this week’s award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Richard Thaler confirmed, the existence of behavioral biases in finance is no longer a controversial theory.   People often prefer a small chance of a large gain to a near-certain chance of a small gain, even if the expected return from the latter is higher.  Read more […]