Tag Archives: low volatility

Apr 5, 2021

Happy Birthday to Low Vol and High Beta!

On April 4, 2011, S&P DJI launched two strategy indices, the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index and the S&P 500 High Beta Index. Ten years of live history let us compare how the two indices actually performed versus their pre-launch back-tests. Many investors take back-tested history with an understandable grain of salt. But even live…

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Mar 22, 2021

Elevated Volatility Levels in Sectors Remain

The shock that the onset of the pandemic sent through the financial markets a year ago is mostly a distant memory. The S&P/TSX Composite Low Volatility Index was up 34% for the one-year period ending March 19, 2021, lagging its benchmark index. This is not surprising given that the performance of the S&P/TSX Composite Index…

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Nov 20, 2020

The Market Is Up, But So Is Volatility

So far, 2020 has brought us a global pandemic, a coordinated global economic shutdown, and, in the U.S., a notably contentious election. So it’s no surprise that volatility has been, and remains, elevated. Despite all this, equities have fared reasonably (some would say surprisingly) well, with the S&P 500® climbing 13% through Nov. 19 since…

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Sep 18, 2020

Holding Steady…

The market has recovered most of the losses from March’s uproar, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index down 4.8% in 2020 through Sept. 17. Volatility, though off its March peak, continues to be high but has been evenly distributed across all sectors of the market. Since all sectors experienced similar increases in volatility, it’s not surprising…

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Sep 17, 2020

Comparing Defensive Factors During the Last 3 Bear Markets

In the factor world of investing, Low Volatility and Quality have been commonly referred to as defensive factors.  The following is an examination of the performance of the S&P 500 Quality Index and the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index compared to the S&P 500 during the last 3 equity bear markets.  The graphs and data…

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Sep 8, 2020

Even Smarter Beta in South Africa? – Diversifying and Optimizing

The equity risk premia from factors (such as quality, momentum, and low volatility) have been widely accepted and adopted by investment practitioners across the globe and South Africa alike. The belief by many is that exposure to these risk factors, in addition to the market, could reward investors over the long term. While the long-term…

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Aug 21, 2020

A Stable Regime

In recent days the S&P 500 reached multiple new highs, despite the still-uncertain nature of the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Year to date through Aug. 20, 2020, the S&P 500 is up 6% while the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index is down 6%. Market volatility remains high, as evidenced by the charts in…

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Aug 6, 2020

What’s inside the S&P DJI Australian Factor Indices?

In our paper, How Smart Beta Strategies Work in the Australian Market, our studies indicated that most factor indices in Australia exhibited distinct return characteristics during up and down markets. Indeed, different factor indices also displayed unique style and industry factor exposures, resulting in factor index performance differentials over the long term. In this blog,…

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Jul 13, 2020

Battle of Factors: Low Volatility versus High Beta

2020 has surprised us all with a number of firsts. Not only did we witness wild swings in the market from one quarter to the next, we also saw an unusual performance of commonly followed factors. While this blog will not attempt to predict factor performance, it will address recent factor behavior and put this…

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May 28, 2020

Big Sector Shifts in Low Volatility Composition

In March, COVID-19 inspired volatility roiled markets across the globe. Similarly, the volatility of the S&P/TSX Composite also jumped. The increase, however, was not balanced across all sectors. We see this manifested in the most recent rebalance for the S&P/TSX Composite Low Volatility Index. Effective after the close of trading April 24, 2020, Exhibit 1…

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