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Tag Archives: low volatility

Aug 2, 2021

Examining a Custom Approach to Factors

How does viewing companies through the prism of price-to-sales influence risk/return? Explore a systematic approach to indexing factors with a focus on valuations with Justin Lowry, President and Chief Investment Officer at Global Beta Advisors and S&P DJI’s Michael Mell.

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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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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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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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