Tag Archives: passive management

Momentum Bubble Deflating?

Yesterday’s decline in the U.S. and global stock markets is striking not simply because of its magnitude but also because it represents a radical reversal of factor returns from the first three quarters of 2018. Readers of our quarterly factor dashboard will recognize this graph, which shows the total return of the S&P 500 and Read more […]

Does Performance Persistence of Active Managers Vary Over Time?

Our most recent Persistence Scorecard shows that relatively few funds can consistently stay at the top. Out of the 557 domestic equity funds that were in the top quartile as of March 2016, only 2.33% managed to stay in the top quartile at the end of March 2018. That means out of the 2,228 domestic Read more […]

Performance Trickery

Suppose you, as a hypothetical financial advisor, encounter a hypothetical marketer who presents the following hypothetical performance data:   Last Year Trailing 3 Years Trailing 5 Years Trailing 10 Years Portfolio 25.0% 11.9% 16.0% 8.8% Benchmark 21.8% 11.4% 15.8% 8.5% Not only did the portfolio beat its benchmark handily in 2017, says our marketer, but Read more […]

Proximate Cause

Our colleagues at S&P Global Market Intelligence recently completed a paper analyzing the impact of exchange-traded funds on stock-level pricing.  Their work found that “…the impact of ETF trading is transient and of only a modest magnitude under even extreme assumptions” (my italics).  This conclusion is a rebuttal to critics who believe that the growth Read more […]

One Big Problem In July For One Small Cap Index

Much attention has been drawn to small caps by top tier media since the small cap premium is now the biggest in eight years and the fifth biggest in history. The outperformance of the small cap stocks versus the large caps is being driven by the current economic environment of growth, rising interest rates, inflation and Read more […]

Laddered Protection

Continuing the theme of rising interest rates and following up from my last blog, “With all the News of Higher Interest Rates, Don’t Forget About Floating-Rate Debt,” bond laddering is a strategy that provides increased income and the ability to adjust the stream of income in a rising-interest-rate environment. The approach is to invest in Read more […]

The Skew Is Not New

Market observers have noted that the S&P 500’s performance so far this year has been dominated by a small number of technology stocks.  This observation is certainly correct, although it’s fair to question the relevance of a statistic based on fewer than two months’ data.  What’s more important is to bear in mind that this Read more […]

With all the News of Higher Interest Rates, Don’t Forget About Floating-Rate Debt

The story line for a number of years now has been the “search for yield” and how the recent low-interest-rate environment has been forcing investors down in credit or out the maturity curve in an effort to maintain income though adding risk. Now that interest rates have begun reversing the low-rate environment, fixed-coupon securities may Read more […]

A Quick Performance Check on U.S. Preferreds

There are only a couple weeks to go until the end of the year, and for a while now, the investing public has seen plenty of material supporting the benefits or risks of diversifying a portfolio through the use of preferred securities. This hybrid type product touts the benefits of high yields, steady income, and Read more […]

Getting What You Pay For

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal featured a long article arguing that Morningstar’s star ratings for mutual funds were a “mirage.”   Since these ratings exert a powerful influence over fund flows, their usefulness is obviously of keen interest to investors.  To its credit, Morningstar, although arguing that its ratings are a “worthwhile starting point,” Read more […]