Tag Archives: sector allocation

Sep 21, 2020

Sectors and Electors

Markets expect elevated volatility surrounding the U.S. Presidential election, now just six weeks away. The VIX futures curve currently peaks in November, but as long ago as April a close observer could detect expectations of electoral volatility. Increased volatility may create an unusual opportunity for sector allocators. To understand why, we need to remember that…

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Jun 3, 2020

S&P Pure Growth Indices – Attributes and Performance Drivers

The S&P 500® has had a wild ride in 2020. The index hit an all-time high in February, then dropped 33.8% to the bottom in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then rallied 32.6% by May 22. During this turbulent time, the S&P 500 Pure Growth, while declining along with markets, ultimately outperformed its…

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Jul 24, 2019

Sector Analysis of the S&P MidCap 400®

U.S. mid-cap equities – as represented by the S&P MidCap 400 – outperformed both their larger and smaller counterparts since the early 1990s.  In decomposing relative returns, sector analysis can be useful to understand the drivers of performance.  For example, the S&P MidCap 400’s underweight position in Information Technology at the start of the 21st…

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Nov 2, 2017

What Are Large-Cap Active Managers Up To? A Decomposition of Their Active Sector and Factor Bets (Part I)

The SPIVA U.S. Mid-Year 2017 Scorecard shows that the relative performance of actively managed domestic equities funds across large-, mid-, and small-cap segments has improved in recent months.  For example, only 56.56% of large-cap equity managers underperformed the S&P 500® for the one-year period, whereas 84.62% underperformed the benchmark at mid-year 2016.[1]  More importantly, when…

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Apr 25, 2017

Security Selection & Sector Allocation Effects of Equal Weighting the S&P 500®

Constituents of the S&P 500 Equal Weight (EW) and S&P 500 are identical, but the EW version is rebalanced quarterly so that every company has equal representation after the rebalance.  That often results in significantly different performance between the two indices, because equal weighting gives more representation to smaller stocks and alters the distribution of…

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Jan 7, 2016

Not Your Father’s Low Volatility Strategy

Low volatility strategies were a popular and growing category in 2015, and if the first several days of 2016 are any indication, it wouldn’t be surprising to see their popularity continue in the new year. That said, the topic of low volatility investing often comes with much discourse. A frequent argument is that a low…

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Jun 16, 2015

A Curious Incident

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” “That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle, “Silver Blaze” (1892) Sometimes, as Holmes appreciated, what is missing is as interesting as…

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Apr 6, 2015

Variety is the spice of life….and it’s essential for indices, too.

Recently, I seem to have gotten a bit addicted to online shopping, after experiencing the ease of online transactions and the constant exposure to multiple options. Choice is important, and we are increasingly becoming spoiled by abundant choices in our everyday lives, be it with consumer goods or investments.  Online transactions are gaining popularity, not…

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Mar 24, 2015

Unconstrained Sector Weighting: A Feature, Not a Side Effect

Although the low volatility anomaly was first documented more than 40 years ago, it was the trepidation and volatility in the years following the most recent financial crisis that propelled the concept to the forefront of investor interest.  In recent years, the phenomenon has been well covered, by both academics and the investment community, in the…

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Aug 12, 2014

Could Price Momentum Predict Australian Sector Returns?

Sector allocation is one of the main pillars of equity portfolio management, and its use as a strategy to optimize investment allocations through sector rotation is increasingly abundant. In Australia, the equity market is diversified in sectors, and some of them can be traded through exchange-traded funds, making it possible to implement a rotation strategy….

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