Tag Archives: size

Jan 27, 2021

The Case for Equal Weight Indexing

2020 witnessed outperformance from some of the largest S&P 500® companies as investors expected these firms to be better placed to navigate the COVID-19 environment. Exhibit 1 shows that this outperformance led to the largest names accounting for an unusually high proportion of the U.S. large-cap equity benchmark, and therefore having a bigger impact on…

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Jan 25, 2021

S&P 400 and S&P 600: Why Consider

Most investors are familiar with the S&P 500 index. Its mid and small cap counterparts, the S&P 400 and S&P 600 don’t get quite the same coverage in the financial press. Yet these are powerful tools that must not be overlooked. 1. Diversification of the Indices 2020 was indeed a peculiar year for US equities….

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Jan 7, 2021

A Reversal, or Two

For many equity investors, the stand-out theme of last year was the reversal in the market’s initial response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic: the dramatic price declines in March, the wild swings around the bottom as VIX® marked its highest closing level ever, and the just-as-dramatic recovery to new all-time highs by late…

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May 12, 2020

Factors and Factor Indices

There is a subtle but important distinction between factors and factor indices.  “Factor” denotes an attribute with which long-term excess returns are thought to be associated.  Fama and French, for instance, famously found that small size and cheap valuation were factors in this sense.  A number of other variables – prominently including momentum, low volatility,…

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Apr 9, 2020

CARES Act: Why Quality Screening Is Now More Important Than Ever

The U.S. stimulus bill (the CARES Act) enacted on March 27, 2020, received significant attention for its support payments to individuals. However, it also has a significant impact for large corporations (see Exhibit 1). This blog will take a closer look at two lending programs and their market impact within their respective segments. CARES Act:…

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Jan 29, 2020

S&P Composite 1500®: Providing Efficient, Non-Overlapping Coverage of the U.S. Equity Market

When it comes to measuring the performance of U.S. equity market, some broad market indices have more constituents than others. But having a larger number of constituents does not necessarily lead to significantly wider market capitalization coverage. That’s because broad equity benchmarks are usually market-capitalization weighted, with the majority of the index weight concentrated in…

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Oct 9, 2019

Factor Analysis of U.S. Small-Cap Benchmarks

We recently published the 10-year anniversary edition of the paper “A Tale of Two Small-Cap Benchmarks,” which gives insight into why the S&P SmallCap 600® outperformed the Russell 2000, historically.[1] Our latest paper also showed that, in the period from Dec. 31, 2002, to Dec. 31, 2018, profitable companies typically outperformed unprofitable companies in the…

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Oct 2, 2019

Does Size Affect the Active versus Passive Score of Small-Cap Mutual Funds?

In my earlier blog, we explored the effect of size on active large-cap equity funds’ performance. We ranked all long-only active large-cap equity funds by their size at the beginning of the observation period and divided them into quartiles, with the first quartile being the largest and the fourth being the smallest. We found that,…

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Sep 30, 2019

Index Construction Matters in U.S. Small Cap

Market participants generally expect risk/return profiles to be similar across broad market indices representing the same universe. However, indices’ risk/return characteristics can vary substantially. As of Aug. 31, 2019, the S&P SmallCap 600® returned 10.21% per year since year-end 1993, while the Russell 2000 returned 8.53%. So why is there a substantial risk/return gap between…

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May 29, 2019

Risk-Reward Analysis of Selecting Active Managers

Although there seems to be more research on economic forecast and market analysis than manager selection, selecting investment managers is just as challenging as direct investing and requires considerable experience and expertise. In this blog, we investigate the return distribution of fixed income and equity funds to highlight the challenge of successfully selecting outperforming active…

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