Tag Archives: S&P 500 Low Volatility

Putting Defensive Indices to the Test

In January 2019, we highlighted several indices designed to reduce the impact of large equity market drawdowns. Here we analyze the same suite of indices divided across three broad categories: defensive equity, multi-asset, and volatility. This analysis simply reviews performance since the S&P 500®’s high on Feb. 19, 2020, through the close on Friday, March Read more […]

Cushioning the Decline

With the S&P 500 down -14.7% for calendar 2020, and -18.8% since its peak in late February, investors are rightly concerned to identify strategies that might help to mitigate the ongoing decline.  A number of defensive factor indices have performed relatively well in March, but the leader for the year so far is S&P 500 Read more […]

The Irrelevance of Value in Low Volatility

Low volatility strategies have achieved considerable market acceptance in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.  For most of the 12 years since then, skeptics have argued that low vol might become, and sometimes that it has become, overvalued.  It’s an understandable concern, especially in light of the continuing popularity of low volatility strategies. We Read more […]

Protection and Participation

Through Feb. 20, 2020, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index® is up 5.9% compared to a gain of 4.7% for the S&P 500. Equities roared out of the gate in 2020 but a hiccup in late January allowed Low Vol to catch up and eventually overtake the S&P 500. Those who are familiar with low Read more […]

Winning by Losing Less

Except for a couple of hiccups, the U.S. stock market has more or less hummed along in an upward trajectory for 2019. Through October, the S&P 500 is up 23%. What is surprising is that the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index® outperformed the benchmark by almost 3%, gaining 26% over the same period. This is Read more […]

The Calm That Was

Through the end of July, equities had netted a nice gain for 2019 (though the picture looks a lot different so far in August). Unusually, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index® outperformed in an environment when it has typically lagged its benchmark. (The S&P 500 gained 20.2%, while the low volatility index was up 20.8%, Read more […]

Understanding the ESG Consequences of Factor-Based Investing: Part 1

    “Sustainable investing must go mainstream. Fortunately, the momentum is growing.” – Mark Carney Mark Carney’s statement underpins the sentiment of the investment community, where environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations have entered the forefront of investors’ priorities. Whether factor indices have ESG principles integrated or not, understanding a factor’s influence on ESG characteristics, Read more […]

Four Decades of the Low Volatility Factor

Many financial theories are based on the idea that riskier investments should offer higher returns.  However, there is a bank of evidence – accumulated since the 1970s – showing that less volatile stocks posted higher risk-adjusted returns across a number of time horizons, regions, and market segments, historically. S&P Dow Jones Indices produces a range Read more […]

Little Churn in the Latest Low Volatility Rebalance

Market gains in the first four months in 2019 more than made up for what it lost in the turbulent last quarter of 2018 as the S&P 500 jumped 18%. Predictably enough, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index® trailed the broader benchmark (up a “mere” 16% in the first four months), although Low Vol has Read more […]

Low Volatility and Minimum Volatility Are Not the Same

Global equities have been turbulent recently as a combination of stalled trade negotiations and announcements of tit-for-tat tariffs increased the prospect of a trade war between the U.S. and China.  After its historic start to the year, the S&P 500 is down 3.7% so far in May, while many other markets have also faltered month-to-date.  Read more […]