Tag Archives: S&P 500 Low Volatility

Bonding with Defensive Equity Strategies

“The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.” – Aristotle Recent volatility in equity markets may be unsettling to some investors. Skittishness about the stock market is understandable, especially in the context of the serenity in 2017. Volatility levels are relatively higher and risk is on the radar of Read more […]

Real Estate Gains Prominence in the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index

Year to date, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index® has underperformed its parent S&P 500, up 5.52% compared to a 7.55% (through Aug. 16, 2018 close) increase for the benchmark. Those who are familiar with low volatility strategies will recognize that this performance is consistent with the historical pattern of returns and in line with Read more […]

Sector Volatility Conveys Most (But Not All) of the Story in the Latest S&P 500 Low Volatility Index Rebalance

In January 2018, realized volatility (rolling 252-day) for the S&P 500 reached a 27-year low. Since then, volatility has been steadily creeping up and as of April 30, 2018, it sat at 12.1%—almost double the levels in January. Despite having increased significantly, volatility is still well below the historical average of 16%. Rolling 252-Day Volatility Read more […]

The Difference a Few Days Make

For investors, things looked very different between the end of January and the first part of February. Following a few days of market turmoil in February, volatility jumped to levels where it is once again at the forefront of investors’ consciousness. Volatility based on a 252-day lookback generally declined for S&P 500 sectors (Telecom excluded) Read more […]

Considering Factor Rotation Within the S&P 500 Universe

While 2017 is winding down with volatility levels at historical lows, a calmness has remained in the market for quite some time. According to Fei Mei Chan, Director of Index Investment Strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, the S&P 500 is on track for its least volatile year in 22 years. With volatility (or lack Read more […]

Carbon Exposure of the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index

Understanding the carbon exposure of smart beta strategies is important for market participants who are already implementing factor strategies and wish to incorporate carbon risk into the investment process. In a previous blog, our analysis showed that factors such as low volatility and value may be predisposed to higher carbon emissions because of their sector Read more […]

How Low Can Volatility Go?

There’s still some time remaining in 2017, but if it goes the way the year has thus far, this will be the least volatile year for the S&P 500 in 22 years. Given this context, selection to the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index (an index of the 100 least volatile stocks in the S&P 500) Read more […]

Low Volatility, VIX and Behavioral Finance

As this week’s award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Richard Thaler confirmed, the existence of behavioral biases in finance is no longer a controversial theory.   People often prefer a small chance of a large gain to a near-certain chance of a small gain, even if the expected return from the latter is higher.  Read more […]

Financials Gain More Prominence in Latest Low Vol Rebalance

Volatility has been generally subdued so far this year.  In the latest rebalance, the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index’s most significant sector shift was to Financials (adding 5% to bring the sector to 21% of the index).  Allocation in the remaining sectors did not deviate too far from the last rebalance. Technology’s weight, which increased Read more […]

The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth…

In the latest quarterly rebalance (effective at market close on May 19, 2017), the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index added more weight from the technology sector. The jump from 7% to 12% is the largest increase for any sector. Meanwhile, the index continued to shed weight in Consumer Staples and Utilities, historically the stalwarts of Read more […]