Client Vault

etf

Revised Catastrophe Bonds Worth A Look

ETF

Insurance-linked securities (ILS) are a relatively recent financial innovation designed to allow risk to transfer from the insurance industry to the financial markets. Pension funds, banks and sovereign wealth funds are the largest holders of ILS, and hedge funds recently have started to specialize in managing ILS portfolios. Catastrophe (cat) bonds make up the largest…

Socially Responsible Investing Is A (Minor) Drag

ETF

Socially responsible investing, which is designed to address investors’ ethical and financial concerns, has gradually developed to include the consideration of firms’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance An interesting question is whether ESG investing has an impact on risk-adjusted returns. It certainly can lead to less efficient diversification (due to screening out companies and…

The Cause Of Myopic Loss Aversion

ETF

From 1927 through 2015, there has been a very large difference between the returns to the S&P 500 and the returns to risk-free Treasury bills—about 8.5% on an annual average basis and about 6.7% on an annualized basis. This large spread is frequently referred to as the equity premium puzzle, because unless investors possess implausibly…

Looking At Your Portfolio Hurts Returns

ETF

Earlier this week, we examined a pair of studies that sought to explore the relationship between the equity premium puzzle and investor behavior, specifically a behavior known as myopic loss aversion (MLA). MLA describes the tendency of investors who are loss-averse to evaluate their portfolios too frequently, thus causing them to take a short-term view…

Research Highlights Active Mgmt Shortcomings

ETF

In many walks of life, trying to discern the lucky from the skilled can be a difficult task. For example, it seems like every time a professional sports draft occurs, debate again flares up over whether the evaluation of college (or even high school) athletes is an exercise in skill or in luck. Were the…

Use Caution With Low Vol Strategies

ETF

As we have discussed before, one of the major problems for the first formal asset pricing model developed by financial economists, the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), was that it predicts a positive relation between risk and return. But empirical studies have found the actual relation to be flat, or even negative. Over the past…

Irrelevance Of Dividends

ETF

Research has established that dividend policy should be irrelevant to stock returns, yet investors have long demonstrated an irrational preference for them. Mutual fund providers are well-aware of this fact. Earlier this week, we reviewed a pair of studies showing that mutual fund managers exploit investors’ well-documented preference for cash dividends to attract assets by…

Mutual Funds Lace Portfolios With Dividend ‘Juice’

ETF

It has long been known that many investors have a preference for cash dividends. From the perspective of classical financial theory, this behavior is an anomaly. The reason is that, in their 1961 paper, “Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares,” Merton Miller and Franco Modigliani famously established that dividend policy should be irrelevant…

Low Vol Benefits Fading

ETF

Low-volatility strategies have quickly become the darling of many investors, thanks largely to trauma caused by the bear market that arose from the 2008-2009 financial crisis combined with academic research showing that the low-volatility anomaly exists in equity markets around the globe. Earlier this week, we took a detailed look at a 2016 study from…

Investors Should Re-Examine Annuity Aversion

ETF

Numerous academic studies advocate for the partial-to-full annuitization of financial assets. Yet despite the evidence, a majority of investors remain reluctant to annuitize for both behavioral and financial reasons. The reluctance to purchase annuities has been called the “annuity puzzle.” I’ll try to shed some light on why this puzzle exists, as well as offer…

Getting To The Cause Of Quality

ETF

Among the hot “smart beta” strategies into which investors are pouring assets is quality. For example, the iShares Edge MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL | A-84), which is only about three years old, already has $2.7 billion in assets. Before you consider investing in these increasingly popular strategies, however, it’s worth understanding the sources…

Arbitrage Capital Increases Market Efficiency

ETF

The hypothesis of an efficient market is based on the concept that informed, rational traders would arbitrage away any temporary deviations from “correct” prices. Thus, price efficiency depends upon the actions of arbitrageurs and the availability of arbitrage capital. When arbitrage capital is plentiful, anomalies should be quickly eliminated. However, if capital is scarce or…

Investors Like Lotteries

ETF

There’s substantial evidence from the field of behavioral finance that individual investors have a strong preference for investments that exhibit the same characteristics as lottery tickets. Two of these characteristics are high kurtosis (or fat tails) and positive skewness, meaning values to the right of (or more than) the mean are fewer but farther from…

Low Vol Advantage Not What You’d Expect

ETF

One of the problems for the first formal asset pricing model developed by financial economists, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), was that it predicted a positive relationship between risk and return. However, empirical studies have found the actual relationship to be flat, or even negative. Over the last 50 years, the most “defensive” stocks…

Differing Definitions Of Quality

ETF

The 1997 publication of Mark Carhart’s paper, “On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance,” led to the four-factor model (which added momentum to market beta, size and value) becoming the workhorse model in finance. The next major contribution came from Robert Novy-Marx. His 2012 paper, “The Other Side of Value: The Gross Profitability Premium,” provided investors…

©2022 Lucia Wealth