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Lower Volatility Smart Beta Funds – A Safe Haven in Turbulent Times? Part 2 of a Series on Multifactor Smart Beta ETFs

Smart Beta funds are hot. According to ETF.com, more than half of the 150 funds launched in 2016 implemented smart beta strategies.  For the year to June 30, 2016, ETFGI’s most recent data show that assets in smart beta funds have a five-year annual compound growth rate of 31.3 percent. And, low volatility funds, up […]

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Is there more liquidity danger in High Yield Bond Funds? Check with Durbin-Watson.

In the winter of 2015, an almost unheard of situation happened. A mutual fund, normally required to guarantee daily liquidity, blocked its clients from withdrawing money. The Third Ave Focused Credit Fund (TFCIX), citing losses and a lack of liquidity in the high yield bond market, put some of its assets into a trust to […]

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Like That 40% Return? Better Understand Risks First.

A July 20th WSJ article featured Quantedge Capital, a quantitative global macro hedge fund manager that gained 40% after fees year-to-date through June. The fund’s 2016 performance is outstanding indeed, as compared with major asset classes in the chart below (here and below we use the fund’s performance data from Eurekahedge):  According to the investor […]

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How Much Equity is in Your Target Date Fund (TDF)? Brexit Might Have the Answer.

Target Date Funds stumbled hard in 2008 when near-dated funds failed to provide the capital protection they were meant to for investors approaching retirement.  ‘Brexit’ may not be a Lehman Brothers-scale event, but it can certainly serve notice of some of the risks currently being assumed in near-dated Target Date Funds.  Below we illustrate how […]

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Risk Parity and Brexit: A Volatility Surprise!

Risk parity strategies hold the promise of smooth sailing through periods of market turbulence, offering consistent performance via risk diversification. And prior to Brexit, risk parity funds had done quite well to reverse most of last year’s losses, displaying similar performance patterns despite the difference in strategy implementation or exposure and dynamics as reported by […]

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World Bond Managers Ride FX Roller Coaster

In the world bond fund category[1], a dramatic change has happened: last year’s worst-performing funds are this year’s best-performing ones.  This is clear in the chart below, in which we see the performance rank of funds contrasted between 2015 and 2016. Funds below the line have decreased in rank, while funds above the line have […]

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Smart(er) Beta? Part 1 of a Series on Multifactor Smart Beta ETFs

Is it alpha or is it beta? Is it smart beta, or is it dumb? Can it be timed, or is that dumb? Is a crash looming? The questions fueling “smart beta” debates carry on, but that hasn’t stopped a number of providers from launching a “smarter” product – and from picking up assets as […]

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Hexit: Is Now the Time to Pull Out of Hedge Funds?

As the trickle of announcements about institutional investors exiting hedge funds became a steady stream, MPI decided to explore whether performance really justified an apparent growing disillusionment. Whereas much analysis and commentary to date had focused on the recent failure of hedge funds to beat the S&P 500 and other equity benchmarks, in our research […]

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How exposed are U.S. Municipal Bond funds to a Puerto Rican default?

In light of the Governor of Puerto Rico announcing the possibility of further defaults, MPI wanted to understand the possible effects on U.S. mutual funds that invest in Puerto Rican municipal bonds. We ran quantitative analysis on all of Morningstar’s municipal bond categories, analyzing the return streams of 562 funds identifying potential exposures ranging as […]

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Making the Mark: How Global Equity Hedge Funds Have Beat the Market

Whether rightly or wrongly[1], hedge funds are often compared to market beta as an indicator of their worth, and their (expensive) fee structure. With 2015 figures now in, the average hedge fund, as measured by HFRI Composite, has trailed the S&P 500 for seven straight years in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. Source: […]

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