Practical Considerations For Factor Based Allocation

February 10, 2015

Finally, we reviewed the concept of long-short risk premia strategies, which some investors use as a low-cost alternative to absolute return strategies.
While the concept may have a strong theoretical underpinning, its more complex nature and relatively lower capacity mean that implementing it in large institutional portfolios will be a significant challenge.
In summary, investors are increasingly adopting alternate beta and risk premia as building blocks for asset allocation and portfolio construction. While the implementation of these strategies is passive, selecting the right blend of factors and implementation strategies is an active decision-making process.
Nevertheless, the continued development and adoption of these tools may help to increase transparency of investment processes and reduce costs in the asset management industry.

References and Endnotes
  • Ang, Goetzmann and Schaefer, Evaluation of Active Management of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global, 2009
  • Banerjee and Srivastava, Limiting Risk Exposure with S&P Risk Control Indices, 2012
  • Bhansali et al., The Risk in Risk Parity: A Factor-Based Analysis of Asset-Based Risk Parity, 2012
  • Bender et al., Portfolio of Risk Premia, 2010
  • Jaconetti et al., Best practices for Portfolio Rebalancing, 2010
  • Kang, Evaluating Alternative Beta Strategies, 2012
  • Ung and Kang, Alternative Beta Strategies in Commodities, 2013
  • The S&P 500 Low Volatility Index (“the Index”) was launched on April 4, 2011. All information presented prior to the launch date is back-tested. Back-tested performance is not actual performance, but is hypothetical. The back-test calculations are based on the same methodology that was in effect on the launch date. Complete index methodology details are available at www.spdji.com.
  • The S&P SmallCap 600 (“the Index”) was launched on Oct. 28, 1994. All information presented prior to the launch date is back-tested. Back-tested performance is not actual performance, but is hypothetical. The back-test calculations are based on the same methodology that was in effect on the launch date. Complete index methodology details are available at www.spdji.com.
  • The S&P Global BMI Indices (“the Index”) and its sub-indices were launched on Dec. 31, 1992. All information presented prior to the launch date is back-tested. Back-tested performance is not actual performance, but is hypothetical. The back-test calculations are based on the same methodology that was in effect on the launch date. Complete index methodology details are available at www.spdji.com.
  • The S&P GSCI (the “Index”) was launched on May 1, 1991. All information presented prior to the launch date is back-tested. Back-tested performance is not actual performance, but is hypothetical. The back-test calculations are based on the same methodology that was in effect on the launch date. Complete index methodology details are available at www.spdji.com.
  • The S&P GSCI Dynamic Roll (the “Index”) was launched on Jan. 27, 2011. All information presented prior to the launch date is back-tested. Back-tested performance is not actual performance, but is hypothetical. The back-test calculations are based on the same methodology that was in effect on the launch date. Complete index methodology details are available at www.spdji.com.
  • The Commodities Value Strategy on the S&P GSCI is constructed by going long on 18 commodities with the highest gradient based on their futures curve and is rebalanced monthly.
  • The Quality Strategy on the S&P 500 is constructed by selecting the top quintile of securities that are ranked the highest based on their accruals ratio, return on equity and financial leverage ratio.
  • The Momentum Strategy on the S&P 500 is constructed by selecting the top quintile of securities that are ranked based on their 6-month risk-adjusted return and their 12-momnth risk-adjusted return.
  • S&P Dow Jones Indices defines various dates to assist our clients in providing transparency on their products. The First Value Date is the first day for which there is a calculated value (either live or back-tested) for a given index. The Base Date is the date at which the Index is set at a fixed value for calculation purposes. The Launch Date designates the date upon which the values of an index are first considered live; index values provided for any date or time period prior to the index’s Launch Date are considered back-tested. S&P Dow Jones Indices defines the Launch Date as the date by which the values of an index are known to have been released to the public, for example via the company’s public Web site or its datafeed to external parties. For Dow Jones-branded indices introduced prior to May 31, 2013, the Launch Date (which prior to May 31, 2013, was termed “Date of Introduction”) is set at a date upon which no further changes were permitted to be made to the index methodology, but that may have been prior to the Index’s public release date.
  • Past performance of the Index is not an indication of future results. Prospective application of the methodology used to construct the Index may not result in performance commensurate with the back-test returns shown. The back-test period does not necessarily correspond to the entire available history of the Index. Please refer to the methodology paper for the Index, available at www.spdji.com for more details about the index, including the manner in which it is rebalanced, the timing of such rebalancing, criteria for additions and deletions, as well as all index calculations.
  • Another limitation of using back-tested information is that the back-tested calculation is generally prepared with the benefit of hindsight. Back-tested information reflects the application of the index methodology and selection of index constituents in hindsight. No hypothetical record can completely account for the impact of financial risk in actual trading. For example, there are numerous factors related to the equities (or fixed income, or commodities) markets in general which cannot be, and have not been accounted for in the preparation of the index information set forth, all of which can affect actual performance.
  • Additionally, it is not possible to invest directly in an Index. The Index returns shown do not represent the results of actual trading of investable assets/securities. S&P Dow Jones Indices maintains the Index and calculates the Index levels and performance shown or discussed, but does not manage actual assets. Index returns do not reflect payment of any sales charges or fees an investor may pay to purchase the securities underlying the Index or investment funds that are intended to track the performance of the Index. The imposition of these fees and charges would cause actual and back-tested performance of the securities/fund to be lower than the Index performance shown. For example, if an index returned 10% on a US $100,000 investment for a 12-month period (or US$ 10,000) and an actual asset-based fee of 1.5% was imposed at the end of the period on the investment plus accrued interest (or US$ 1,650), the net return would be 8.35% (or US$ 8,350) for the year. Over a three-year period, an annual 1.5% fee taken at year end with an assumed 10% return per year would result in a cumulative gross return of 33.10%, a total fee of US$ 5,375, and a cumulative net return of 27.2% (or US$ 27,200).
 

Find your next ETF

Reset All