When evaluating the performance of a manager, it is easy to get caught in the trap of judging them on their average annual return over a 3-, 5-, or 10-year period. It seems intuitive that we would want to hire the manager with the highest average annual return, right? It turns out, that is not always the best way to evaluate potential investments. We also need to consider the volatility of that return set.

  • Is Your Portfolio Prepared for a Wake Up Call?  

    Volatility has returned and if it seems like a jarring wake up; blame it perhaps on a market that lulled investors into a deep sleep.

    By nearly any measure, stocks enjoyed one of their most tranquil periods in history between 2013 and 2017. A byproduct of the lullaby market is that many investors came out of it groggy and have been slow to react to the more normalized volatility regime that emerged last year. The good news: there’s still time to respond.

  • Uncertainty in the Markets  

    The Fall has ushered in both unpredictable weather and unpredictable volatility. While protection from adverse market events is best if in place prior to volatility spikes, it’s not too late to batten down the hatches.

  • Volatility Spikes  

    The only thing different about spikes in volatility this year might be the shorter time investors have to capitalize on them. Volatility has often risen sharply following unusually calm markets, but over the past decade the time in which the VIX reverts to normal levels after a spike has been shrinking.

  • VIX Predictive  

    We have talked about the VIX Index before, and have shown that it is predictive of future VIX levels, but is it predictive of future equity returns? First, we’ll see if there is a relationship between the VIX and S&P 500 price returns on the same day. The below analysis uses data from 1/1/1990 through 3/31/2018, with both daily and monthly periodicity.