“Unconstrained funds are a recent addition to the fixed-income category lineup,” writes Daren Fonda, of Barron’s, in his article looking at the state of bond investing in 2018. “These funds have few restraints—some even own common or preferred stocks—and may actively bet against rates by selling Treasury futures or using other derivatives. Many unconstrained funds teed up for rising rates in 2010—way too early—and posted weak returns until 2015. But low duration and exposure to floating-rate is helping many funds stay ahead of the U.S. market average, according to data from Markov Processes International.” Read the full article here. (subscription required)
MPI has a new report out on Barrons looking at low-vol smart beta funds. The firm’s conclusion? Low-vol does deliver on its claim to keep volatility down, but outperformance is trickier.
There’s book smart and there’s money smart, and sometimes those two things don’t coincide. That could be the takeaway from the latest data from risk analytics firm MPI (Markov Processes International, which reviewed how Ivy League endowments are performing this year. The answer is not great for many of America’s top schools. See more about these insights on Barron’s.
Barron’s Income Investing blogger and Current Yield columnist Amey Stone covers MPI Senior Analyst Sean Ryan’s research on nontraditional bond funds. Stone writes “investors who dig into the report will find a lot more detail on what the best and worst performing nontraditional bond funds were up to in the past two years.”
Barron’s Focus on Funds columnist Brendan Conway deems MPI’s research on the “eclectic bunch” of unconstrained bond funds amongst the day’s best. See the full research on MPI’s Research Corner – “Too Heterogenous Too Handle: The Case for Careful Analysis of Nontraditional Bond Funds“
Barron’s “Focus on Funds” counts Megan Woods’ “Risk Parity – What’s in a Name” amongst the “best reading in fund investing.” The piece, first appearing in FINalternatives, analyzes performance of risk parity mutual funds, finding a surprising disparity between offerings in terms of estimated asset exposure and implied leverage levels.
A recent article published by Barron’s features commentary from MPI’s Daniel Li in a story on the Barron’s 400 Index and ETF (BFOR) following its biannual rebalancing. Li’s performance analysis shows the “growth-at-a-reasonable-price” ETF’s investment style exhibiting a small, though increasing, value tendency.
MPI research collaborator Petter Kolm is quoted discussing the evolution of hedge fund replication and the potential role of the smart beta they can deliver in investor portfolios. Find the full article on Barron’s.