Is there a better way to fill a passive equities allocation than traditional market-cap weighting¹?
Investors are increasingly seeking broad, liquid and inexpensive access to large-cap domestic stocks. For many, the default approach has been an allocation to passive strategies benchmarked to the S&P 500® Index, that iconic index born in 1957 that has become synonymous with the U.S. stock market.
However, investors should be aware of the inherent limitations to the cap-weighted methodology behind the S&P 500, whereby constituent companies are weighted according to size. The S&P 500 Index provides large company exposure, but with a heavy tilt to the biggest companies in the domestic investment universe. Thus, passive investments that track the S&P 500 typically will be dominated by the performance of a handful of mega-caps and, conversely, discount the performance of smaller constituents.
If investors prefer a broader, rules-based approach to large-cap domestic stocks, a volatility-weighted index might be a viable alternative.
Why Volatility Weighting?
The weighting of stocks is spread more evenly across the index.
*Source: S&P U.S. Indices Methodology, February 2017 (https://us.spindices.com/documents/methodologies/methodology-sp-us-indices.pdf)
All data as of December 31, 2016. For illustrative purposes only. The methodology for the S&P 500 Index and the CEMP US Large Cap 500 Volatility Wtd Index include additional factors. To learn more, refer to the S&P U.S. Indices Methodology, available online at https://us.spindices.com, or visit www.vcm.com/docs/default-source/index/redefiningindexing.pdf.
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¹Market capitalization, commonly referred to as “market cap,” is a figure used to determine a company’s size. It is calculated by multiplying a company’s outstanding shares by the current market price of one share. Companies can be ranked by their market capitalizations, and are typically ranked as large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap companies.
Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Strategies intended to hedge risk may be partly or wholly unsuccessful. The Fund has the same risks as the underlying securities traded on the exchange throughout the day.
Index constituents listed are for illustrative purposes only, will vary and should not be considered investment advice.
Indexes are unmanaged and it is not possible to invest directly in an index.
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