The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s liquidity rule is designed to protect investors from incurring significant transaction costs when the assets in their mutual funds are not liquid enough to sustain funds’ redemption policies.Read More »
Nov 29, 2017| ESG Research
Are ESG characteristics tied to stock performance? Many researchers have studied the relationship between companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) characteristics and corporate financial performance. A major challenge has been to show that positive correlations — when produced —...Read More »
Nov 21, 2017| Real Estate Investing
Increasingly, institutional investors with international strategies tend to concentrate their search for attractive property investments in established Central Business Districts (CBDs) within “global gateway cities,” such as New York, London and Hong Kong.Read More »
In the age of big data, fundamental stock pickers face a major challenge. Stock selection typically depends on establishing research conviction in the operating models of companies, such as identifying inexpensive businesses that demonstrate sustainable competitive advantage, disciplined capital management...Read More »
Over the last decade, asset owners have implemented factor investment programs with a focus on domestic markets. Increasingly, they are also funding equity factor programs in international markets. Two catalysts are driving this trend. First, there has been a steady erosion in asset owners’ home biases,...Read More »
Oct 25, 2017| ESG Research
As the world moves toward a low-carbon future, companies of many stripes are adopting renewable and clean-energy technologies. That, of course, has implications for stocks and the portfolios that hold them. How can asset owners understand the carbon-transition risks in their portfolios?Read More »
Oct 5, 2017| ESG Research
Last year, we asked whether pay awards to U.S. chief executive officers reflected long-term shareholder returns, and found they did not. The bottom fifth of companies by equity incentive award outperformed the top fifth by nearly 39% on average on a 10-year cumulative basis.Read More »
Institutional investors increasingly are moving toward integrating ESG criteria into their portfolios and their factor allocations, in particular. This shift is driven by their recognition of the financial relevance of ESG issues to their risk management and their focus on long-term sustainable investing.Read More »
Sep. 18, 2017
Convertible contingent securities — known as “CoCo bonds”-- are a popular form of hybrid debt, but they can be hard to value when issuers head into troubled waters. These securities are a form of risky debt (typically issued by European financial institutions) that convert to equity when a predetermined trigger is met, such as when the issuer’s capital or balance sheet plunges in value.
Sep. 18, 2017
A lot has been written about the persistence of the global small-cap premium. But what, apart from size, distinguishes small-cap stocks from their large- and mid-cap counterparts, and how can these distinctions help institutional investors?
How are institutional investors tackling climate-change risk in their portfolios? Thanks partly to global initiatives such as the Montreal Pledge and the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, both launched in 2014, many institutional investors have moved quickly to understand the long-term portfolio implications of climate change and to adopt climate-risk management techniques.
In May, we wrote that despite the generally low market volatility that has prevailed this year, investors were paying relatively high prices for downside protection as measured by “options skew” – the difference in implied volatility between an out-of-the-money option and an at-the-money option. High skew levels indicate heightened fears of “tail risk” – the chances of unlikely but highly consequential events that could sink share prices. Low market volatility largely continued through the summer, but how has options skew behaved – has it fallen to more “normal” levels?
We see a growing number of institutional investors seeking to avoid financial risks associated with environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, or even to enhance returns by investing in companies that have strong ESG track records. As we wrote in an earlier blog post, these investors are typically looking to limit the number of companies excluded from their portfolios, both to avoid sacrificing diversification and to be active owners able to engage with corporate management.
Aug. 22, 2017
Markets have enjoyed a relatively long period of positive returns and low volatility, making some investors wonder if a correction is imminent. One possible trigger for a correction would be investors concluding that market valuations have become extreme, which could lower future returns.
It is sometimes assumed that larger real estate assets perform differently to smaller assets thanks to reduced accessibility and competition at the top end of the market. Using MSCI’s global private real estate dataset, we find evidence to support the assertion that the size of an asset does have an impact on its performance.
When markets get volatile, stock prices can move very quickly in a short period. As we saw in the August 2007 “quant liquidity crunch”— now about to mark its 10-year anniversary — many quantitative equity managers could have benefitted from getting market insights in real time as they found themselves in crowded trades.
Jul. 27, 2017
Many of the world’s largest institutional investors are integrating ESG standards into their investment strategies. But they face a challenge: Excluding every objectionable firm or selecting only ESG (environmental, social and governance) leaders can slash the number of acceptable stocks by half while foreclosing on opportunities for dialogue and engagement. How can institutions implement ESG principles without sacrificing diversification or abandoning efforts to improve corporate conduct?
Jul. 19, 2017
We have seen substantial rotation in factor index performance in the past 12 months. Value, the best-performing equity factor index in the second half of 2016, was the worst performer in the first six months of 2017.
Insights, data and commentary from MSCI Research about global investing, the movement of asset prices, investing for the long term, and risk and return to help investors make better-informed decisions.