Tag Archives: IVE

Indexes Beaten by Small-Cap & Large-Cap Value

The indexing and ETF communities received a significant blow when, in an extremely rare occurrence, slightly more than half the actively managed mutual funds holding stocks outperformed their benchmark indexes.

According to the Standard & Poor’s Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard (SPIVA), for the year ended June 30, the S&P Composite 1500 Index, tracked by the iShares S&P 1500 Index Fund (ISI) outperformed only 48.99% of all the domestic equity funds. Small-capitalization stocks were responsible for pushing active managers over the 50% mark, with the S&P SmallCap 600 Index, tracked by the iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Index Fund (IJR), beating only 47.5% of all small-cap funds.

This plays into one of the main reasons for using active fund managers: they can spot inefficient pricings in markets ignored by Wall Street analysts and institutions. This strategy typically works well with small stocks and equities in emerging markets.

But fans of active management shouldn’t crow too loudly, in all the other categories, the indexes won. The S&P 500 Index, tracked by the SPDR (SPY), beat 60.5% of the active managers, the S&P MidCap 400 – SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF (MDY) – beat 66.7% of the active managers.

Breaking it down further, between growth, core and value, small-cap value was the true hero, with 60.4% of the funds beating the S&P SmallCap 600 Value Index and the iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Value Index Fund (IJS). However, over three years, the index beat 52.3% of the funds.

Most shocking was large-cap value funds. Over the past year, 54.6% of the large-cap value funds posted better returns that the S&P 500 Value Index — iShares S&P 500 Value Index Fund (IVE). For the 3-year and 5-year periods, the percentage of large-cap value funds that topped the index were 55.9 and 64.7, respectively.

But investors in ETFs and an indexing strategy shouldn’t worry, the results don’t include the recent stock swoon. And in the 2008 crash, the average equity fund plunged 39.5%, according to Lipper, compared with the 37% drop in the S&P 500.

However, one of the big reasons for not buying actively managed funds is that few can consistently beat the indexes. So, a one-year record might just be a bit of luck. And the long-term results bear it out. Over three-years, small-cap funds still had the best record, but the indexes beat 63.1% of the funds. That only increased for the other categories, with 75% of all midcap funds beaten by its benchmark.

Meanwhile, growth funds took a kick to the teeth. Over the three-year period, the indexes beat 75% of the large-cap growth funds, 84.1% of the mid-cap growth funds and 69.6% of the small-cap growth funds. And for the five-year periods, all the growth sectors fared worse. These funds track the winning indexes: S&P 500 Growth Index Fund (IVW), S&P MidCap 400 Growth Index Fund (IJK) and S&P SmallCap 600 Growth Index Fund (IJT)

How Did ETFs Fare in Market Turmoil

 

With cries of financial Armageddon and headlines screaming “heaven help us,” it shouldn’t have surprised anyone that the stock market took a head dive today.  The refusal of the House of Representatives to pass the $700 billion Wall Street bailout sent shivers through Wall Street. Everyone realizing the golden days are over made a mad dash for the exits.

 

“The first problem is the administration gave it the wrong name,” says Jerry Slusiewicz, president of Pacific Financial Planners of Newport Beach, Calif. “They should have called it the ‘economic stabilization plan’ or ‘liquidation enhancement plan,” instead they called it a ‘bailout’ and that was bad news. No one wants to bail out Wall Street.”

 

So, how did exchange-traded funds hold up amid the market turmoil?

 

“The ETFs followed the market,” says Kevin Mahn, chief investment officer of SmartGrowth Mutual Funds, which runs funds of ETFs. “The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) was up as well as a lot of the short products from ProShares.” 

 

The truth of the matter is the ETF is only as good as the assets it’s holding. And if your ETF tracks the Dow Jones Industrial Average the day it plunges 777 points, like it did Monday in the largest one-day decline in history, you’re going to feel some pain, $6.40, or 5.76%, to be exact. Surprisingly, the Diamonds Trust, the ETF which holds every stock in the Dow, actually performed better than the index itself, which sank 6.98%. Who knew tracking error could work in your favor?

 

The same thing happened with the SPDR (SPY), the most heavily traded ETF on the market today, with 460 million shares trading hands. While its tracking index, the S&P 500 plummeted 8.79%, the SPDR tumbled just 7.84%, or $9.47.

 

The iShares S&P 500 Value Index Fund (IVE) beat the broader benchmark, and the growth sector, falling 6.76% to $57.85, on volume of 3.6 million shares, while the iShares S&P 500 Growth Index Fund (IVW) also beat it, sliding 7.1% to $54.66. And both closed at a premium to their net asset value, which was $56.34 for the value fund and $53.93 for growth, according to iShares.

 

And what of the fundamentally-focused ETFs which claim to do better than market-cap ETFs? How did they perform? PowerShares FTSE RAFI 1000 Portfolio (PRF) narrowly beat the S&P 500, with a decline of 7.46% to $44.02 on volume of 251,884 shares. The WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund (DLN) slid 6.4% to $45.13 on 38,000 shares and the Spa MarketGrader LargeCap 100 (SZG) dropped just 5.34% to $17.55, with only 400 shares traded. All the fundamental ETFs also closed significantly higher than their NAVs.

 

“The House vote was basically a vote of no confidence for the credit markets,” says Slusiewicz. “Credit is drying up for short-term cash for the economy. We’ve backed ourselves into a corner.”

 

Overall the flight to quality led to an interesting divergence in the bond ETFs.

 

“The 0.4% move in the BIL was a hefty move,” says Jim Porter, the portfolio manager of Aston/New Century Absolute Return ETF Fund (ANENX).  “It broke out four days ago as there was definitely a sign of movement into the T-Bill ETFs. Meanwhile the Vanguard Intermediate Term Bond was actually down today. It’s obvious that no one wants to own the Intermediates. But the T-Bills and the long bonds are OK.”

 

n      The SPDR Lehman 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) gained 20 cents, or 0.43%, to $46.24. This sent the yield down to 1.46% from 2.73% on Aug. 31.

 

n      The iShares Lehman 1-3 year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY) edged up 0.6% to $83.89, yielding 3.69%, up from 3.48% on Aug. 31.

 

n      The iShares Lehman 20+ year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) climbed 2.9% to yield 4.68%, up from 4.53% on Aug. 31.

 

n      Meanwhile the Vanguard Intermediate Term Bond (BIV) fell 31 cents, or 0.42%, to 74.37. Since Aug. 31, when it yielded 4.63%, the BIV’s yield has plunged to a negative 1.64%.

 

So, what can we expect for the rest of the week? With the Jewish New Year occurring Tuesday and Wednesday, Congress won’t tackle any business until Thursday. In addition, with many market participants out, volume will probably be low, but that could create large price moves. The third quarter ends on Tuesday, so it should be an interesting day for mutual fund managers who need to shore up their portfolios for end-of-quarter reports.

 

“A lot of what we saw erased today will come back when the bill gets passed,” says SmartGrowth’s Mahn. “But there will be a lot of trepidation over the next few weeks to see if another bank fails and if this bailout works and how quickly it works.”   

 

Slusiewicz of Pacific Financial Planners thinks Congress will try to revive the deal because everyday that passes without one will see more market declines. He says the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, posting on Monday was “one of the top ten days for the fear index. The big fear number is an indication of a bottom. And the bottom will come with the passing of a new bailout bill.”

 

But, if there’s no bill Slusiewicz expects more days like Monday. With no bill, he predicts potential declines of 100 points on the S&P 500, 200 points on the NASDAQ and 700 points on the Dow.