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Equity Perspectives

video

Joseph Graham explains how active management can add value in volatile equity markets.

Transcript

Lord Abbett’s Investment Perspectives: Making Sense of Market Volatility

Joseph Graham, Investment Strategist

How does the recent equity market turmoil compare with prior periods?

Joseph Graham: The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is the most common measure of volatility. It’s actually a measure of expected volatility among S&P 500 stocks over the next 30 days. The levels we’ve seen in the VIX recently are nowhere near historical highs and are actually more normal than the levels we have seen in the last few years. The 10, 11, 12 readings we saw in 2013/2014, those are really the anomaly. A VIX reading between 20 and 30 shows a healthy market with a healthy level of skepticism and often that’s where there is opportunity.

What are the critical mistakes investors make during periods of volatility?

Joseph Graham: What happens is people panic. Investors are loss-averse and, in general, they overestimate their ability to time the markets. Morningstar put out a great study on this concept a few years ago. They called it Investor Returns. They weighted asset class returns by flows in and out of the market and they found that in every asset class—U.S. equities, international equities, fixed income—investors earned less returns than if they had just stayed invested with a consistent allocation. So, this study showed that market timing, specifically poor market timing, cost investors several hundred basis points a year in lost returns.

How can active managers add value in volatile markets?

Joseph Graham:
Active managers can get involved here. They can design portfolios with lower levels of volatility to help investors stay invested. Adding high-quality stocks to a portfolio is a good example. High quality stocks have shown a positive correlation to the VIX over time, so when the VIX goes up the relative returns of high quality stocks goes up helping insulate the portfolio from downside shocks. Dividend growth stocks are similar. They have had less volatility over time and similar full-cycle returns to the broad base indices. But I think the most important thing that active managers can do in times of volatility is to use the dislocation to focus on what they do best and that is stock selection.

The Active Difference:

  • Design portfolios
  • Quality stocks
  • Dividend-growth stocks
  • Focus on stock selection

Glossary

The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) is a key measure of market expectations of near-term volatility conveyed by S&P 500 stock index option prices.

The S&P 500® Index is widely regarded as the standard for measuring large cap U.S. stock market performance and includes a representative sample of leading companies in leading industries.

Quality stocks: Equities with a track record of earnings and dividend growth are often characterized as high-quality. For example, independent research firm Standard & Poor’s assigns quality rankings to stocks on their 10-year history of earnings and dividend growth.

Disclosure for chart depicting the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) :
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The historical data are for illustrative purposes only, do not represent the performance of any specific portfolio managed by Lord Abbett or any particular investment, and are not intended to predict or depict future results. Investors may experience different results. Due to market volatility, the market may not perform in a similar manner in the future. Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment. The value of investments in equity securities will fluctuate in response to general economic conditions and to changes in the prospects of particular companies and/or sectors in the economy.

Disclosure for table depicting Morningstar Fund Category Returns:

The historical data are for illustrative purposes only, do not represent the performance of any specific portfolio managed by Lord Abbett or any particular investment, and are not intended to predict or depict future results. Investors may experience different results. Due to market volatility, the market may not perform in a similar manner in the future.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The value of investments in equity securities will fluctuate in response to general economic conditions and to changes in the prospects of particular companies and/or sectors in the economy. The value of an investment in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. As interest rates fall, the prices of debt securities tend to rise. As rates rise, prices tend to fall. International investing involves risks, including risks related to foreign currency, limited liquidity, less government regulation and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments.

Morningstar fund category averages are used to compare the performance of individual funds with that of comparable funds. Morningstar classifies funds into categories according to their actual holdings rather than the objectives stated by the fund management company, then then calculates category average data for several metrics, including performance, expenses, portfolio exposures, and more. Returns are calculated using simple averages for constituent funds.

Morningstar Investor Return (also known as dollar-weighted return) measures how the average investor fared in a fund over a period of time. Investor return incorporates the impact of cash inflows and outflows from purchases and sales and the growth in fund assets.  In contrast to total returns, investor returns account for all cash flows into and out of the fund to measure how the average investor performed over time. Investor return is calculated in a similar manner as internal rate of return. Investor return measures the compound growth rate in the value of all dollars invested in the fund over the evaluation period. Investor return is the growth rate that will link the beginning total net assets plus all intermediate cash flows to the ending total net assets.

The information in the table depicted in this video is © 2016 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete, or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information.

Risks to Consider
The value of investments in equity securities will fluctuate in response to general economic conditions and to changes in the prospects of particular companies and/or sectors in the economy. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.

Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.

This broadcast serves as reference material for information purposes only; does not constitute an offer to acquire, solicitation for an offer to acquire, an offer to sell or solicitation for an offer to buy, any securities, nor is intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, or investment advice on any securities, and cannot be used for any of the foregoing.

The views and opinions expressed by the Lord Abbett speaker are those of the speaker as of the date of the broadcast, and do not necessarily represent the views of the firm as a whole. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and Lord Abbett disclaims any responsibility to update such views. Neither Lord Abbett nor the Lord Abbett speaker can be responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered.

The value of investments and any income from them is not guaranteed and may fall as well as rise, and an investor may not get back the amount originally invested. Please consult your investment professional for additional information concerning your specific situation.

This broadcast is the copyright © 2016 of Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC. All Rights Reserved. This recording may not be reproduced in whole or in part or any form without the permission of Lord Abbett.

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