Evan Frazier, CFA, CAIA
Research Analyst, U.S. Equities
The beginning of 2022 represented a change of pace for equity investors, as increased geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty drove the S&P 500 to its first negative quarter in two years. In light of recent performance trends and the potential for continued asset price fluctuation, market participants may be interested in assessing the viability of strategies with lower risk profiles that still offer the potential for long-term gains similar to those of the S&P 500. One such strategy is low volatility equity investing. Though it has fallen somewhat out of favor in recent years, low volatility is a generally accepted risk premia factor (akin to value, size, quality, etc.), meaning investors can theoretically expect to earn excess returns by allocating to lower volatility equities over the long run. This newsletter seeks to understand the rationale and evidence for this premium, explain recent performance of low volatility stocks, and examine the prospects of the style going forward.
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