To those who remember the risk on/risk off days of 2011 when the entire universe of assets seemingly moved together based on the utterings of some politician here or across the pond, today is quite a different matter. The instances of days in which more than 90% of S&P 500 stocks move together have all but vanished late last year and this year.
The 65-day average correlation of stocks fell to 0.52% in January vs. an average of 0.63% between 2009 and 2013 (it rose as high as 0.84% late in 2011).
Investors have responded by moving money into so-called actively managed strategies, with those funds seeing inflows of $1.3B this year on top of $9.8B in 2013. It's a small amount, but contrasts with $360B pulled out of such funds between 2009-2012.
"The IQ Hedge Market Neutral Tracker ETF seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the performance of the IQ Hedge Market Neutral Index.
Market Neutral hedge funds typically invest in both long and short positions in asset classes while minimizing exposure to systematic risk. These strategies seek to have a zero “beta” (or “market”) exposure to one or more systematic risk factors including the overall market (as represented by the S&P 500 Index), economic sectors or industries, market cap, region and country. Market neutral strategies that effectively neutralize the market exposure are not impacted by directional moves in the market."
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