Frequently the question comes up if low-volatility is ‘expensive’, measured by multiples such as P/E and P/B ratios. The investors asking this are sometimes worried about the expected performance of low-volatility in such an environment. In this note, we address this question using an extended 82-year sample period for the US stock market.
We find that a generic lowvolatility strategy sometimes exhibits value (1990s) and sometimes growth (1930s) characteristics. An enhanced low-volatility strategy, which includes valuation and sentiment factors, yields a much better return/risk ratio than a generic low-volatility strategy and is necessary to achieve superior long-term returns.
Recently, the P/B ratio of a generic low-volatility strategy has become relatively high again. Historically, generic low-volatility underperforms the market in such an environment, but proves effective to lower the risk. An enhanced low-volatility strategy is particularly helpful when generic low-volatility is expensive and improves the return of a generic low-volatility strategy by up to 6% per year.
This report is not available for users from countries where the offering of foreign financial services is not permitted, such as US citizens and residents.
Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (Dubai office) is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”) and only deals with Professional Clients and does not deal with Retail Clients as defined by the DFSA.
Neither information nor any opinion expressed on the website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. An investment in a Robeco product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, prospectuses, annual and semi-annual reports, which can be all be obtained free of charge at this website and at the Robeco offices in each country where Robeco has a presence.