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A practical guide to low-volatility investing

In this article:

    BNP Paribas Asset Management has been among the leaders in factor-investing solutions, including low-volatility investing, since 2009 as we seek to serve investors keen to diversify portfolios and target higher risk-adjusted returns.

    The objective of our low-volatility strategies is to improve risk-adjusted returns compared to traditional market capitalisation indices. We do this by systematically exploiting low-volatility alpha and mitigating investment risks over the long term.

    Integrating sustainability objectives has become crucial in meeting investor expectations and needs.

    That is why BNP Paribas Asset Management’s quantitative investment team has added two objectives to the exclusions already in place:

    • Increase the portfolio’s score on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria relative to the ESG enhanced index (the benchmark minus the 20% of stocks with the worst ESG scores)
    • Reduce the portfolios’ carbon footprint by 50% relative to the benchmark’s carbon footprint.

    For our low-volatility strategies, sustainable investing can be treated as a third dimension. Investors can tailor their investments based on these objectives: The return they expect; the risk they are willing to take; and the sustainable objectives they seek.

    For full analysis of our approach to low-volatility investing, read A practical guide to low-volatility investing

    Please note that articles may contain technical language. For this reason, they may not be suitable for readers without professional investment experience. Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients. This document does not constitute investment advice. The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns. Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions). Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.

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