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Dividends And Low Volatility Were Among 2014's Top Equity Factors. Will 2015 See A Repeat Or A Change?

By Nick Kalivas

As investors settle into 2015, it may be useful to take a look back at factor performance in 2014. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, a review of the past can be helpful in understanding where the stock market has been and where it might be going.

Reviewing 2014 Returns by Investment Factor

Source: Bloomberg LP as of Dec. 31, 2014. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Investments cannot be made directly into an index. Indexes do not charge management fees or brokerage expenses. Indexes listed are not representative of any particular products' performance.

  • Despite the strength of the S&P 500 Index in 2014, strategies that focused on dividend, low volatility, and quality stocks were among the best performers. In other words, stocks with lower risk characteristics and defensive characteristics generally posted the strongest returns. Generally, this rebuts academic theory, which