1H 2017 Attribution for Workplace Equality Index®

Monday, July 24th, 2017

In the second quarter of 2017, the Workplace Equality Index® outperformed the S&P 500® Index by one percent, returning 4.09 %. Combined with first quarter outperformance, this brings the year-to-date performance to 10.82%, outperforming the S&P 500® Index return of 9.34%. We originally created the screening process used in the Workplace Equality Index® as a way for LGBT+ oriented foundations to satisfy their fiduciary duty for broad equity market exposure while aligning with their support of companies that treat their LGBT+ employees with dignity, respect and equality.

From an attribution perspective, we offer the following thoughts on the performance of the Workplace Equality Index® versus the S&P 500® Index at the sector level for the period January 1 through June 30, 2017.

The best performing sectors on an absolute return basis were materials, healthcare and real estate. Conversely, energy and telecommunications services were the only two sectors with negative returns in the first half of the year. From a contribution to return perspective, our underweighting in energy combined with stocks that outperformed their peers proved beneficial adding 1.47% to total return. Materials and real estate both saw double digit outperformance by the stocks in the Workplace Equality Index® compared to their respective sector peers in the S&P 500® Index.

The top five performing stocks in the index for the first half of the year were Chemours (up 72%), Tesla (up 69%), Wynn Resorts (up 56%), Caesars Entertainment (up 41%) and Hilton Grand Vacations (up 40%). The bottom five performers were Avon Products (down 25%), Target (down 26%), Barnes & Noble (down 29%), Kroger (down 32%) and Macy’s (down 33%). The concentration in both top and bottom performing stocks in the consumer discretionary sector is emblematic of the troubles facing traditional retailers and the success of consumer companies providing experiences versus things.

Stocks within the Workplace Equality Index® outperformed their respective peers in the S&P 500® Index in eight of the eleven GICS sectors by an average of 3.10%. Stock selection contributed over half of the outperformance in Q2 alone. We have documented the tendency of companies with LGBT+ inclusive workplace policies to outperform their less-progressive sector peers in our white paper, Return on Equality, the Real ROE: The Shareholder Case for LGBT Workplace Equality. The performance of the stocks in the Workplace Equality Index® in the first half of 2017 continues to show this trend is alive and well.

For more information please contact John Roberts directly at  303-312-4915.


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