The advantages of passively managed index strategies, such as lower cost, relative tax-efficiency, diversification and style integrity, make a strong argument for using them as the core of an investment portfolio. Thus, Ameritas Investment Partners focuses on offering index strategies based on broad, well-known indices across a variety of equity and fixed income asset classes. This wide array of index strategies offer an efficient, effective way to invest comprehensively in a variety of market segments, thereby providing diverse asset allocation opportunities in an easily constructed portfolio.
The primary goal of AIP’s index strategies is to obtain returns that have a high correlation to the investment performance of their indices (before expenses). To that end, we strive to minimize tracking error by reducing trading expenses through efficient management of our index strategies. Also, to maintain full exposure to the underlying index, Ameritas Investment Partners invests the amount of cash on hand in futures contracts or other instruments that closely track the appropriate index (this is also known as equitizing cash).
Our standard portfolio management strategy is full replication of the index whenever feasible, owning all the benchmark securities at the same weights as the benchmarks. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is constructed using stratified sampling strategies to reduce costs since the index consists of a large number of securities some of which are thinly traded.
To help execute these strategies and achieve these goals, Ameritas Investment Partners uses a trade-positioning system to analyze portfolios. This trade-positioning system enables us to compare our portfolios side by side to their benchmarks, evaluating overweightings or underweightings on a security-by-security basis. This allows us to efficiently calculate rebalances, or investments and redemptions of cash, while continuing to replicate the index. It also allows us to efficiently and effectively buy “slices” or “baskets” of stocks in an index, thereby reducing portfolio turnover.