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Humanity has gone through many processes in order to make a living since it existed. And at the core of these processes has always been trade, which sometimes included basic consumables and sometimes durable daily use items. However, one of the most important trading products of today is and indices.The financial world has hosted many innovations along with the technological developments. With every innovation, new products that can be used in the field of finance have emerged. These products have made it easier for both corporate finance giants and individual investors.

 

Trade has been one of humanity's greatest livelihoods for thousands of years. This trade sometimes included basic consumables and sometimes durable everyday use materials. However, one of the most important trade products of today has been s and their indicator indices.

 

In the financial world, the index or market index is an indicator that covers a market or its subset and is generally calculated according to the weighted average.

 

A market index must have two basic features: transparent and investment-able. Investors can invest in the market index by purchasing funds called mutual funds or exchange traded funds.

 

Types of indices by weighting method

Index market indices consist of many. For this reason, many methodologies are used for weighting market indices. Information about some of them will be given below.

Market-Capitalization Weighting based indices, which could be attractive investment portfolios, weight constituent by their market capitalization. The largest-cap s tend to have the highest liquidity and the greatest capacity to handle investor flows. 

Another weighting method which is called Free-float adjusted Market-Capitalization Weighting based indices adjust market-cap index weights by each constituent's shares outstanding for closely or strategically held shares. These shares could be held by many shareholders like governments, affiliated companies, founders, and employees. Foreign ownership limits imposed by government regulation could also be subject to free-float adjustments.

 

A portfolio with one share of each constituent can be named as A price-weighted index. A split for any constituent of the index would cause the weight in the index of the that split to decrease. Price-weighting indices are unattractive as benchmarks for passive investment strategies and portfolio managers.

Equal weighting of s in an index is considered a naive strategy because it does not show preference towards any single . Equal weight indices have higher volatility and lower liquidity because of the biases which overweight small-cap s and to underweight large-cap compared to a market-cap weighted index. 

 

Fundamental Factor Weighting based indices weight constituent s based on fundamental factors. Fundamental factors could include sales, income, dividends, and other factors analyzed in fundamental analysis which is generally used by the fundamental analysts. Similar to fundamental analysis, fundamental weighting assumes that market prices will converge to an intrinsic price implied by fundamental attributes.

Factor Weighting based indices weight constituent s based on market risk factors of s. Passive factor investing strategies are sometimes known as "smart beta" strategies. Common factors include Growth, Value, Size, Yield, Momentum, Quality, and Volatility.

 

In the scope of Volatility Weighting based indices are weighted by the inverse of their relative price volatility. Price volatility can be defined differently by each index provider according to their standart deviations for time.

Minimum Variance Weighting based indices weight constituent s using a mean-variance optimization process. In a volatility weighted indices, highly volatile s are given less weight in the index beause of their adverse effects on optimization.

 

Types of indices by coverage

The index coverage set of may be used to classify and segment market indices. The underlying group of s that an index is attempting to reflect or follow is referred to as the index's coverage. A 'world' or 'global' market index, for example, contains equities from all across the globe. The weighting mechanism has no bearing on the coverage of a market index. The market-cap weighted S&P 500 index includes the 500 biggest.

 

The performance of a country's market is represented by country coverage indexes. The equities of significant corporations listed on the nation's biggest exchanges make up the most often mentioned market indexes. Regional Coverage indexes reflect the performance of a certain geographical region's market. The FTSE Developed Europe Index and the FTSE Developed Asia Pacific Index are two examples of these indexes.

 

The performance of the global market is represented by Global Coverage indexes. Over 16,000 businesses are included in the FTSE Global Equity Index Series. Coverage indices based on exchanges, such as the NASDAQ-100, or groupings of exchanges, such as the Euronext 100 or OMX Nordic 40, are examples of exchange-based coverage indices.

Sector-based coverage indexes are used to measure the performance of various market segments. The Wilshire US S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index are two examples. Other indices may follow firms of a certain size, management style, or more specialized criteria, such as fundamentally based indexes.

 

Presentation of index returns

Returns on some indexes, such as the S&P 500 Index, are computed using several methodologies. These versions can alter depending on how the index components are weighted and dividends are handled. The weighting of index Components differs between the full capitalization, float-adjusted, and equal weight versions. Each of the Wilshire 4500 and Wilshire 5000 indexes has five different variants.

 

 

Criticism of capitalization-weighting

One proponent of capitalization weighting claims that investors must maintain a capitalization-weighted portfolio in the aggregate regardless. The average return for all investors is then calculated; if some investors perform worse, other investors must perform better. Market indices are not efficient, according to empirical testing. This can be explained by the fact that these indexes do not contain all assets or by the fact that the theory is incorrect. As a result, capitalizationweighting has received a lot of flak and may not be the best technique for investors. It can lead to suboptimal risk-return trade-offs in trend-following tactics.

 

Indices and passive investment management

The term "passive management" refers to an investment approach that involves index funds. Index funds monitor market indexes and are organized as mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. The yearly "U.S. Scorecard" from SPIVA (S&P Indices vs. Active) compares the performance of indices and actively managed mutual funds. The vast majority of mutual funds managed by active managers underperform their benchmarks.

 

Ethical market indices

Several indices are based on ethical investing, and include only companies that meet certain ecological or social criteria. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) announced in 2010 the launch of a index that complies with Sharia's prohibitions on alcohol, tobacco, and gambling. Many corporations meet technical "ethical standards," such as board composition or hiring procedures, according to critics of such initiatives, but fail to function ethically with regards to shareholders. It's unclear if ethical indexes or ETFs will outperform their more traditional equivalents from a financial standpoint. For both and debt markets, the empirical data on the performance of ethical funds and businesses vs their mainstream counterparts is mixed.

 

Conclusion:

Developing technology has brought many innovations in the finance sector, so Fintech applications have become one of the most important and biggest innovations in the finance industry. While these revolutions make things easier for individual and corporate finance players, they also increase competition between players. This competition can be seen both between active players in the financial market and data providers. In this environment with a large number of players and data providers, it is very important to reach accurate and reliable data. For this reason, individuals and institutions should be very careful when choosing their data providers. Careful selection must be made to have a real-time web service or a more regularly updated service. Nowadays to have the easiest and fastest indices, currency , and cryptocurrency API with the lowest latency is the key factor in the financial world.