Exchange Traded Funds: Rise of Passive Investing…Series Begins

This article has first posted here on July, 18 2017. Sharing it again. 

ETF also known as Exchange Traded Funds are on a meteoric rise globally. According to a report by PWC, ETF’s in the US is going to grow to $5.9 trillion by 2021, a whopping 23% cumulative annual growth compared to $1.6 trillion in Europe and $560 billion in Asia. ETF’s are passive investment products which track an index. Exchange Traded Funds are linked to different asset classes like equities and commodities. In the US, S&P 500 would be a broad equity index so an ETF linked to S&P 500 would replicate this index. Replication here means it would track the index. ETF would not outperform the underlying index i.e. S&P 500 but rather deliver similar returns. Let’s understand a few concepts here.   Continue reading

Aadhaar Inclusion and Causality Inference

According to a report published today in Economic Times, 92% of the population in India (based on 2018 consensus) with nearly all adults barring 3.5 million have an Aadhaar card. This is a phenomenal achievement in bringing underprivileged people for social and financial inclusion. Aadhaar card’s unique identification number will soon work as a social security number for the population. Making aadhaar card essential for all monetary dealings ultimately aids in widening tax bracket. Over a period of time, casual inference using multivariate analysis will help in measuring the social impact of aadhaar inclusion.

Coming to multivariate analysis which is correlation analysis using multiple variables to measure causality. Although Random Control Trial (RCT) is the gold standard to measure causality between two randomly selected samples sizes i.e. control group and treatment group,  in this case, it will not be possible to make two groups randomly selected i.e. two groups with very similar demographic profile randomly selected, one sample without aadhaar card and one sample with aadhaar card. However, a time series data of the population over a decade before and after aadhaar implementation might lead to useful insights. This form of statistical analysis is not a form of RCT analysis.  Continue reading