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Back for One More Bow: Our Favorite Charts of the Year

As of March 1, Calamos Hedged Equity Income Fund’s name has been changed to Calamos Hedged Equity Fund.

The Perennial Favorite

Chart talk at Calamos starts with the Convertible Fair Value Price Track, the alpha and omega at the firm whose Founder, Chairman and Global CIO John P. Calamos, Sr. pioneered the use of convertible securities. Shown below, this chart visualizes how we establish value through modeling and convertible analysis.

convertible demand active management

“For understanding—and for explaining—how convertibles can enhance portfolios, the Convertible Price Track chart is vital,” says Brian J. Waeyaert, Senior Vice President, National Sales Director for Hybrid and Internal Sales. “It visualizes the importance of active management.”

Like most asset managers, we here at Calamos are a chart factory.

With every chart our goal is to present data to support a point. But over the course of a given year, a handful of charts stand out as being especially effective. They communicate on their own. Words are almost superfluous in the presence of a truly excellent chart.

With this post we join blogs across the Internet in offering a year-end roundup. Our focus is on what we’ll call the Calamos Choice Charts of the year. They’re the favorites of our Investment Consultants—whose job it is, by the way, to provide the words that accompany the charts.

Shown below are charts identified by the senior members of our internal sales team as most helpful in introducing a concept, opening financial advisors’ eyes or landing a point in a year characterized by the return of volatility, rising rates and technology stocks’ falling back to earth.

plaque choice charts of the year 2018

The 2018 Alternative to Fixed Income

“This chart shows how fixed income went one direction in 2018 and our fixed income alternative [Calamos Market Neutral Income Fund or CMNIX] went the other. This was an easy-to-understand message that advisors were happy to share with their clients,” says Brian D. Buonamici, CAIA®, CMFC®, Senior Investment Consultant.

cmnix income alternative vs the bond market 2018 ytd

Flexibility Got Noticed in October

“Most advisors had to blink twice when looking at these results in October,” says Lindsay Matchett, CIMA, Senior Investment Consultant. “Our active option-writing team managing Calamos Hedged Equity Income Fund (CIHEX) was able to showcase our flexible philosophy to take advantage of market conditions." For more, see CIHEX Took the Sting Out of S&P 500 Volatility.

temper downside, share in upside

For When the Bull Turns to Bear

After February’s market plunge and bounceback and as the bull market approached its ninth anniversary in August, advisors were increasingly interested in equity alternatives. Here’s the chart that Cassandra Nichols, CIMA® and Senior Investment Consultant, found resonated with her contacts.

convertibles offered equity-like returns

“Advisors are intrigued by convertibles’ historic ability to capture similar upside but less downside in bear markets,” she says. For more on convertibles, including Calamos Convertible Fund (CICVX), see The Complexities of Investing in Convertibles: What Every Advisor Should Know.

One of These Is Not Like the Others

Advisors are open to looking at solutions that are truly differentiated. And that’s why, Abbas S. Hussain, CIMA® and Senior Investment Consultant, says he’s gotten a favorable response to the chart below, used to discuss Calamos Phineus Long/Short Fund (CPLIX).

cplix correlations vs sp500 vs long-short equity

“This chart emphasizes [Co-CIO and Senior Portfolio Manager] Michael Grant’s pure active management as a long/short manager compared to many others in the space. With the bull market coming to an end, advisors agree that flexibility will be a key to not only generating returns but also managing risk…“

For more on this, read What You Miss When You Look at CPLIX’s ‘Average’ Annualized Beta from earlier this year.


Category comparisons are important to advisors building asset allocations. Natalie Bedell, CAIA®, Assistant Vice President and Senior Investment Consultant, helps confirm decisions with this chart showing CIHEX versus the S&P and its peers in the Morningstar Options-based Category.

cihex has worked ytd

“This chart has been resonating with advisors for two reasons,” she says. “It displays our ability to hedge equity market downside without limiting upside and exhibits our edge in the category. We actively manage our option positions in order to optimize our hedges as opposed to the systematic hedging that we see within our peer group.”

When Technology Tanks

Market risk, did someone say market risk? Yes, they did, and all year. George Sabino, MSF, CAIA®, Senior Investment Consultant, used the series of charts below to help advisors better understand the value of convertibles.

convertible securities offered a way to manage risk

“I use this chart to defend convertibles as an equity replacement to help manage risk. It emphasizes the ‘bond floor’ and how it can hold up when the underlying equity sells off. Again, the visual is easy for advisors to understand. These charts require very little additional commentary to make their point,” he says. For more, see Using Convertibles to Manage Technology Risk.

Check Back with Us on Your Worst Day

CIHEX performance lent itself to fairly dramatic comparisons this year and so we have a third chart, this one favored by Mike Mirrilees, Senior Investment Consultant.

10 worst days for the sp500

“Our fund has about half the risk and volatility of the S&P 500 as measured by beta and standard deviation. Advisors see that it can improve equity portfolio performance in volatile markets,” he says.

Advisors, for additional information about our charts or our funds, contact your Calamos Investment Consultant at 888-571-2567 or

Calamos ranks fifth on the list of alternative fund managers by assets under management in the Morningstar Alternatives Category as of 9/30/18.

    Before investing carefully consider the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Please see the prospectus and summary prospectus containing this and other information which can be obtained by calling 1-800-582-6959. Read it carefully before investing.

    Opinions and estimates offered constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice, as are statements of financial market trends, which are based on current market conditions. We believe the information provided here is reliable, but do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all investors. The opinions and views of third parties do not represent the opinions or views of Calamos Investments LLC. Opinions are subject to change due to changes in the market, economic conditions or changes in the legal and/or regulatory environment and may not necessarily come to pass. This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax, legal, or investment advice. References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as, recommendations.

    Alternative investments are not suitable for all investors.

    The principal risks of investing in Calamos Market Neutral Income Fund include: equity securities risk consisting of market prices declining in general, convertible securities risk consisting of the potential for a decline in value during periods of rising interest rates and the risk of the borrower to miss payments, synthetic convertible instruments risk, convertible hedging risk, covered call writing risk, options risk, short sale risk, interest rate risk, credit risk, high yield risk, liquidity risk, portfolio selection risk, and portfolio turnover risk.

    Covered Call Writing: As the writer of a covered call option on a security, the fund foregoes, during the option’s life, the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the security, covering the call option above the sum of the premium and the exercise price of the call.

    Convertible Securities Risk: The value of a convertible security is influenced by changes in interest rates, with investment value declining as interest rates increase and increasing as interest rates decline. The credit standing of the issuer and other factors also, may have an effect on the convertible security’s investment value.

    Convertible Arbitrage Risk: If the market price of the underlying common stock increases above the conversion price on a convertible security, the price of the convertible security will increase. The fund’s increased liability on any outstanding short position would, in whole or in part, reduce this gain.

    The principal risks of investing in the Calamos Phineus Long/Short Fund include: equity securities risk consisting of market prices declining in general, short sale risk consisting of potential for unlimited losses, foreign securities risk, currency risk, geographic concentration risk, other investment companies (including ETFs) risk, derivatives risk, options risk, and leverage risk.

    The principal risks of investing in the Calamos Hedged Equity Income Fund include: covered call writing risk, options risk, equity securities risk, correlation risk, mid-sized company risk, interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, portfolio turnover risk, portfolio selection risk, foreign securities risk, American depository receipts, and REITs risks.

    S&P 500 Index is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market.

    Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based benchmark that measures the investment-grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market of SEC-registered securities. The index includes bonds from the Treasury, Government Related, Corporate, MBS (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass-throughs), ABS, and CMBS sectors.

    Citigroup 30-Day T-Bill Index is generally considered representative of the performance of short-term money market instruments.

    Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Government/Credit Index comprises long-term government and investment grade corporate debt securities and is generally considered representative of the performance of the broad U.S. bond market. Unlike convertible bonds, U.S. Treasury bills are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and offer a guarantee as to the timely repayment of principal and interest.

    MSCI World Index is a market capitalization weighted index composed of companies representative of the market structure of 21 developed market countries in North America, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific region. Unmanaged index returns assume reinvestment of any and all distributions and do not reflect fees, expenses or sales charges. Investors cannot invest directly in an index.

    Data as of 9/30/18

    average annual returns HEI 9-30-18

    HEI expenses 9-30-18

    Data as of 9/30/18

    average annual returns MNI 9-30-18

    MNI expenses 9-30-18

    Data as of 9/30/18

    average annual returns PLS 9-30-18

    CPLIX expenses 9-30-18

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