Sitting between active and index strategies, smart beta represents an evolution in index investing and an opportunity for investors. Rather than simply weighting stocks by market cap, these indices are constructed to identify and exploit specific factors.
Investors can capture these exposures by utilizing the SPDR range of Smart Beta ETFs, which has funds offering exposure to the value, volatility and quality dividend factors.
In uncertain times, it may be a good idea to adopt a defensive posture while staying fully invested in the equity markets. This can be achieved through a low volatility strategy.
The SPDR low volatility ETFs track indices that are weighted according to the volatility of the underlying stocks rather than their market capitalisation, which provides a measure of protection against market downturns.
We believe these ETFs could generate higher returns than cap-weighted strategies over the long term, exploiting the so-called 'low volatility anomaly'.
Moreover, a low volatility strategy may be particularly suited to those investors who are not required to adhere to any particular benchmarks and who wish to take cover from heightened market volatility.
Academic evidence has shown the outperformance of companies with lower valuations over the long run on a risk-adjusted basis, as documented by studies such as Fama-French.4
The SPDR range of value ETFs is based on indices that emphasise metrics such as sales, book value and earnings to provide a comprehensive measure of value.
Investors looking for specific exposure to value companies can select from US and Europe. Additionally, SPDR offers ETFs that emphasise both value and smaller-sized companies to suit those investors with specific allocation preferences.
Companies that consistently pay higher dividends often possess sound fundamentals, such as lower debt and stable earnings. When seeking dividend yield, these are important characteristics, as they can insulate a company from a sudden market downturn.
The SPDR Dividend Aristocrats ETFs are weighted according to the highest yielding dividend stocks, with a filter to emphasise those companies that have sustained or increased dividends over time.
The SPDR Dividend Aristocrat Range includes Global, US, Pan Asia, European and UK exposures, with ESG screened strategies available for the Global, US and European ETFs.
1 Source: Morningstar, as of 31 March 2023.
2 Source: State Street Global Advisors, Bloomberg Finance L.P., as of 31 March 2023.
3 Frequent trading of ETFs could significantly increase commissions and other costs such that they may offset any savings from low fees or costs.
4 Source: Journal of Financial Economics 33 (1993), Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French.
Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
All forms of investments carry risks, including the risk of losing all of the invested amount. Such activities may not be suitable for everyone.
Equity securities may fluctuate in value in response to the activities of individual companies and general market and economic conditions.
Concentrated investments in a particular sector tend to be more volatile than the overall market and increases risk that events negatively affecting such sectors or industries could reduce returns, potentially causing the value of the Fund’s shares to decrease.
This information should not be considered a recommendation to invest in a particular sector or to buy or sell any security shown. It is not known whether the sectors or securities shown will be profitable in the future.
A Smart Beta strategy does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified cap-weighted index and as such may underperform such an index. The factors to which a Smart Beta strategy seeks to deliver exposure may themselves undergo cyclical performance. As such, a Smart Beta strategy may underperform the market or other Smart Beta strategies exposed to similar or other targeted factors. In fact, we believe that factor premia accrue over the long term (5-10 years), and investors must keep that long time horizon in mind when investing.
The value style of investing that emphasizes undervalued companies with characteristics for improved valuations, which may never improve and may actually have lower returns than other styles of investing or the overall stock market.
Low volatility funds can exhibit relative low volatility and excess returns compared to the Index over the long term; both portfolio investments and returns may differ from those of the Index. The fund may not experience lower volatility or provide returns in excess of the Index and may provide lower returns in periods of a rapidly rising market. Active stock selection may lead to added risk in exchange for the potential outperformance relative to the Index.
EXP: 31 May 2023