A low-volatility ETF has grown to nearly $1.4 billion in under a year with inflows driven by nervous investors looking for conservative strategies to tiptoe back into the stock market.

After suffering through the dot-com bust and the 2008 financial crisis within the span of a decade, investors are drawn to the idea of funds that attempt to limit losses.

“The true test of low-volatility strategies will be how they perform over a full market cycle or longer,” writes Rudy Luukko, editor at Morningstar Canada, in a column for the Toronto Star.

“For conservative investors, this seems to be a sensible strategy for seeking market returns that at or close to that of the benchmark index, and with a considerably smoother ride,” he said. [What You Need to Know About Low-Volatility ETFs]

PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: SPLV) listed in May 2011 and has grown to over $1 billion in assets. As Luukko notes, investors and advisors will be watching how low-volatility ETFs perform over the longer term. [Sizing Up a Low-Volatility ETF]