Low-volatility ETFs have been popular with risk-averse investors who want to maintain exposure to U.S. equities but some of the funds’ overweighting to the utilities sector has been a drag on performance in 2013.
PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: SPLV) is the largest ETF in the category.
Year to date, SPLV is up 14.9%, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.5%, according to Morningstar.
So far in 2013, SPLV has brought in $982 million, according to IndexUniverse flow data.
“Based on the academic research that has found that low-volatility strategies have provided market-like returns with less than market risk, they’ve become the darling of investors,” writes Larry Swedroe for CBS MoneyWatch.