Also noteworthy is the fact that the dividend ETFs that have lagged since rates started rising also have large weights to rate-sensitive sectors and, in some cases, are several times larger than SPLV and USMV. [As Rates Rise, Some Dividend ETFs Stand Tall]

There are options for investors looking for returns in excess of what low vol funds have provided. For example, the PowerShares S&P 500 High Beta Portolio (NYSEArca: SPHB) has beaten the S&P 500 this year by almost 600 basis points.

Low volatility has not been a total wash this year. At the very least, the PowerShares S&P Emerging Markets Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: EELV) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: EEMV) have been less bad than traditional, non-volatility emerging markets ETFs.

PowerShares S&P 500 High Beta Portolio

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.

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