With all the talk about value sectors trumping their high beta, growth counterparts, investors should dig deeper and emphasize quality when it comes to selecting value stocks and exchange traded funds.

Valuing high quality value is particularly important as bull markets enter their waning stages, as some market observers believe the current bull market is doing. In the early stages of bull markets, lower quality companies see their shares soar. However, as the bull matures, investors often exhibit a preference for higher quality fare with more compelling valuations. [Very Valuable Value ETFs]

High quality and value is accessible via the PowerShares S&P 500 High Quality Portfolio (NYSEArca: SPHQ).

“Above Average companies recorded an average 12-month total return of 16.9% versus an average 21.7% return for those ranked Below Average, and 19.6% for all companies. However, these outsized returns for lower quality companies have also inflated their valuations. Indeed the average P/E ratio on 2014 estimated operating earnings per share now stands at 26.6X for those ranked Below Average versus a multiple of 16.9X for those ranked Above Average and 20.8X for all companies,” according to a new research note from S&P Capital IQ.

S&P Capital IQ ran a screen of S&P 500 companies with quality rankings of A-, A or A+ with fair value rankings of buy or strong buy. The screen turned up 20 names with seven each hailing from the consumer discretionary and health care sectors. Those sectors are SPHQ’s third- and fourth-largest sector allocations, respectively, combining for nearly 29% of the ETF’s weight. [Established Quality ETF Excels]