Investors have utilized value stocks and exchange traded funds to capitalize on the asset category attractive returns over the long haul. However, over the short-term, the so-called value effect has not benefited investors as much.

For instance, the Nasdaq-100 ETF, PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which includes a large group of tech and growth stocks, has increased 21.8% over the past year, whereas the broad SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) rose 10.5% over the past year.

Additionally, investors can also target growth-specific index ETFs, like the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (NYSEArca: IWF), iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (NYSEArca: IVW) and Vanguard Growth ETF (NYSEArca: VUG). IWF takes growth picks from the large-cap universe of Russell 1000 stocks. IVW highlights growth names from the S&P 500. VUG selects picks from the largest 85th percentile of the U.S. stocks. All three ETFs overweight tech and discretionary names as well. [Expanding Economic Conditions Should Favor Growth Stock ETFs]

Over the past year, IWF rose 15.9%, IVW gained 15.8% and VUG added 13.3%.

Meanwhile, value-specific index ETFs have fallen behind. For instance, over the past year, the iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (NYSEArca: IWD) was up 9.1%, Vanguard Value ETF (NYSEArca: VTV) was 9.7% higher and iShares S&P 500 Value ETF (NYSEArca: IVE) returned 8.9%.

According to Robert Schwob of Style Research, the value category’s periods of outperformance are tied to market, interest rate and economic cycles, reports John Authers for the Financial Times. Consequently, the flow of easy money has thrown a wrench into the normal cycles.

Higher rates are typically good for value stocks since it forces investors to wait to buy cheaper stocks and it makes it harder for growth companies. However, rates have stayed stubbornly low.

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