Among his most popular smart-beta picks, Johnson pointed to ETFs that track dividends, fundamental factors, asset categories and low volatility.

For instance, the Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF (NYSEArca: SCHD), Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (NYSEArca: VIG) and Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEArca: VYM) provide low-cost exposure to many dividend-paying stocks.

Investors can track broad U.S. growth stocks through the Vanguard Growth ETF (NYSEArca: VUG) or value-oriented stocks through the Vanguard Value ETF (NYSEArca: VTV).

While the PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1000 Portfolio (NYSEArca: PRF) does not seek to target value stocks, the RAFI fundamental indexing methodology, which screens for sales, book value, cash flow and dividends, does target companies with relatively cheap valuations and trims exposure to pricier stocks.

Additional themes include the iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (NYSEArca: QUAL), which focuses on quality, and the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: USMV), which selects stocks based on variances and correlations, along with other risk factors.

For more information on smart beta ETFs, visit our smart beta category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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