Value ETFs Embrace The Limelight Once Again

After several years of noticeably lagging their growth and momentum rivals, exchange traded funds based on the value factor are gaining renewed affection from investors. The value factor experienced some rough times during the go-go days of the current bull market as the growth and momentum factors soundly outperformed value. With investors embracing safety this year, value stocks and the corresponding exchange traded funds are making a comeback.

Plain vanilla index ETFs that track the value theme has outperformed so far this year, or at least have not done as poorly as broader benchmarks. Nevertheless, potential investors should still look under the hood of these value stock ETFs as no two are created alike and offer varying performances.

Related: 3 High Octane Value Trades for a Bear Market

“In 2016, value stocks have risen 2.4 percent as measured by the S&P 500 value index, while the S&P 500 growth index has slid 1 percent,” reports Alex Rosenberg for CNBC. “This is in contrast to the dramatic outperformance of growth stocks that have become de rigueur recently. Over the past 10 years, growth stocks have risen 90 percent, while value stocks are up just 26 percent.”

Popular value ETFs include the Vanguard Value ETF (NYSEArca: VTV). VTV follows the tracks the CRSP US Large Cap Value Index and is one of the most widely followed value ETFs. CRSP includes sales/price and historical earnings/price ratio as well as 12-month forward earnings/price ratio and dividend yield to form its value indexes.


VTV, which is market-cap weighted, will have a low degree of tracking error relative to the broad market and still be highly correlated to the market. Consequently, VTV’s value bet may be somewhat diluted compared to other options.

Other options include the Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Value ETF (NYSEArca: RPV). Underscoring the utility of the value factor over long holding periods, RPV is the best-performing ETF since the start of the current bull market on March 10, 2009.