For the first time in several years, the value factor is being embraced by advisors and investors.

That is prompting renewed attention on and inflows to exchange traded funds emphasizing this widely followed factor, including the iShares MSCI USA Value Factor ETF (NYSEArca: VLUE).

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.

Related: ETFs That Value Investors Buffett, Munger Would Approve Of

Value investing is a popular long-term investment strategy. Value stocks have historically outperformed growth stocks, or companies with high earnings expectations, in almost every market over the long-haul. For instance, the MSCI USA Value Index has outperformed the MSCI USA Growth Index by an annualized 81 basis points since 1974 through September 2015.

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.

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.

Related: 3 High Octane Value Trades for a Bear Market

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