Value Has Been an Outperforming ETF Investment Factor

Value stocks usually trade at lower prices relative to fundamental measures of value, like earnings and the book value of assets. On the other hand, growth-oriented stocks tend to run at higher valuations since investors expect the rapid growth in those company measures, but more are growing wary of high valuations, especially as the U.S. equities market moves toward the ninth year of an extended bull run.

“Value looks particularly attractive in the months ahead, given projections for economic reflation and favorable valuations, among other likely tailwinds,” Ang said.

The outperformance in value may be attributed to this overweight positions in some of the more attractively priced areas of the market that have been outpacing the broader markets. For instance, the S&P 500 Value ETFs all have heft 27% tilts toward the financial sector, which has been the best performing segment since the November elections. Additionally, the value ETFs are overweight energy at about 12%.

In contrast, the S&P 500 Growth ETFs are overweight 34% in information technology, which has been one of the worst performing sectors over the past three months.

“We have a positive outlook for value and move from neutral to overweight this quarter,” Ang added. “Value has posted strong returns since July resulting in marked improvement in its relative strength. Valuations remain attractive despite several strong months of performance. Our measure of dispersion, which measure the magnitude of the value spread between cheap and expensive stocks, indicates a robust opportunity set for value investors.”