The value factor is all the rage these days, but that does not mean investors should forget about momentum and the iShares MSCI USA Momentum Factor ETF (NYSEArca: MTUM).
MTUM tracks large- and mid-cap U.S. stocks with relatively high price momentum. The underlying MSCI USA Momentum Index calculates the ratio of each stock’s price returns over the trailing 13 and seven months against volatility over the past three years. Companies are then weighted by their risk-adjusted momentum.
The momentum factor has struggled, but that could also mean a rebound is on the way.
“In fact, momentum strategies were among the poorest-performing diversified equity exchange traded funds last year. But they could be poised for a comeback,” reports Investor’s Business Daily. “Like value and size, the momentum factor has been shown to historically offer attractive returns over a full market cycle. Unlike those factors, momentum is harnessed by just a handful of exchange traded funds.”
MTUM is up 3.4% this year, a gain that is being fostered by some well-known growth stocks, such as Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB) and Amazon.com Inc. (NasdaqGS: AMZN). Although MTUM holds growth stocks such as Amazon, it also holds older, more docile fare such as Dow components Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG).
MTUM’s underlying index reconstitutes holdings only twice per year in May and November, and includes a broad buffer to diminish turnover and potential transaction costs.