Equal Weight ETFs Introduce Sector Tilts | ETF Trends

U.S. large-cap equal weight ETFs introduce sector tilts to a portfolio.

The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP) is the oldest single-factor ETF available to investors, accreting $32.6 billion in assets under management since its 2003 inception. RSP is based on the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index, comprising all constituents in the S&P 500 but giving each an equal weight at quarterly rebalances.

Equal weight ETFs reduce concentration risk and offer more protection if a large company or sector experiences a downturn. This methodology tilts the index in favor of smaller-sized companies, effectively overweighting or underweighting certain sectors compared to the cap-weighted S&P 500.

The S&P 500 Equal Weight Index tilts toward industrials and real estate. Industrials are weighted 14% in the equal weight index versus 8% in the S&P 500, and equal weight gives real estate a 6% weight versus 3% in cap weight, as of February 28.

The two sectors most underweighted in RSP are information technology and communications services, which are weighted 15% and 4%, respectively, in the equal weight index. In comparison, the cap-weight S&P 500 weights information technology and communications services at 265 and 7%, respectively.

 Equal weight’s methodology of selling relative winners and buying relative losers adds factor tilts to a portfolio. As of the end of the third quarter, the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index tilts towards small size (47.8%), value (33.4%), and dividend (15.6%) compared to the S&P 500. It also has a tilt away from quality (-23.7%), low volatility (-6.0%), high beta (-4.5%), and momentum (-3.1%), according to S&P Dow Jones Indexes.

The Invesco ESG S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSPE) offers the same methodology as RSP but implements a screen for ESG criteria. RSP and RSPE each charge 20 basis points.

For more news, information, and analysis, visit the Portfolio Strategies Channel.