Today’s market landscape is presenting investors with a challenging environment where value is starting to supplant growth in what has been a historical bull run the past decade. Investors who haven’t yet considered the benefits of smart beta exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may want to see which ones have been the most active thus far to see where the action lies.

Smart beta ETFs offer investors a different look as opposed to the run-of-the-mill passive index strategy and with the latest market volatility, investors may want to reconsider adding more value as opposed to growth in their portfolios.

A market-capitalization-weighted index provides clients with exposure to a particular market based on security prices, without considering any true company fundamental to judge its value. However, the Great Recession of 2008 roiled investors with deep declines that they were not anticipating, as a result of overexposure to potentially overpriced stocks relative to their true value.

As such, things began to change, with many financial advisors shifting to smart beta strategies in the past 10 years. The first aspect to touch upon was the limitations of a market cap weighted index, which would then warrant the need for smart beta and factor strategies.

Given certain market conditions, investors need more than just a passive index that goes beyond a one-size-fits-all template that uses market cap weighting. While these indexes provided simple, low-cost solutions, the need for even greater scrutiny is necessary in the quest for more alpha —a case for smart beta.

Through smart beta, investors get adaptable exposure with the rules-based approach in conjunction with reaping the rewards of diversification via access to a broad market index. In addition, the simplicity of buying a broad-based market index has a concentration of risk, and should a market correction ensue comparable to that witnessed in the fourth quarter, investors are left vulnerable.

As such, smart beta strategies can be segmented into alternatively weighted, single factor and multi factor strategies–the latter to diversify concentration in a specific factor–low or minimum volatility, momentum, size, quality, yield, and value.

Investors considering smart beta ETF exposure may want to consider the most active funds:

SymbolETF NameAvg Volume
AMLPAlerian MLP ETF13,615,763.00
USMViShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF4,456,988.00
XBISPDR S&P Biotech ETF4,060,408.00
SPLVInvesco S&P 500® Low Volatility ETF3,775,152.00
EPIWisdomTree India Earnings Fund1,615,332.00
IWDiShares Russell 1000 Value ETF1,494,155.00
IWFiShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF1,398,497.00
PCYInvesco Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt ETF1,352,991.00
DGROiShares Core Dividend Growth ETF1,329,865.00
SPYGSPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF1,276,666.00

 

For more market trends, visit ETF Trends.