An Effective Approach to Reducing Volatility

With equity market volatility remaining low, some investors may be inclined to take on more risk. Still, low volatility strategies remain among the most popular smart beta methodologies and some volatility-reducing ETFs have recently been generating solid returns.

That includes the VictoryShares US 500 Volatility Wtd ETF (NasdaqGM: CFA), which is up nearly 12% year-to-date and currently resides new record highs.

While low-vol ETFs may only hold companies that tend to exhibit smaller swings using the factor as a selection, the VictoryShares suite starts with the broad market and screens for companies with four quarters of positive earnings. Those stocks are then weighted based on their standard deviation over the past 180 trading days. Stocks with lower volatility are given higher weightings and stocks with greater volatility are given lower weightings. Ultimately, all securities that pass the earnings criteria are present, just at different weights.

CFA, which is more than three years old, tracks the CEMP US Large Cap 500 Volatility Weighted Index. CFA’s stablemates include the VictoryShares US 500 Enhanced Volatility Wtd ETF (CFO), and the VictoryShares US EQ Income Enhanced Volatility Wtd ETF (CDC). All three have been impressive performers over the past three years.