Smart beta exchange-traded funds (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.

One ETF option is the Deep Value ETF (NYSE: DVP), which seeks to track the price and total return performance of the Deep Value Index. The index is composed of the common stock of typically 20 companies included in the S&P 500 that have been selected through a proprietary ranking system developed by the fund’s index provider, that evaluates the earnings and cash flows of each company to create a final universe of companies that are deeply undervalued as compared to the S&P 500 overall.

Another option is the Vanguard Value Index Fund ETF Shares (NYSEArca: VTV). VTV seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization value stocks.

The fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Large Cap Value Index, a broadly diversified index predominantly made up of value stocks of large U.S. companies. The advisor attempts to replicate the target index by investing all, or substantially all, of its assets in the stocks that make up the index, holding each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the index.

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