“Since year-end 1989, there have been six calendar years of negative performance for the S&P 500—and in all six years, the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats outperformed the equity benchmark by an average of 13.28%. In fact, the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats produced a positive total return in three of those years,” according to S&P Dow Jones.

NOBL’s fourth-quarter performance indicates the ETF did outperform the S&P 500 as the broader market tumbled. From October 1, 2018 through November 23, 2018, NOBL fell 4.38%, meaning it outperformed the S&P 500 by 500 basis points over that period, according to ProShares data.

“Additionally, we observe that the average excess return over the S&P 500 was higher in the most negative months. Since 1989, the S&P 500 has lost 5% or more in 31 out of 348 months (~9% of the time). In these months, the average excess return for the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats was 2.46%, with a hit rate of 81%,” notes S&P Dow Jones.

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