Specifically, the market equity premium reflects the outperformance of stocks over bonds. The small-cap premium corresponds to the outperformance of small-caps over large-caps. The value premium relates to value stocks over growth stocks. Lastly, the profitability premium shows that highly profitable companies tend to do better than less profitable companies.
Hohn also highlighted a study conducted by University of Chicago Professor Eugene Fama and Dartmouth College Professor Kenneth French found that focusing on smaller stocks and those with lower relative prices may improve a portfolio’s expected return. Additionally, in a separate research paper, profitability is seen as another factor that enhances expected returns.
When combined, the various factors may help improve a portfolios risk-adjusted returns over time. Hohn explained that the Dimensional Fund Advisors’ multi-factor strategies selects securities of a specific sector with a desired market capitalization range, with an increase emphasis on higher expected return securities. The securities will exhibit lower relative price, higher profitability and lower market capitalization. Moreover, securities’ weights are capped to diminish concentration.
John Hancock has come out with a number of smart beta ETF options that track indices developed by Dimensional Fund Advisors, including the John Hancock Multifactor Consumer Discretionary ETF (NYSEArca: JHMC), John Hancock Multifactor Financials ETF (NYSEArca: JHMF), John Hancock Multifactor Healthcare ETF (NYSEArca: JHMH), John Hancock Multifactor Technology ETF (NYSEArca: JHMT), John Hancock Multifactor Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: JHMS), John Hancock Multifactor Energy ETF (NYSEArca: JHME), John Hancock Multifactor Industrials ETF (NYSEArca: JHMI), John Hancock Multifactor Materials ETF (NYSEArca: JHMA) and John Hancock Multifactor Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: JHMU). For broader exposure, investors can look to the John Hancock Multifactor Large Cap ETF (NYSEArca: JHML), John Hancock Multifactor Mid Cap ETF (NYSEArca: JHMM) and John Hancock Multifactor Small Cap ETF (NYSEArca: JHSC).
Financial advisors who are interested in learning more about smart beta investments can watch the webcast here on demand.