Indexing Beats Smart-Beta Track Record

Many smart-beta funds– which develop portfolios focusing on various factors such as low volatility, value, or momentum– have underperformed the market, especially after accounting for fees and expenses. This according to a recent MarketWatch article which concludes, “Tally another point in the pro-indexing column.” While the article points out that the rate of outperformance depends […]

Simple is Smart in Smart-Beta Investing

Using a database of over 20 countries, a team of British academics tested the five most popular smart beta factors to see whether they would have proven successful over time. This according to a recent article in the Financial Times. The factors studied and respective finds are as follows: Low-risk: the highest returns “come from […]

Rob Arnott Says Clock is Ticking on Smart Beta ETFs

A smart-beta pioneer, Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates warns that these investment vehicles are in a bubble, says an article in last week’s Bloomberg. Smart-beta ETFs organize securities based on quantitative factors like volatility or “cheapness”, and the article explains that Arnott’s position is nothing new (he publicly battled with Cliff Asness on the topic […]

Is Smart-Beta Investing Smart?

Smart-beta investing is getting a lot of attention and Chris Brightman, chief investment officer of Research Affiliates, has covered a lot of ground in this territory. However, while this investment methodology has been gaining popularity, Research Affiliates is warning investors that a crash may be coming. In a recent interview with Barron’s, Brightman shares his […]

Asness vs. Arnott on Smart Beta, Factor Timing, and Performance Chasing

Cliff Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, added fuel to the debate over “smart beta” investing with a recent paper attacking arguments made by Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates. Arnott, once understood as a proponent of smart beta approaches due to his research and development of fundamental indexing, claimed that many smart beta exchange traded […]

Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates Says a “Smart-Beta Crash” is “Reasonably Likely”

MarketWatch reports that Rob Arnott, chairman of Research Affiliates, says that smart beta has now become so popular that it is dangerous. Arnott, whose research helped to fuel interest in smart beta funds, says that a “smart-beta crash” is “reasonably likely.” Smart beta funds have focused on stocks with characteristics such as low volatility or […]

The Risk of Investing in “Smart Beta” Funds

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig cautions readers against blindly investing in popular “smart beta” funds. He notes that a recent Research Affiliates study suggests “their low risk in the past may lead to higher risk in the future.” These “smart beta” funds are “backed by research purporting to show [they] ha[ve] beaten […]