Smart Beta ETFs: Summing it All Up

This is Part 10 in a series about smart beta ETFs. See below for links to other posts in the series. In this final installment, we review what we’ve learned and consider the pitfalls of embracing smart beta strategies.


At last we arrive at the final post in this series on smart beta ETFs. From the comments, tweets and few cancelled subscriptions, I know some readers didn’t make it this far. Even if you stuck it out, you’re probably asking why I’ve devoted so much space to this technical subject. After all, I’ve spent years arguing that investors should keep things simple with traditional index funds and ETFs, and let go of the dream there’s something better out there. Have I changed my tune and embraced a strategy that strives to beat the market by tilting toward value stocks, small caps, momentum, low volatility and high-quality companies?

Let’s be clear: I haven’t changed my position. I still recommend plain old cap-weighted ETFs for DIY investors, and our full-service clients. I still use them in my own portfolio.

So why devote so much space to smart beta?

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