Low Volatility Is Still In High Demand - Commentary

Low Volatility Is Still In High Demand - Commentary Updated: 6/12/2013

By: David Fabian, Special NASDAQ OMX Global Index Watch Contributor

The first low volatility exchange-traded fund was released in 2011 as the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (SPLV). This ETF quickly garnered billions of dollars in assets as investors sought to diversify their portfolios with a unique equity index strategy that is designed to select stocks with lower price fluctuations. The success of this product quickly led to additional offerings from both PowerShares and iShares in emerging market, international, global, and small/mid-cap stocks.  

The basis behind the strategy for these funds is to take the underlying S&P or MSCI indexes and identify a subset of stocks (typically 80-200) that have the lowest price volatility for the last quarter. What you are left with is a unique portfolio of equities that typically have very steady returns and stable price movement. The make-up of low volatility funds is commonly focused in the areas of consumer staples, utilities, financial, and health care sectors. One additional benefit to a concentrated mix of stocks in these defensive sectors is the above average yield. However, the asset allocation can vary depending on the region or market capitalization of the underlying index.

Read the entire article here.

Nasdaq® and Nasdaq® are registered trademarks of The Nasdaq Group, Inc. The information contained above is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing contained herein should be construed as investment advice, either on behalf of a particular security or an overall investment strategy. Neither The Nasdaq Group, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any recommendation to buy or sell any security or any representation about the financial condition of any company. Statements regarding Nasdaq-listed companies or Nasdaq proprietary indexes are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investors should undertake their own due diligence and carefully evaluate companies before investing. ADVICE FROM A SECURITIES PROFESSIONAL IS STRONGLY ADVISED.

© 2015. The Nasdaq Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.