Value stocks are supposed to be inexpensive to other factor-based strategies, including growth, but that chasm is becoming historically wide and there are good reasons for that scenario.
“Multiple expansion, i.e., paying more for a dollar of earnings, has played a part as well,” said BlackRock in a recent note. “Since the 2011 market bottom, the trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio for the Russell 1000 Growth Index is up roughly 65%. In contrast, the value index’s P/E ratio has expanded by a more modest 40%.”
Making value investors’ tasks even more difficult is the massive performance gulf between the growth and value factors, one that has been long-running by historical standards.
“Growth’s recent out-performance conforms to the post-crisis norm,” said BlackRock in a recent note. “Focusing on price returns, since 2010 growth has outperformed value by an average of approximately 350 bps a year. The outperformance has not only been meaningful, it has been consistent. During the past five years value has only outperformed meaningfully on one occasion, 2016.”
That trend is continuing this year. Through June 13, the S&P Growth Index is up 18.2% year-to-date compared to 14.3% for the S&P 500 Value Index. Other data points confirm value is getting really, really cheap.
“JPMorgan tracks value through a basket of 100 stocks picked for their low price-to-book value, price-to-earnings ratio, and price-to-sales ratio, among other indicators,” reports CNBC. “This collection of stocks is trading at their cheapest valuations ever and at their largest discount to the market in decades.”
So yes, for patient investors, some of the best exchange-traded funds to consider may just be value funds. With that in mind, these are some of the best ETFs to consider when looking for exposure to the value factor.
JPMorgan U.S. Value Factor ETF (JVAL)
Expense Ratio: 0.12%, or $12 annually per $10,000 invested
The JPMorgan U.S. Value Factor ETF (NYSEARCA:JVAL) turns two years old in November and targets the JP Morgan US Value Factor Index. The index “is comprised of US securities selected from the Russell 1000 Index and uses a rules-based risk allocation and factor selection process developed in conjunction with J.P. Morgan Asset Management,” according to FTSE Russell.
JVAL is one of the best ETFs for investors looking for a cost-effective, traditional approach to value stocks. The fund holds 278 stocks, which is in the middle of roster size among the best ETFs in the value space. When speaking of traditional value exposure, that often includes large weights to the financial services and energy sectors. JVAL does allocate 18.7% of its weight to the financial services sector, which could be of benefit to income investors as bank stocks continue to bolstering dividends.
“Most of the largest U.S. banks subject to the annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review should notch double-digit dividend increases over the next 12 months, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods,” reports Barron’s.
Another aspect that makes JVAL one of the best ETFs for investors looking for a value surprise is its 21.2% exposure to technology stocks.
Deep Value ETF (DVP)
Expense Ratio: 0.59%
An oft-overlooked value fund, the Deep Value ETF (NYSEARCA:DPV) is not a small fund as it has nearly $254 million in assets under management and it is one of the best ETFs for investors seeking mid-cap value exposure. DVP is nearly five years old and is a highly concentrated fund that tracks the TWM Deep Value Index.
“The Index is comprised of 20 undervalued dividend paying stocks within the SP 500 Index with solid balance sheets, earnings and strong free cash flow,” according to the issuer. “The companies within the Index are weighted based on a rules-based assessment of their valuations so that stocks that are most attractively valued receive a higher weight.”
DVP is also one of the best ETFs looking for a unique approach to value. The fund allocates nearly 60% of its combined weight to consumer cyclical and technology stocks, giving it the feel of a growth ETF, not a value fund. Over the past three years, DVP has outperformed the MSCI USA Large Cap Value Index though the value fund is scuffling this year.
Acquirers Fund (ZIG)
Expense Ratio: 0.94%
The Acquirers Fund (NYSEARCA:ZIG) is one of the newest value funds and a pricey one at that because it is an actively managed long/short strategy. Still, ZIG could prove to be one of the best ETFs in the value arena because of the strict approach its managers take to value investing.
“ZIG is a 130/30 long/short deep-value strategy that is designed to track, before fees and expenses, the performance of The Acquirer’s Index,” according to Acquirers Funds. “For both long and short positions, a stock must be listed in the U.S. and have a market cap in the largest 25 percent of all companies by market cap. From that universe of equities, ZIG’s rules-based index will hold the 30 most deeply undervalued, fundamentally strong stocks in the ‘long’ portion of its portfolio, while its short portfolio will consist of the 30 stocks deemed to be most overvalued, and fundamentally weak.”
For investors looking to go above and beyond the traditional value strategy while exploiting some financially dubious companies, ZIG could be one of the best ETFs to consider.
As of this writing, Todd Shriber did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.