Style Ratings For ETFs & Mutual Funds: 4Q18

David Trainer  |

At the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2018, only the Large Cap Value, Large Cap Blend, and All Cap Blend styles earn an Attractive-or-better rating. Our style ratings are based on the normalized aggregation of our fund ratings for every ETF and mutual fund in each style. Our fund ratings are based on aggregations of the ratings of the stocks they hold. See last quarter’s Style Ratings here.

The Large Cap Blend and Large Cap Value styles house the most Attractive-or-better rated funds. Figures 4 through 7 provide more details. The primary driver behind an Attractive fund rating is good portfolio management, or good stock picking, with low total annual costs.

Attractive-or-better ratings do not always correlate with Attractive-or-better total annual costs. This fact underscores that (1) cheap funds can dupe investors and (2) investors should invest only in funds with good stocks and low fees.

Our Robo-Analyst technology[1] empowers our unique ETF and mutual fund rating methodology, which leverages our rigorous analysis of each fund’s holdings.[2]

See Figures 4 through 13 for a detailed breakdown of ratings distributions by investment style.

Figure 1: Ratings for All Investment Styles

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

To earn an Attractive-or-better Predictive Rating, an ETF or mutual fund must have high-quality holdings and low costs. Only the top 30% of all ETFs and mutual funds earn our Attractive or better rating.

ETF Series Aptus Fortified Value ETF (FTVA) is the top-rated Large Cap Value fund. It gets our Very Attractive rating by allocating over 60% of its value to Attractive-or-better-rated stocks.

BMO Small Cap Growth Fund (BSLAX) is the worst rated Small Cap Growth fund. It gets our Very Unattractive rating by allocating over 48% of its value to Unattractive-or-worse-rated stocks. Making matters worse, it charges investors total annual costs of 5.13%.

Figure 2 shows the distribution of our Predictive Ratings for all investment style ETFs and mutual funds.

Figure 2: Distribution of ETFs & Mutual Funds (Assets and Count) by Predictive Rating

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 3 offers additional details on the quality of the investment style funds. Note that the average total annual cost of Very Unattractive funds is over four times that of Very Attractive funds.

Figure 3: Predictive Rating Distribution Stats

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

* Avg TAC = Weighted Average Total Annual Costs

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

This table shows that only the best of the best funds get our Very Attractive Rating: they must hold good stocks AND have low costs. Investors deserve to have the best of both and we are here to give it to them.

Ratings by Investment Style

Figure 4 presents a mapping of Very Attractive funds by investment style. The chart shows the number of Very Attractive funds in each style and the percentage of assets allocated to Very Attractive-rated funds.

Figure 4: Very Attractive ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 5 presents the data charted in Figure 4.

Figure 5: Very Attractive ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 6 presents a mapping of Attractive funds by investment style. The chart shows the number of Attractive funds in each style and the percentage of assets allocated to Attractive-rated funds.

Figure 6: Attractive ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 7 presents the data charted in Figure 6.

Figure 7: Attractive ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 8 presents a mapping of Neutral funds by investment style. The chart shows the number of Neutral funds in each style and the percentage of assets allocated to Neutral-rated funds.

Figure 8: Neutral ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 9 presents the data charted in Figure 8.

Figure 9: Neutral ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 10 presents a mapping of Unattractive funds by investment style. The chart shows the number of Unattractive funds in each style and the percentage of assets allocated to Unattractive-rated funds.

The landscape of style ETFs and mutual funds is littered with Unattractive funds. Investors in Small Cap Value have put over 76% of their assets in Unattractive-rated funds.

Figure 10: Unattractive ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 11 presents the data charted in Figure 10.

Figure 11: Unattractive ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 12 presents a mapping of Very Unattractive funds by investment style. The chart shows the number of Very Unattractive funds in each style and the percentage of assets allocated to Very Unattractive-rated funds.

Figure 12: Very Unattractive ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 13 presents the data charted in Figure 12.

Figure 13: Very Unattractive ETFs & Mutual Funds by Investment Style

Image Source: New Constructs, LLC

Source: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

This article originally published on October 17, 2018.

Disclosure: David Trainer and Kyle Guske II receive no compensation to write about any specific stock, sector or theme.

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[1] Harvard Business School features the powerful impact of our research automation technology in the case New Constructs: Disrupting Fundamental Analysis with Robo-Analysts.

[2] Ernst & Young’s recent white paper “Getting ROIC Right” proves the superiority of our holdings research and analytics.

DISCLOSURE: Disclosure: David Trainer and Kyle Guske II receive no compensation to write about any specific stock, sector or theme.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

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