Is it smart to buy smart beta?
Much has been said and written about smart beta with the latest Economist’s Buttonwood being a recent example. Supporters are typically those launching products, managing quantitative or factor based portfolios or offering related (‘indexing’) services. There are also many voices of caution suggesting care is needed to really understand what is being bought before making allocations. There are also sceptics some of whom say market capitalisation weighted indices will ultimately, in the long run, be best and/or that turn over costs significantly impact smart beta performance and some even go as far as to suggest the concept is actually smart marketing and is designed to help mitigate management fee compression.
I think the best way to answer the question is to put yourself in the potential smart beta buyers position.
Read the full piece here.