Smart beta assets reach record high

Smart beta assets reach record high

Assets invested in equity smart beta funds reached a new record high at the end of November, according to the latest figures.

A report from independent research and consultancy firm ETFGI found assets invested in equity exchange traded funds (ETFs) with a smart beta overlay hit $497bn (£405bn) in November.

These assets were held by 145 providers on 37 exchanges in 32 countries.

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iShares gathered the largest smart beta equity ETF inflows in November with $2.7bn (£2.2bn), followed by Vanguard with $1.9bn (£1.6bn) and Guggenheim Investments with $652m (£531m).

Research also indicated there were 1,179 smart beta equity ETFs, with 1,990 listings at the end of November. 

In October, a study found advisers' concerns about the complexity of smart beta products had dropped.

This comes despite the investment arm of Standard Life issuing a warning to investors earlier that month, claiming there is a lack of clarity around the investment objectives of smart beta strategies.

Deborah Fuhr, co-founder and managing partner at ETFGI, said the US market had a good month in November, with the S&P 500 up 3.7 per cent. 

Elsewhere she pointed out the strong dollar caused currency headwinds for international markets. 

In Europe, the S&P Europe 350 gained 1.24 per cent in November, with almost all the gains attributable to the UK pound rising faster than the British stock market fell, Ms Fuhr added.

For the year-to-date through to the end of November, smart beta equity ETF assets have increased by 18.1 per cent from $421bn (£343bn).

The report also found that 208 new smart beta equity ETFs were launched by 67 providers across 48 index providers in 18 countries.

Meanwhile, 37 products were delisted from 18 different providers.