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Do Equal Weight ETFs Beat Cap Weight Counterparts?

July 26, 2022 • Posted in Size Effect

“Stock Size and Excess Stock Portfolio Growth” finds that an equal-weighted portfolio of the (each day) 1,000 largest U.S. stocks beats its market capitalization-weighted counterpart by about 2% per year. However, the underlying research does not account for portfolio rebalancing costs and may not be representative of other stock universes. Do exchange-traded funds (ETF) that implement equal weight for various U.S. stock indexes confirm findings? To investigate, we consider eight equal-weight ETFs, six alive and two dead:

We focus on average return, standard deviation of returns, reward/risk (average return divided by standard deviation of returns), compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and maximum drawdown (MaxDD), all based on monthly data. Using monthly dividend-adjusted prices for the 16 ETFs as available (limited by equal-weighted funds) through June 2022, we find that: (more…)

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