State Street Global Advisors is the latest exchange traded fund provider to roll out low-volatility ETFs, which have been very popular with investors who want stock exposure with some downside cushion.
SMLV tries to reflect the performance of the Russell 2000 Low Volatility Index, which is comprised of small-cap stocks with the least volatility over the last 252 trading days. The fund has 170 holdings, and the largest holding makes up 2.11% of the overall portfolio. SMLV comes with a 0.25% expense ratio.
Sector allocations include financials 31.2%, utilities 16.4%, industrials 15.5%, consumer discretionary 10.2%, information technology 9.7%, health care 6.0%, consumer staples 5.0%, materials 4.3% and energy 1.8%.
LGLV tries to reflect the performance of the Russell 1000 Low Volatility Index, which holds large-cap stocks with the least least volatility over the previous 252 trading days. The fund has 92 holdings, and the largest component is 2.4% of the portfolio. LGLV has a 0.20% expense ratio.
Sector allocations include consumer staples 20.5%, health care 16.1%, industrials 13.8%, utilities 12.8%, financials 10.2%, consumer discretionary 8.4%, information technology 7.3%, energy 5.8%, telecom services 3.7% and materials 1.5%.
"Our new low volatility SPDR ETFs were developed in response to increasing demand from investors looking to improve the risk adjusted returns of their portfolio, increase their equity allocation while maintaining downside protection, or tactically take a more defensive approach to the U.S. large cap or small cap markets," James Ross, senior managing director and global head of SPDR Exchange Traded Funds at SSgA, said in the press release.
However, low-volatility Russell index ETFs did not grab investors' attention last year. The now defunct Russell 1000 Low Volatility ETF (former ticker LVOL) and Russell 2000 Low Volatility ETF (former ticker SLVY) closed on October 24, 2012.
Max Chen contributed to this article.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.