By Heather Bell
Companies offering fundamentally weighted ETFs have launched a lot of funds over the past year, but one thing we haven't seen yet are traditional "style" funds. That makes sense, as fundamental indexes tend to be value-tilted. As a matter of fact, some people would already consider them to be style indexes, just leaning towards the value side.
With growth stocks outperforming value over recent months, and demand for growth funds growing, WisdomTree (WSDT.PK) now wants to change that. The company has filed to launch funds that use a new indexing methodology---combining its dividend and earnings weighting methodologies with a novel growth screen to create the first fundamentally weighted growth funds on the market.
The company has filed for two growth funds: the WisdomTree LargeCap Growth Fund will cover the U.S., while the WisdomTree International LargeCap Growth Fund will cover emerging and developed markets, excluding the U.S.
The indexes take a multi-factored approach to determining what makes a company a growth company, considering annual earnings per share growth, annual sales per share growth, annual book value per share growth and annual stock price growth. The largest 1,000 eligible stocks for each market are ranked by those four factors, with the top 30% included in the indexes.
From there, WisdomTree applies its weighting methodologies. Curiously, the U.S. fund will be weighted by earnings, while the international fund will be dividend weighted.
The result is an unusual combo: The stocks will be selected according to a growth strategy, but weighted according to two methods that are somewhat value-biased.
In any case, the proposed funds will definitely add a new dimension to WisdomTree's range of offerings should they launch. The real question is whether investors will respond.