Best And Worst Q4 2017: Large-Cap Blend ETFs And Mutual Funds – Seeking Alpha

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The Large Cap Blend style ranks first out of the 12 fund styles as detailed in our Q4’17 Style Ratings for ETFs and Mutual Funds report. Last quarter, the Large-Cap Blend style ranked first as well. It gets our Attractive rating, which is based on an aggregation of ratings of 31 ETFs and 793 mutual funds in the Large Cap Blend style. See a recap of our Q3’17 Style Ratings here.

Figures 1 and 2 show the five best and worst rated ETFs and mutual funds in the style. Not all Large Cap Blend style ETFs and mutual funds are created the same. The number of holdings varies widely (from 20 to 1,388). This variation creates drastically different investment implications and, therefore, ratings.

Investors seeking exposure to the Large Cap Blend style should buy one of the Attractive-or-better rated ETFs or mutual funds from Figures 1 and 2.

Our Robo-Analyst technology empowers our unique ETF and mutual fund rating methodology, which leverages our rigorous analysis of each fund’s holdings.[1] We think advisors and investors focused on prudent investment decisions should include analysis of fund holdings in their research process for ETFs and mutual funds.

Figure 1: ETFs with the Best & Worst Ratings – Top 5

* Best ETFs exclude ETFs with TNAs less than $100 million for inadequate liquidity.

Sources: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

State Street SPDR MSCI USA Strategic Factors ETF (QUS) is excluded from Figure 1 because its total net assets are below $100 million and do not meet our liquidity minimums.

Figure 2: Mutual Funds with the Best and Worst Ratings – Top 5

* Best mutual funds exclude funds with TNAs less than $100 million for inadequate liquidity.

Sources: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Nuveen Concentrated Core Fund (NCARX, NCAFX, NCAEX) is excluded from Figure 2 because its total net assets are below $100 million and do not meet our liquidity minimums.

WisdomTree U.S. Earnings 500 Fund (EPS) is the top-rated Large Cap Blend ETF and AMG Yacktman Focused Fund (YAFIX) is the top-rated Large Cap Blend mutual fund. Both earn a Very Attractive rating.

Builders Developed Market 100 ADR Index Fund (ADRD) is the worst rated Large Cap Blend ETF and AmericaFirst Tactical Alpha Fund (ABRFX) is the worst rated Large Cap Blend mutual fund. ADRD earns a Neutral rating and ABRFX earns a Very Unattractive rating.

The Danger Within

Buying a fund without analyzing its holdings is like buying a stock without analyzing its business and finances. Put another way, research on fund holdings is necessary due diligence because a fund’s performance is only as good as its holdings’ performance. Don’t just take our word for it, see what Barron’s says on this matter.

PERFORMANCE OF HOLDINGS = PERFORMANCE OF FUND

Analyzing each holding within funds is no small task. Our Robo-Analyst technology enables us to perform this diligence with scale and provide the research needed to fulfill the fiduciary duty of care. More of the biggest names in the financial industry (see At BlackRock, Machines Are Rising Over Managers to Pick Stocks) are now embracing technology to leverage machines in the investment research process. Technology may be the only solution to the dual mandate for research: cut costs and fulfill the fiduciary duty of care. Investors, clients, advisors and analysts deserve the latest in technology to get the diligence required to make prudent investment decisions.

Figures 3 and 4 show the rating landscape of all Large Cap Blend ETFs and mutual funds.

Figure 3: Separating the Best ETFs from the Worst Funds

Sources: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 4: Separating the Best Mutual Funds from the Worst Funds

Sources: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

This article originally published on October 18, 2017.

Disclosure: David Trainer, Kyle Guske II, and Kenneth James receive no compensation to write about any specific stock, style, or theme.

[1] Ernst & Young’s recent white paper “Getting ROIC Right” proves the superiority of our holdings research and analytics.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.