Investments in smart beta have increased from less than €2 billion in 2004 to nearly €73 billion at end December 2014.
The number of funds in this category has almost tripled in the last five years, from 123 funds in 2009 to 345 funds in 2014.
The report from Morningstar, sponsored by State Street Global Advisors and entitled “The State of Advanced Beta in Europe”, also showed that over 85% of total assets invested in smart beta are invested in equity products. The second most popular asset class is fixed income, with 9.9% of total assets.
Under Morningstar classification, the most popular strategies in Europe are low volatility/equal weight. There was more than €26 billion invested in 106 funds in this joint category, as at the end of 2014. Dividend and fundamental weight strategies followed, with over €22 billion and €18 billion, respectively.
“Demand for [smart beta] funds has increased over the last couple of years and looks likely to continue to increase,” says the report.
Morningstar suggests equity funds will continue to dominate in smart beta, but fixed income products will grow their presence in the coming year. New hybrids, for example multifactor funds that combine factors such as low volatility, quality and value, are expected to become more prevalent.
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