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Separating True Innovation From Marketing Fads - From Journal of Indexes

Last year, 157 new ETFs and ETNs were launched in the United States - one-tenth of the total of 1,546, according to ETF.com. But how many of these new funds can be called real "innovations"? Take the hottest area of the market: what many investors call "smart beta", "strategic beta" or "factor investing". These are index strategies that take bets against the market in an attempt to either deliver risk-adjusted outperformance or to capture some particular factor approach.