About the Editor
Ben Johnson, CFA, is director of global ETF research for Morningstar. Before assuming his current role in 2012, he was director of ETF research for Europe and Asia. He also previously served as a senior equity analyst, covering the agriculture and chemicals industries. Before joining Morningstar in 2006, he worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. In 2015, Fund Directions and Fund Action named Johnson among the 2015 Rising Stars of Mutual Funds.


Investment Strategy
Morningstar ETFInvestor scans the globe for value and improving fundamentals across virtually all asset classes. Editor Ben Johnson draws upon academic and practitioner research — including Morningstar's sizeable bench of stock, bond and fund analysts — to find reliable drivers of outperformance.

Morningstar ETFInvestor features five model portfolios.

The Basic Portfolio harnesses the market's collective wisdom with ultra-low-cost funds and is the baseline portfolio against which the three other portfolios will be compared.

The Defensive Portfolio aims to provide lower volatility, better downside protection, and better risk-adjusted performance than the basic portfolio over the long-term.

The Factor Portfolio is designed to earn higher returns than the basic portfolio over the long-term.

The Income Portfolio attempts to earn a higher distribution yield than the basic portfolio, without taking a lot more risk.

The ESG Portfolio targets firms with strong corporate governance and sustainable environmental and social practices, while offering competitive returns and similar risk to the basic portfolio.

 
About Editor Editor's Photo
Ben Johnson, CFA
Director, Global ETF Research and Editor
Ben Johnson, CFA, is director of global ETF research for Morningstar. Before assuming his current role in 2012, he was director of ETF research for Europe and Asia. He also previously served as a senior equity analyst, covering the agriculture and chemicals industries. Before joining Morningstar in 2006, he worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.
Featured Posts
New Issue: What You Need to Know About Low Volatility Funds

The PDF version of the June issue of ETFInvestor is now available for download.

If the link above doesn’t work, you can download this month's issue by copying this address into your browser: http://etf.morningstar.com/Newsletter.aspx?download=currentIssue

This month’s issue focuses on low-volatility stock strategies.

Low-volatility exchange-traded funds aim to give investors a smoother ride in stock markets. Being long stocks with less risk is a compelling proposition. So it’s little surprise that these funds have been popular. Over the trailing five years through February 2020, investors poured a combined $30.2 billion of their hard-earned savings into U.S. large-cap ETFs that focus on dialing down volatility. This represented 306% organic growth over that three-year stretch. But the early-2020 market meltdown and subsequent rebound have put them to the test, and many investors have gotten spooked. These funds saw $18.1 billion in net outflows from March 2020 through May 2021.

In this month’s cover I look at how low-volatility ETFs performed in the 2020 market downdraft and subsequent recovery, examine the differences among them, and share my thoughts on how investors might use them to manage risk in their portfolios.

Here’s a rundown of what else you’ll find in this month’s issue:     

  • This month’s look at the Basic portfolio serves up a reminder that the simplest approach to managing risk may also be the best.
  • Spotlights on Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF SPLV and iShares Edge MSCI Minimum Volatility Emerging Markets ETF EEMV.
  • Daniel Sotiroff looks at some of the hidden risks that might be lurking in low-volatility funds.
  • Ryan Jackson surveys other stock strategies that might indirectly dampen volatility.

Ben

 
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