The Barron’s 400 ETF (NYSE Arca:BFOR), a smart beta exchange-traded fund
that seeks to track the Barron’s 400 Index (B400), has completed its
semi-annual rebalance based on the reconstitution and equal weighting of
its underlying benchmark. The fundamentals-driven B400 was designed to
give investors a means of tracking some of America’s highest-performing
companies based on the strength of their financials and the
attractiveness of their share prices. Launched in 2007 and approaching
its 10th anniversary, B400 was jointly developed by Barron’s,
America’s premier financial magazine, and MarketGrader, an independent
equity research and indexing firm. In order to adhere to B400’s growth
at a reasonable price (GARP) investment philosophy, the Index is
reconstituted and rebalanced twice a year, ensuring B400 is composed of
the top-ranked stocks from the universe of U.S. equities covered by
MarketGrader regardless of sector or market capitalization.
Prominent large-cap additions to B400 include Adobe (ADBE), Carnival
Corporation (CCL), Comcast (CMCSA), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Lowe’s
(LOW) and Northrop Grumman (NOC). Among the 56 companies selected for
the first time are Citizens Financial Group (CFG), Royal Caribbean
Cruises (RCL), Shake Shack (SHAK) and Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG).
Notable large-cap deletions include AT&T (T), Delta (DAL), General
Motors (GM), United Parcel Service (UPS) and Walt Disney (DIS).
On a sector basis, Consumer Discretionary and Technology saw the biggest
net gain in number of constituents, both adding 8 components. Consumer
Discretionary now holds 80 companies, or 20% of the Index, the maximum
sector allocation allowed, joining Financials in hitting its cap.
Industrials, at a 19.25% allocation and Technology, at 18.75%, round out
the top four sectors. Shedding 10 constituents, Health Care had the
biggest net loss, partly as a result of the erosion in fundamental
health of companies in areas such as Biotechnology and Medical
Carlos Diez, CEO and Founder of MarketGrader said, “The new B400 class
again reflects the continued fundamental strength underpinning U.S.
economic growth. The significant representation of consumer-oriented
companies, domestic industrial firms and regional and midsized banks
confirms recent signals about the strength of the U.S. economy and
reinforces many of the arguments made by the Fed last week in justifying
its decision to continue normalizing short-term interest rates.”
From a size perspective, the newly reconstituted B400 reversed a recent
trend of a decreasing large-cap allocation. Large-caps gained 19
companies for a total of 87 components, or 21.75% of the Index, which
came at the expense of mid- and small-caps, which lost 15 and 4 members,
respectively. Diez commented, “This selection class saw B400’s large-cap
allocation return to its historical average after losing members in
recent rebalances due to less attractive valuations, which had resulted,
in part, from heavy investment flows to large-cap index funds prior to
the November election. While the Index still leans towards the mid-cap
‘sweet spot’ of the market, the increase in large-caps reflects the
selective GARP opportunities that have opened up in the large company
The reconstitution has once again raised the fundamental health of the
Index; the average MarketGrader score for B400 companies is now 67.0,
compared to 62.6 for the September selection class. This increase is a
function of B400’s design, which selects the 400 highest scoring
companies in the U.S. every six months. Deleted companies had an average
score of 53.9 representative of their diminished appeal to B400’s
rigorous selection parameters, while incoming selections had an average
score of 64.9. MarketGrader’s equity rating system assigns nearly all
investable U.S. stocks a grade on a scale of 0-100 based on a
proprietary combination of 24 fundamental indicators across 4 categories
of fundamental analysis – growth, value, profitability and cash flow –
picking the top ranking companies for BFOR’s underlying Index after
screening for size and sector diversification as well as liquidity.
In total, 165 companies were added to the Index upon the rebalance, a
turnover rate of 41.25%, in line with B400’s historical turnover. 78
companies have been members of the Index for at least 2 consecutive
years (4 reconstitutions). Of this group, 19 constituents have been B400
members for at least 5 years, including Apple (AAPL), Biogen (BIIB),
Home Depot (HD), MarketAxess Holdings (MKTX), MasterCard (MA), Nike
(NKE), O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY), Priceline Group (PCLN) and Ulta
B400’s constituents are equal weighted, each representing 0.25% of the
Index upon rebalance, eliminating the tendency in traditional market
capitalization weighted indexes of the largest companies to
disproportionately impact performance.
For more information about the Barron’s 400 ETF (BFOR) please visit http://www.barrons400etf.com.
MarketGrader is a Miami-based provider of independent global equity
research and indices that was founded on the belief that fundamental
analysis and transparency are central to better investment
decision-making. Formed in 1999, MarketGrader offers investors an online
research service that aggregates financial data
on publicly traded companies and analyzes them based on a proprietary
quantitative methodology using 24 fundamental indicators across growth,
value, profitability and cash flow. The company’s growth at a reasonable
price (GARP) methodology is designed to identify consistent creators of
economic value, as it believes such stocks are the best long-term
generators of shareholder value. Since its first index was constructed
in 2003, MarketGrader Indices have provided an alternative to
traditional market capitalization weighted benchmarks, selecting
constituents based on fundamentals rather than size. MarketGrader
Indices cover Domestic, International and Global equities from a global
universe of more than 35,000 companies in 93 countries, representing
over $70 trillion in market capitalization. In 2007, MarketGrader
created the Barron’s 400 Index in conjunction with Barron’s, America’s
premier financial magazine. Follow us on Twitter @MarketGrader and
connect with us on LinkedIn.
Through its subsidiary companies, ALPS Holdings, Inc. is a leading
provider of innovative investment products and customized servicing
solutions to the financial services industry. Founded in 1985,
Denver-based ALPS delivers its asset management and asset servicing
solutions through offices in Boston, New York, Seattle, and Toronto.
ALPS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kansas City-based DST Systems, Inc.
For more information about ALPS and its services, visit www.alpsinc.com.
Information about ALPS products is available at www.alpsfunds.com.
An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, charges
and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus, which
contains this and other information, call 1.855.724.0450 or visit www.barrons400etf.com.
Read the prospectus carefully before investing.
There are risks involved with investing in ETFs including the loss
of money. Additional information regarding the risks of this investment
is available in the risks section of the prospectus.
Barron’s 400SM ETF shares are not
individually redeemable. Investors buy and sell shares of the Barron’s
400SM ETF on a secondary market. Only market
makers or “authorized participants” may trade directly with the Fund,
typically in blocks of 50,000 shares.
ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. is the distributor for the
Barron’s 400SM ETF.
“The Barron’s 400 IndexSM” is calculated by
NYSE Euronext or its affiliates and published by MarketGrader.
“Barron’s®,” “Barron’s 400SM” and
“Barron’s 400 IndexSM” are trademarks or
service marks of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. or its affiliates and have
been licensed to MarketGrader. One cannot invest directly in an index.
Barron’s© is a service mark of Dow Jones &
Company, Inc. and has been licensed to MarketGrader Capital LLC for use
with the Barron’s 400 IndexSM and sublicensed
for certain purposes by ALPS Advisors, Inc. ALPS’s Barron’s 400SM
ETF based on the Barron’s 400 IndexSM, is not
sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Dow Jones, or its affiliates,
and Dow Jones and its affiliates make no representation regarding the
advisability of investing in such product.
ALPS, A DST Company, and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc.
are not affiliated with Barron’s or MarketGrader.