RAFI™ Low Volatility™

FTSE RAFI Low Volatility seeks to efficiently reduce equity risk, while maintaining attractive valuations and broadly diversified market exposures.



Emphasizes debt-service capacity


Capitalizes on observable inefficiencies


Focuses on implementation

FTSE RAFI Low Volatility seeks to efficiently reduce equity risk, while maintaining attractive valuations and broadly diversified market exposures.

Equity markets can suffer uncomfortable drawdowns when stock prices deviate from fair value. Research has shown that stocks with lower volatility tend to outperform stocks with higher volatility, but solely focusing on reducing volatility can inadvertently result in a portfolio with overpriced holdings and concentrated bets.

Thoughtful design built on the Fundamental Index™ approach.

Emphasizes debt-service capacity

Fundamental measures are used to sever the link between outstanding debt and portfolio weight. This approach avoids overexposure to companies or countries with high debt burdens, resulting in higher credit quality and improved risk-adjusted returns.

Avoids overpriced low-volatility stocks 

Investing in low-volatility stocks trading at high valuation multiples erodes the return benefit of low-volatility strategies. The FTSE RAFI Low Volatility Index employs a valuation screen to avoid investing in extremely expensive stocks.

Builds on the RAFI Fundamental Index approach

In selecting and weighting low-volatility securities by fundamental measures of company size, the FTSE RAFI Low Volatility Index series retains all the benefits of the Fundamental Index approach: potential for outperformance, ease of implementation, low cost, and broad diversification.

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Optimized minimum variance strategies are a proven approach to low volatility investing. The optimization must be constrained, however, to build investable portfolios. Among other side effects, the constraints result in higher volatility and less diversification. Published in the Financial Analysts Journal.
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In this study, the authors examine the hypothetical performance of various low volatility strategies in historical U.S., global developed, and emerging markets.

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