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FTSE Russell smart beta surveys

Every year FTSE Russell conducts in-depth research to better understand how smart beta is perceived, considered and used by our various client segments from around the world. You can explore highlights from our current surveys and access previous asset owner and advisor survey results below.

With our 2018 global survey findings from asset owners, we now have five years of clear insight into the major trends at work among global institutional asset owners. 

Notable findings:

A mainstream index-based strategy
In 2014, 25% of investors said they had no current allocation and didn’t plan to evaluate smart beta in the future—in 2018 that number has significantly dropped to only 9%.

Multi-Factors take ‘center stage’
Global asset owner usage of multi-factor combination smart beta strategies has more than doubled since 2015, yet education still remains a major barrier to implementation.


Fundamental falls from favor
Fundamentally-weighted strategy usage has declined by half since 2014.

Putting the “P” in ESG
In our second year of measuring ESG considerations, 44% of asset owners are considering ESG for performance reasons, up 13% from 2017.

Expand your knowledge of smart beta

Review results from past years' asset owner and advisor surveys, read related blogs and in-depth research, and watch informative videos below.

Past advisor survey results

The 2018 FTSE Russell advisor smart beta survey shows a bright future for smart beta among financial advisors in the US, U and Canada, yet a long way to go toward broad based knowledge and usage of smart beta strategies. Request your copy here.

Notable findings:

A bright future
Outlook on future usage is strong in all three countries (more than half of financial advisors surveyed in the UK & Canada and 40% of those surveyed in the US expect to increase usage).


Show me don’t tell me
Financial advisors in the US & Canada are looking for more information about smart beta before increasing their usage while UK advisors are skeptical as to the benefit. Notably, UK advisors express concern about smart beta strategy performance and short track records. In the US, 47% of advisors say they "don’t know enough about" smart beta strategies.


Strategy over tactics
Only 30% of US, 21% of Canadian, and 27% of UK advisors are using smart beta purely as a tactical tool. Most are using smart beta either purely strategically or as a combination of strategy and tactics.


Diversify, diversify, diversify
Financial advisors in all three countries cited "improve diversification" as their first or second reason for implementing smart beta. Yield and income were high in the UK and Canada, but not so much in the US. Inflation protection was ranked number three for Canada but down at 14th and 15th for the US and UK respectively.


Select your vehicle
The majority of US advisors prefer ETFs for smart beta exposure. Mutual funds and separately managed accounts are the dominant vehicles in the UK and Canada.


Past results: