This article was originally published on Investopedia.
Only nine funds have added more assets since the start of the year than the iShares Edge MSCI USA Momentum Factor ETF (MTUM) and clients are buying into the notion that there is more to come — literally.
Since the start of the year, the momentum investing fund added $1.8 billion in assets under management, almost a quarter of the fund's $7.65 billion.
Heading into 2018, there was ample speculation that the value factor would finally re-emerge against growth and momentum fare. While that could still prove to be true, MTUM is already up 7.43% year to date, and data suggests MTUM and momentum investing may have more tailwinds than headwinds this year.
“History reveals this factor is rewarded in times of economic growth — and that support remains firmly in place, we believe,” BlackRock said in a recent note. “We expect the global economic expansion to continue through 2018, and see upside to consensus forecasts amid tax cuts and robust government spending in the U.S.”
MTUM, which turns five years old this year, follows the MSCI USA Momentum Index. That benchmark “is designed to reflect the performance of an equity momentum strategy by emphasizing stocks with high price momentum, while maintaining reasonably high trading liquidity, investment capacity and moderate index turnover,” according to MSCI.
MTUM holds 124 stocks, a combined 59% of which are from the technology and financial services sectors. The ETF's other significant sector weights include healthcare and industrials, which combine for over 30% of its roster. Top 10 holdings in the fund include Microsoft, Apple and Nvidia.
Momentum strategies could also be supported by rising earnings, according to experts.
“Looking at MSCI indexes, we find: U.S. earnings growth of 11% in 2017 was the strongest since 2011," BlackRock said.
What’s the world’s largest asset manager expecting in 2018? “Nearly 20%, with tax cuts providing a boost and lifting earnings growth prospects by 7%.”