JPMorgan Diversified Return International Equity ETF JPIN leans toward cheaper and higher-quality stocks. But its large sector and country bets can derail performance.
This strategy starts with the FTSE Developed ex North America Index and splits it into four regions and 10 sectors within each region, creating 40 regional sector buckets. It weights each of those segments by the inverse of its historical volatility, pushing the fund toward stable segments of the market and away from those that are more volatile. Within each regional sector, the strategy ranks constituents by their value, momentum, and quality characteristics. It combines these scores into an overall composite score and sweeps the highest-scoring names into the portfolio. Stocks within each regional sector are weighted equally, subject to constraints designed to promote diversification and ease trading.
This portfolio looks substantially different from the market. It tends to lean toward the value, small-size, and quality factors, and it moved to the foreign large-value Morningstar Category from foreign large blend in October 2022. Aside from those risk factors, the portfolio is making a number of active bets that can be counterproductive. For example, the fund's preference for smaller stocks worked to its advantage over the two years through September 2022. However, smaller allocations to the energy and financials sectors erased any benefit and contributed to the fund’s 7.8 annualized shortfall relative to the MSCI ACWI ex USA Value.
Overall, the portfolio possesses some defensive characteristics, but its downside protection has been fickle. J.P. Morgan launched this exchange-traded fund in late 2014 when the market was in a drawdown, and it initially outperformed the MSCI ACWI ex USA Value by 14.5 percentage points from December 2014 through January 2016. Since then, it hasn't provided much shelter from stormy markets. It had a small advantage over the category index during the coronavirus drawdown in early 2020, but it lagged the same benchmark by 5.2 percentage points during the 2022 global market drawdown.