Factor-Based Investing Strategies | Morgan Stanley


1 Dividend yield is a financial ratio that shows the value of the dividend a company pays its shareholder, expressed as a percentage of the share price.

Risk Considerations

For index, indicator and survey definitions referenced in this report please visit the following:


The Global Investment Committee (GIC) is a group of seasoned investment professionals from Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management who meet regularly to discuss the global economy and markets. The committee determines the investment outlook that guides our advice to clients. They continually monitor developing economic and market conditions, review tactical outlooks and recommend asset allocation model weightings, as well as produce a suite of strategy, analysis, commentary, portfolio positioning suggestions and other reports and broadcasts.

Steve Edwards is not a member of the Global Investment Committee and any implementation strategies suggested have not been reviewed or approved by the Global Investment Committee.


Drawdown refers to the largest cumulative percentage decline in net asset value or the percentage decline from the highest value or net asset value (peak) to the lowest value net asset value (trough) after the peak.

Excess return represents the average quarterly total return of the portfolio relative to its benchmark. A portfolio with a positive excess return has on average outperformed its benchmark on a quarterly basis. This statistic is obtained by subtracting the benchmark return from the portfolio’s return.

Volatility This is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.

Risk Considerations

There is no assurance that performance will be enhanced or risk will be reduced by pursuing a “smart beta” strategy. Investment factors that may lead to outperformance against an index may also entail additional or unique risks not associated with that index. Exposure to such investment factors may detract from performance in some market environments, perhaps for extended periods. ETFs that pursue this strategy often incur greater internal trading costs than traditional index-tracking ETFs, and may trade at an execution price further away from their underlying net asset value than traditional index-tracking ETFs.


Equity securities may fluctuate in response to news on companies, industries, market conditions and general economic environment.

Investing in small- to medium-sized companies entails special risks, such as limited product lines, markets and financial resources, and greater volatility than securities of larger, more established companies.

Bonds are subject to interest rate risk. When interest rates rise, bond prices fall; generally the longer a bond’s maturity, the more sensitive it is to this risk. Bonds may also be subject to call risk, which is the risk that the issuer will redeem the debt at its option, fully or partially, before the scheduled maturity date. The market value of debt instruments may fluctuate, and proceeds from sales prior to maturity may be more or less than the amount originally invested or the maturity value due to changes in market conditions or changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Bonds are subject to the credit risk of the issuer. This is the risk that the issuer might be unable to make interest and/or principal payments on a timely basis. Bonds are also subject to reinvestment risk, which is the risk that principal and/or interest payments from a given investment may be reinvested at a lower interest rate.

An investment in an exchange-traded fund involves risks similar to those of investing in a broadly based portfolio of equity securities traded on an exchange in the relevant securities market, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in stock and bond prices. Investing in an international ETF also involves certain risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in an ETF that invests in the securities of U.S. issues, such as political, currency, economic and market risks. These risks are magnified in countries with emerging markets, since these countries may have relatively unstable governments and less established markets and economics. ETFs investing in physical commodities and commodity or currency futures have special tax considerations. Physical commodities may be treated as collectibles subject to a maximum 28% long-term capital gains rates, while futures are marked-to-market and may be subject to a blended 60% long- and 40% short-term capital gains tax rate. Rolling futures positions may create taxable events. For specifics and a greater explanation of possible risks with ETFs¸ along with the ETF’s investment objectives, charges and expenses, please consult a copy of the ETF’s prospectus.  Investing in sectors may be more volatile than diversifying across many industries. The investment return and principal value of ETF investments will fluctuate, so an investor’s ETF shares (Creation Units), if or when sold, may be worth more or less than the original cost.  ETFs are redeemable only in Creation Unit size through an Authorized Participant and are not individually redeemable from an ETF.

Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the fund(s) carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the fund(s). To obtain a prospectus, contact your financial advisor. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

The returns on a portfolio consisting primarily of environmental, social, and governance-aware investments (ESG) may be lower or higher than a portfolio that is more diversified or where decisions are based solely on investment considerations. Because ESG criteria exclude some investments, investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria.

Companies paying dividends can reduce or cut payouts at any time.

Asset allocation and diversification do not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining financial markets.

Nondiversification:  For a portfolio that holds a concentrated or limited number of securities, a decline in the value of these investments would cause the portfolio’s overall value to decline to a greater degree than a less concentrated portfolio.  Portfolios that invest a large percentage of assets in only one industry sector (or in only a few sectors) are more vulnerable to price fluctuation than those that diversify among a broad range of sectors.

Growth investing does not guarantee a profit or eliminate risk. The stocks of these companies can have relatively high valuations. Because of these high valuations, an investment in a growth stock can be more risky than an investment in a company with more modest growth expectations.

Value investing does not guarantee a profit or eliminate risk. Not all companies whose stocks are considered to be value stocks are able to turn their business around or successfully employ corrective strategies which would result in stock prices that do not rise as initially expected.

Rebalancing does not protect against a loss in declining financial markets. There may be a potential tax implication with a rebalancing strategy. Investors should consult with their tax advisor before implementing such a strategy.

The indices are unmanaged. An investor cannot invest directly in an index. They are shown for illustrative purposes only and do not represent the performance of any specific investment.

The indices selected by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management to measure performance are representative of broad asset classes. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management retains the right to change representative indices at any time.


Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is the trade name of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, a registered broker-dealer in the United States. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any security or other financial instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.

The securities/instruments discussed in this material may not be appropriate for all investors. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management recommends that investors independently evaluate specific investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor.

This material is based on public information as of the specified date, and may be stale thereafter. We have no obligation to tell you when information herein may change. We and our third-party data providers make no representation or warranty with respect to the accuracy or completeness of this material. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material should not be viewed as advice or recommendations with respect to asset allocation or any particular investment. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decisions that you may make. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is not acting as a fiduciary under either the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended or under section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended in providing this material except as otherwise provided in writing by Morgan Stanley and/or as described at www.morganstanley.com/disclosures/dol.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors do not provide legal or tax advice. Each client should always consult his/her personal tax and/or legal advisor for information concerning his/her individual situation and to learn about any potential tax or other implications that may result from acting on a particular recommendation.

This material is disseminated in the United States of America by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is not acting as a municipal advisor to any municipal entity or obligated person within the meaning of Section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act (the “Municipal Advisor Rule”) and the opinions or views contained herein are not intended to be, and do not constitute, advice within the meaning of the Municipal Advisor Rule.

Third-party data providers make no warranties or representations of any kind relating to the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the data they provide and shall not have liability for any damages of any kind relating to such data.

This material, or any portion thereof, may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC.

© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC.

CRC#5466471 (02/2023)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *