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Market Extra: Don’t blame ETFs or passive investors for high valuations [MarketWatch]

FLEXSHARES STOXX US ESG IMPACT (ESG)  More Company Research Source: MarketWatch
PDF Don’t blame ETFs or passive investors for high valuations Investors have poured tens of billions of dollars into U.S. stock-based exchange-traded funds of late, with industry assets hitting record after record. Investors have also driven U.S. stock prices to high levels, with valuations by one metric at their highest since 2004 . The trillion-dollar question is, are the two trends related? While the idea has been disputed by experts, passive investors have been blamed for Wall Street’s lofty valuations, with some making the case that ETF buy has lifted prices indiscriminately, causing individual companies to trade at levels that aren’t supported by fundamentals. Don’t miss: Wall Street ‘fear gauge’ tanks, stocks and bonds soar—something has gotta give Passive funds simply track an index like the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.12% and when an investor buys a share of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY, +0.04% for example, they’re buying a basket that includes each of the index’s components [Read more]

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