Co-portfolio manager Mebane Faber has shown in his research that corporations with a desirable combination of debt paydowns, share repurchases and dividends have generated better results for shareholders than companies with high dividend yields alone. From my perspective, the effects of share repurchases are even greater in the era of endless quantitative easing. The Cambria Shareholder Yield ETF may even demonstrate superior staying power than a narrowly focused superstar like PowerShares Buyback Achievers Fund (PKW).
3. Market Cap Flexibility. Research has shown a better risk-reward relationship with a multi-cap value orientation than with a reliance on the Dow alone. Granted, one might argue that not enough is known about ETFs that pull from large, medium and small companies. On the other hand, the Cambria team has picked what I believe to be a sweet spot for a shareholder total return product -- stocks with market caps greater than $200 million and several dynamic criteria for inclusion.
The current breakdown for SYLD is 56% large, 34% mid-cap and 10% small. Even though 44% of the companies represented may be riskier on a traditional risk spectrum, the overall focus on the 100 highest ranking stocks that serve up cash dividends, repurchase corporate shares and repair balance sheets should buffer against speculative selling. In other words, investors may be more likely to hold onto stocks from companies with low debt, fewer outstanding shares and higher dividend yields.