BlackRock Bets on Momentum Strategy Comeback

Even as the momentum strategy has become “deeply unpopular” from its long stretch of underperformance, the worlds largest money manager is “staying the course” with the strategy, according to an article in Bloomberg.

“It’s a contrarian position, to say the least,” the article says, adding that momentum has become corelated with defensive names and “less in sync with those that tend to power rallies like tech”

According to Holly Framsted, head of U.S. factor ETFs for BlackRock’s index investments group, “We find that relative strength on momentum continues to be strong, and since that’s one of our inputs, we’re bullish on it.”

Nick Kalivas, senior equity product strategist at Invesco ETFs says “I am betting that the economy is entering late cycle and volatility will be elevated. Neither has been historically kind to momentum.” While Framsted agrees that BlackRock’s position is a “bit counter to current market sentiment,” she argues that the factor can still deliver: “While it’s true momentum has tended to perform best in expansions, it can also be resilient in economic slowdowns where stable growth maintains trends.”