About Our Ratings

Finding the best index ETFs that meet your investment needs can be a daunting task. There are millions of indices in all shapes and sizes, but not all of them are worth buying. Many indices have a short-lived track record; some are over-engineered; some contain significant over-exposures, and some may have hidden fees.


The objective of our ratings is to help investors understand how an index operates and identify its key strengths and weakness via critical metrics. The Index Standard® has no affiliation with any index providers, and we don’t provide buy, hold, or sell signals. Instead, we offer our unbiased opinion to help you compare different indices, ETFs and annuities so you can decide what is best for you.

The Index Standard® Ratings

The Index Standard® Ratings have six rankings in the descending order of Platinum, Gold, Silver, Copper, Neutral, and Watch.

ETF & Index Ratings

The Index Standard® evaluates each index against the most appropriate benchmark, and all indices are evaluated at the same time to ensure consistency and fairness. We put the indices through our rigorous model in seven categories which we deem critical to index construction:

  • Transparency

    Explore the “small print” such as independence, rules transparency and hidden fees; also the index’s adherence to IOSCO principles.

  • Robustness

    Analyze diversification, index parameters and tradability in stressed markets.

  • Risk

    Examine an extensive array of risk metrics to determine how risky the index is.

  • Efficiency

    Determine the index’s ability to balance off risk and return attributes.

  • Returns

    The index is analyzed through metrics such as annualized returns, skew, and kurtosis to assess the stability of returns.

  • Attractiveness

    Quantify the current level of attractiveness and the future potential.

  • Capital at Risk

    Examine value at risk and drawdowns to identify potential unknown risks that may hinder performance.

The Index Standard® evaluates each index against the most appropriate benchmark, and all indices are evaluated at the same time to ensure consistency and fairness. We put the indices through our rigorous model in seven categories which we deem critical to index construction:

  • Explore the “small print” such as independence, rules transparency and hidden fees; also the index’s adherence to IOSCO principles.

  • Analyze diversification, index parameters and tradability in stressed markets.

  • Examine an extensive array of risk metrics to determine how risky the index is.

  • Determine the index’s ability to balance off risk and return attributes.

  • The index is analyzed through metrics such as annualized returns, skew, and kurtosis to assess the stability of returns.

  • Quantify the current level of attractiveness and the future potential.

  • Examine value at risk and drawdowns to identify potential unknown risks that may hinder performance.


ETF Examples
SILVER

ETF

iShares Select Dividend ETF

WATCH

ETF

iShares Edge MSCI USA Momentum Factor ETF

PLATINUM

ETF

iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF

SILVER

ETF

iShares Select Dividend ETF

WATCH

ETF

iShares Edge MSCI USA Momentum Factor ETF

PLATINUM

ETF

iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF


Index Examples
COPPER

INDEX

S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Daily Risk Control 5% Excess Return Index

SILVER

INDEX

S&P 500 Daily Risk Control 7.5% (USD) ER

COPPER

INDEX

S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Daily Risk Control 5% Excess Return Index

SILVER

INDEX

S&P 500 Daily Risk Control 7.5% (USD) ER