Our Esteemed Eight has come and gone, and we are down to our last four teams. All of the matchups this week were relatively close with no margin of victory greater than one point. With some big names still left on the board going toe-to-toe with some unlikely underdogs, we outline this round’s results below. You can refresh yourself with the rules of the game and the Esteemed Eight matchups.
#1 (SPY, A) survived a close matchup with #8 (VTI, A); a game that was decided by just a handful of basis points. #7 (QQQ, B+) was able to pull out a victory, eliminating #15 (IWD, A) which took down #2 (GLD, A-) in the first round. Though IWD had a higher dividend and lower volatility, it was no match for QQQ’s size and performance over the last three years.
There was another surprising round of upsets in the Esteemed Eight, as two underdogs were able to once again knock out their larger competitors. #5 (EFA, A) had a strong dividend and more assets than #13 (IWF, A+), but in the end, IWF’s performance and fees gave it the edge. #6 (IVV, A) had the benefit of the doubt given that it tracks the same index as Fanatic Four member SPY, but IVV was unable to come away with the victory. #14 (VNQ, A+) had a stronger yield and past performance, all at a lower 200 day volatility to boot, making this ETF the second teen-ranked fund to secure a Fanatic Four spot.
The Fanatic Four
So we’re down to just #1 SPY, #7 QQQ, #13 IWF and #14 VNQ, as it seems that this year was truly designed for underdogs. Both IWF and VNQ are heavily outweighed by the assets of their competitors, so it will be especially interesting to see who survives to the final round. How has your bracket fared thus far? We suspect few could have predicted some of these surprise outcomes. You can download an updated bracket below; good luck with the Fanatic Four.
Read the rules for the Bracket Challenge.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.