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If you’ve heard about smart beta (also known as strategic beta) and think it’s a great, new way to play the market because it is designed to provide greater return with less risk, I’m about to disappoint you. I’ll get to what smart beta actually is and how it’s different from “dumb” beta in a minute; but, first it’s useful to look at smart beta not just as an investing technique or tool but as one of the many ideas that profit from the widely held investor belief that if you know enough or invest through people who know enough, you’ll make money.

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