Fidelity Investments is launching six new “factor-based” exchange-traded funds as it continues its efforts to attract assets in a hot, if less profitable, part of the market.

The Boston-based mutual fund giant on Thursday said the new ETFs will combine its traditional fundamental research with factors such as company size and market momentum. The new funds include such offerings as Fidelity Core Dividend ETF and Fidelity Low Volatility Factor ETF.

Fidelity is rushing to secure a toehold in the $2.3 trillion ETF market, said John Bonnanzio, editor of the independent Fidelity Insight newsletter in Wellesley. The firm is asking, “How can we still inject some Fidelity value-added into these products?”


ETFs track an index of securities, like the Standard & Poor’s 500. They own large numbers of stocks or bonds, like a mutual fund, but they trade like a single stock. They have surged in popularity because they have lower costs than actively managed mutual funds and are easy for institutions and advisers to trade.

Over the past three years, investors have pulled $311 billion out of actively managed funds at all US firms and poured $1.2 trillion into passive index funds and ETFs, according to Morningstar Inc. in Chicago.

Fidelity, best known for its active funds, recently lowered prices on 27 index funds and ETFs and filed with regulators to roll out a new breed of hybrid exchange-traded active funds. The firm’s passive offerings are now cheaper than those of its larger rival, Vanguard Group.

“Factor-based investing is one of the fastest growing areas of the ETF industry and an area where we believe our proven research capabilities and experience can add value for our customers,” said Joe DeSantis, chief investment officer in Fidelity’s Equity division, in a statement.

Fidelity said it has $250 billion in ETF assets under administration. That includes 70 passive ETFs run by BlackRock Inc. of New York. With the new ETFs announced Thursday, Fidelity will have 21 ETFs of its own.


The ETFs that Fidelity manages have $4.2 billion in customer assets. Vanguard has $600 billion in ETFs.

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.