Is popularity dangerous? A new study suggests that investors seeking extra return on a portfolio without taking on more risk may be able to get it — by selecting “unpopular” equities.

The study — authored by Roger Ibbotson, Yale finance professor emeritus, and Tomas Idzorek, president of Morningstar Investment Management — takes as its starting point a basic premise: Risk is unpopular. As a result, all other things being equal, investors only take on more risk for a higher expected return.

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