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Is ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (IDOG) a Strong ETF Right Now?

A smart beta exchange traded fund, the ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (IDOG) debuted on 06/28/2013, and offers broad exposure to the Broad Developed World ETFs category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has long been dominated by products based on market cap weighted indexes, a strategy created to reflect the market or a particular market segment.

Market cap weighted indexes work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide a low-cost, convenient and transparent way of replicating market returns.

There are some investors, though, who think it's possible to beat the market with great stock selection; this group likely invests in another class of funds known as smart beta, which track non-cap weighted strategies.

This kind of index follows this same mindset, as it attempts to pick stocks that have better chances of risk-return performance; non-cap weighted strategies base selection on certain fundamental characteristics, or a mix of such characteristics.

The smart beta space gives investors many different choices, from equal-weighting, one of the simplest strategies, to more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting. However, not all of these methodologies have been able to deliver remarkable returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

Because the fund has amassed over $228.29 M, this makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. IDOG is managed by Alps. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the S-Network International Sector Dividend Dogs Index.

S-Network International Sector Dividend Dogs Index identifies five high yielding securities, based on regular cash dividends, in each of the ten Global Industry Classification Standard sectors and is rebalanced quarterly.

Cost & Other Expenses

For ETF investors, expense ratios are an important factor when considering a fund's return; in the long-term, cheaper funds actually have the ability to outperform their more expensive cousins if all other things remain the same.

With on par with most peer products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.50%.

IDOG's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 5.44%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Taking into account individual holdings, Ln British American Tobacco Plc (BATS) accounts for about 2.20% of the fund's total assets, followed by Jp Fujifilm Holdings Corp. And Hk Wynn Macau Ltd.

IDOG's top 10 holdings account for about 21.21% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, IDOG has lost about -0.55%, and it's up approximately 15.15% in the last one year (as of 01/23/2020). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $24.43 and $27.97.

The ETF has a beta of 0.80 and standard deviation of 11.76% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 51 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF is not a suitable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Developed World ETFs segment of the market. Instead, there are other ETFs in the space which investors should consider.

Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU) tracks FTSE All-World ex US Index and the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) tracks FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF has $26.31 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $79.52 B. VEU has an expense ratio of 0.09% and VEA charges 0.05%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Broad Developed World ETFs.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (IDOG): ETF Research Reports
Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA): ETF Research Reports
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU): ETF Research Reports
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Zacks Investment Research