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Should Franklin LibertyQ U.S. Equity ETF (FLQL) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Zacks Equity Research
Glacier Bancorp (GBCI) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 3.28% and -0.33%, respectively, for the quarter ended June 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

The Franklin LibertyQ U.S. Equity ETF (FLQL) was launched on 04/26/2017, and is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Large Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by Franklin Templeton Investments. It has amassed assets over $1.18 B, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the Large Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

Why Large Cap Blend

Companies that fall in the large cap category tend to have a market capitalization above $10 billion. Considered a more stable option, large cap companies boast more predictable cash flows and are less volatile than their mid and small cap counterparts.

Blend ETFs usually hold a mix of growth and value stocks as well as stocks that exhibit both value and growth characteristics.

Costs

When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.25%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.77%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector--about 21.20% of the portfolio. Consumer Discretionary and Consumer Staples round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Mastercard Inc A (MA) accounts for about 1.26% of total assets, followed by Walt Disney Co/the (DIS) and Intuit Inc (INTU).

The top 10 holdings account for about 11.4% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

FLQL seeks to match the performance of the LibertyQ US Large Cap Equity Index before fees and expenses. The U.S. Large Cap Underlying Index seeks to achieve a lower level of risk and higher risk-adjusted performance than the Russell 1000 Index over the long term by applying a multi-factor selection process, which is designed to select equity securities from the Russell 1000 Index that have favorable exposure to four investment style factors quality, value, momentum and low volatility.

The ETF return is roughly 15.69% so far this year and was up about 8.00% in the last one year (as of 06/13/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $26.18 and $32.24.

The ETF has a beta of 0.88 and standard deviation of 11.55% for the trailing three-year period. With about 250 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

Franklin LibertyQ U.S. Equity ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, FLQL is a good option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Blend area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) track a similar index. While iShares Core S&P 500 ETF has $178.33 B in assets, SPDR S&P 500 ETF has $264.75 B. IVV has an expense ratio of 0.04% and SPY charges 0.09%.

Bottom-Line

Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

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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Franklin LibertyQ U.S. Equity ETF (FLQL): ETF Research Reports
 
The Walt Disney Company (DIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Intuit Inc. (INTU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): ETF Research Reports
 
Mastercard Incorporated (MA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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