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Is iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF (EMGF) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market ETFs category of the market, the iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF (EMGF) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 12/08/2015.

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.

Investors who believe in market efficiency should consider market cap indexes, as they replicate market returns in a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way.

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.

By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.

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

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $397.90 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. This particular fund, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Diversified Multiple-Factor Index.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Diversified Multiple Factor Index is composed of stocks of large and mid-capitalization companies in emerging markets that have favourable exposure to target style factors subject to constraints.

Cost & Other Expenses

Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.45%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

EMGF's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 3.03%.

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.

When you look at individual holdings, China Mobile Ltd accounts for about 2.88% of the fund's total assets, followed by Sk Hynix Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Adr Represen (BABA).

The top 10 holdings account for about 23.07% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 1.88% and is down about -8.07% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 08/26/2019), respectively. EMGF has traded between $37.92 and $45.25 during this last 52-week period.

The fund has a beta of 0.94 and standard deviation of 17.28% for the trailing three-year period. With about 241 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF is not a suitable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Emerging Market ETFs segment of the market. Instead, there are other ETFs in the space which investors should consider.

IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) tracks MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) tracks FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index. IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has $51.53 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $59.06 B. IEMG has an expense ratio of 0.14% and VWO charges 0.12%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Broad Emerging Market 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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iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF (EMGF): ETF Research Reports
 
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG): ETF Research Reports
 
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