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

Zacks Equity Research
Smart Beta ETF report for EMGF

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 traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.

Market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, and are a good option for investors who believe in market efficiency.

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.

Methodologies like equal-weighting, one of the simplest options out there, fundamental weighting, and volatility/momentum based weighting are all choices offered to investors in this space, but not all of them can deliver superior returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

Managed by Blackrock, EMGF has amassed assets over $391.55 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund 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

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 0.45%.

EMGF's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 2.78%.

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 2.95% of the fund's total assets, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Itausa Investimentos Itau Pref Sa (ITSA4).

EMGF's top 10 holdings account for about 22.1% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 11.05% and is down about -5.85% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 07/11/2019), respectively. EMGF has traded between $37.92 and $46.90 during this last 52-week period.

EMGF has a beta of 0.94 and standard deviation of 17.22% for the trailing three-year period. With about 240 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 An Inclusion Index. IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has $59.31 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $64.36 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
 
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG): ETF Research Reports
 
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