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

Sweta Killa

The iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF (EMGF) made its debut on 12/08/2015, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund that provides broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market ETFs category of the market.

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.

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

On the other hand, some investors who believe that it is possible to beat the market by superior stock selection opt to invest in another class of funds that track non-cap weighted strategies--popularly known as smart beta.

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

The fund is managed by Blackrock, and has been able to amass over $364.23 M, which makes 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

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long-term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins, other things remaining the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.45% for EMGF, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.46%.

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.

Taking into account individual holdings, China Mobile Ltd accounts for about 3% of the fund's total assets, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Sk Hynix Inc.

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 23.9% of EMGF's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, EMGF has added about 10.64%, and is down about -10.92% in the last one year (as of 05/02/2019). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $37.92 and $51.17.

The ETF has a beta of 0.92 and standard deviation of 17.58% for the trailing three-year period. With about 218 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Emerging Market ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could 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 $60.27 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $64.91 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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