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

Sweta Killa
Weight Watchers (WTW) saw a big move last session, as its shares jumped more than 7% on the day, amid huge volumes.

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?

For a long time now, the ETF industry has been flooded with products based on market capitalization weighted indexes, which are designed to represent the broader 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.

However, some investors believe in the possibility of beating the market through exceptional stock selection, and choose a different type of fund that tracks non-cap weighted strategies: smart beta.

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.

This area offers many different investment choices, such as simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies; however, not all of these strategies can deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $298.07 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. Before fees and expenses, EMGF 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

Cost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins if all other fundamentals are the same.

With on par with most peer products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.45%.

It's 12-month trailing dividend yield comes in at 2.29%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Most ETFs are very transparent products, and disclose their holdings on a daily basis. ETFs also offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, though it's still important for investors to research a fund's holdings.

Taking into account individual holdings, Ishares Msci India Etf (INDA) accounts for about 3.38% of the fund's total assets, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Sk Hynix Inc.

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 25.25% of EMGF's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

EMGF has lost about -9.44% so far this year, and as of 08/23/2018, is down about -0.05% in the last one year. In the past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $42.97 and $53.84.

The ETF has a beta of 1.01 and standard deviation of 18.43% for the trailing three-year period. With about 198 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 $48.63 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $59.87 B. IEMG has an expense ratio of 0.14% and VWO charges 0.14%.

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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ISHARS-FS MSCI (EMGF): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-M INDIA (INDA): ETF Research Reports
 
VANGD-FTSE EM (VWO): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-CR MS EM (IEMG): ETF Research Reports
 
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