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

Sweta Killa
While some of Wall Street's biggest banks report earnings, Chevron makes a big E&P play and Disney unveils its new streaming service.

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

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

Products that are based on market cap weighted indexes, which are strategies designed to reflect a specific market segment or the market as a whole, have traditionally dominated the ETF industry.

Because market cap weighted indexes provide a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, they work well for investors who believe in market efficiency.

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.

Non-cap weighted indexes try to choose stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, which is based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a mix of other such characteristics.

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

Managed by Blackrock, EMGF has amassed assets over $315.65 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. This particular fund seeks to match the performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Diversified Multiple-Factor Index before fees and expenses.

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.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.44%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, China Mobile Ltd accounts for about 3.26% of total assets, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Yum China Holdings Inc (YUMC).

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 23.84% of EMGF's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF return is roughly 11.65% so far this year and is down about -14.93% in the last one year (as of 03/19/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $37.92 and $52.64.

The ETF has a beta of 0.94 and standard deviation of 18.09% for the trailing three-year period. With about 214 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 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $64.47 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
 
Yum China Holdings Inc. (YUMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG): ETF Research Reports
 
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