U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 21 mins

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

Sweta Killa

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?

Market cap weighted indexes were created to reflect the market, or a specific segment of the market, and the ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on this strategy.

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.

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

Managed by Blackrock, EMGF has amassed assets over $247.59 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

Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio.

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

EMGF's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 2.69%.

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.

Taking into account individual holdings, China Mobile Ltd accounts for about 3.33% of the fund's total assets, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Sk Hynix Inc.

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 23.09% of EMGF's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 1.47% so far this year and is down about -21.72% in the last one year (as of 01/09/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $37.92 and $53.84.

The fund has a beta of 0.89 and standard deviation of 19.05% for the trailing three-year period. With about 237 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 $50.53 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $56.64 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.


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
ISHARS-FS MSCI (EMGF): ETF Research Reports
 
VANGD-FTSE EM (VWO): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-CR MS EM (IEMG): ETF Research Reports
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research