Making its debut on 04/28/2015, smart beta exchange traded fund iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF (INTF) provides investors broad exposure to the Broad Developed World 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.
A good option for investors who believe in market efficiency, market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns.
But, there are some investors who would rather invest in smart beta funds; these funds track non-cap weighted strategies, and are a strong option for those who prefer choosing great stocks in order to beat the market.
These indexes attempt to select stocks that have better chances of risk-return performance, based on certain fundamental characteristics or a combination of such characteristics.
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
The fund is managed by Blackrock, and has been able to amass over $1.21 B, which makes it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. Before fees and expenses, INTF seeks to match the performance of the MSCI World ex USA Diversified Multi-Factor Index.
The MSCI World ex USA Diversified Multi-Factor Index is designed to select equity securities from MSCI World ex USA Index that have high exposure to four investment style factors: value, quality, momentum and low size, while maintaining a level of risk similar to that of the Parent Index.
Cost & Other Expenses
When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor. And, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins in the long term if all other factors remain equal.
With one of the cheaper products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.30%.
The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.45%.
Sector Exposure and Top Holdings
Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure which minimizes single stock risk, it is still important to look into a fund's holdings before investing. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.
When you look at individual holdings, Amadeus It Group Sa (AMS) accounts for about 2.34% of the fund's total assets, followed by Hitachi Ltd and Axa Sa (CS).
INTF's top 10 holdings account for about 19.31% of its total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
The ETF return is roughly 7.02% and is down about -10.91% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 06/04/2019), respectively. INTF has traded between $22.95 and $29.62 during this last 52-week period.
The fund has a beta of 0.89 and standard deviation of 13.62% for the trailing three-year period, which makes INTF a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 231 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.
IShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Developed World ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU) tracks FTSE All-World ex US Index and the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) tracks FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF has $22.56 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $69.15 B. VEU has an expense ratio of 0.09% and VEA charges 0.05%.
Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Broad Developed World ETFs.
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 Intl ETF (INTF): ETF Research Reports
Credit Suisse Group (CS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA): ETF Research Reports
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU): ETF Research Reports
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