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?
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.
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.
If you're the kind of investor who would rather try and beat the market through good stock selection, then smart beta funds are your best choice; this fund class is known for tracking non-cap weighted strategies.
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 sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $1.07 B, making it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. This particular fund seeks to match the performance of the MSCI World ex USA Diversified Multi-Factor Index before fees and expenses.
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
For ETF investors, expense ratios are an important factor when considering a fund's return; in the long-term, cheaper funds actually have the ability to outperform their more expensive cousins if all other things remain the same.
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 2.42%.
Sector Exposure and Top Holdings
ETFs offer diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk, but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.
Looking at individual holdings, Amadeus It Group Sa (AMS) accounts for about 2.15% of total assets, followed by Hitachi Ltd and Axa Sa (CS).
The top 10 holdings account for about 18.36% of total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
The ETF has gained about 8.44% and is down about -8.28% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 02/13/2019), respectively. INTF has traded between $22.95 and $29.91 during this last 52-week period.
The ETF has a beta of 0.92 and standard deviation of 13.98% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 236 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 $23.14 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $68.31 B. VEU has an expense ratio of 0.11% and VEA charges 0.07%.
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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