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Is iShares MSCI USA Equal Weighted ETF (EUSA) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Launched on 05/05/2010, the iShares MSCI USA Equal Weighted ETF (EUSA) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Style Box - All Cap Blend category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has long been dominated by products based on market cap weighted indexes, a strategy created to reflect the 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.

On the other hand, some investors who believe that it is possible to beat the market by superior stock selection opt to invest in another class of funds that track non-cap weighted strategies--popularly known as smart beta.

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.

Even though this space provides many choices to investors--think one of the simplest methodologies like equal-weighting and more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting--not all have been able to deliver first-rate results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by Blackrock, and has been able to amass over $467.26 million, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - All Cap Blend. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the MSCI USA Equal Weighted Index.

The MSCI USA Equal Weighted Index represents the MSCI USA Index, measures the performance of equity securities in the top 85% by market capitalization of equity securities listed on stock exchanges in the United States.

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 one of the least expensive products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.09%.

It's 12-month trailing dividend yield comes in at 1.08%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Representing 20% of the portfolio, the fund has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector; Healthcare and Industrials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Novavax Inc (NVAX) accounts for about 0.24% of total assets, followed by Enphase Energy Inc (ENPH) and Moderna Inc (MRNA).

The top 10 holdings account for about 2.27% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, EUSA return is roughly 22.50%, and was up about 43.31% in the last one year (as of 09/14/2021). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $59.14 and $88.24.

The fund has a beta of 1.13 and standard deviation of 23.87% for the trailing three-year period, which makes EUSA a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 632 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IShares MSCI USA Equal Weighted ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - All Cap Blend segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT) tracks S&P Total Market Index and the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) tracks CRSP US Total Market Index. IShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF has $42.71 billion in assets, Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF has $264.76 billion. ITOT has an expense ratio of 0.03% and VTI charges 0.03%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Style Box - All Cap Blend.

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 MSCI USA Equal Weighted ETF (EUSA): ETF Research Reports
 
Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Novavax, Inc. (NVAX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Enphase Energy, Inc. (ENPH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT): ETF Research Reports
 
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