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Should iShares Russell Top 200 ETF (IWL) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Zacks Equity Research
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Launched on 09/22/2009, the iShares Russell Top 200 ETF (IWL) is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to provide a broad exposure to the Large Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $239.56 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Large Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

Why Large Cap Blend

Large cap companies usually have a market capitalization above $10 billion. Considered a more stable option, large cap companies boast more predictable cash flows and are less volatile than their mid and small cap counterparts.

Typically holding a combination of both growth and value stocks, blend ETFs also demonstrate qualities seen in value and growth investments.

Costs

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 counterparts, other things remaining the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.15%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.29%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer a 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.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector--about 22.60% of the portfolio. Healthcare and Financials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Microsoft Corp (MSFT) accounts for about 5.15% of total assets, followed by Apple Inc (AAPL) and Amazon Com Inc (AMZN).

The top 10 holdings account for about 26.83% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

IWL seeks to match the performance of the Russell Top 200 Index before fees and expenses. The Russell Top 200 Index is a float-adjusted, capitalization-weighted index that measures the performance of the largest capitalization sector of the U.S. equity market.

The ETF has gained about 16.72% so far this year and is up roughly 7.56% in the last one year (as of 06/19/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $54.65 and $68.41.

The ETF has a beta of 1 and standard deviation of 12.64% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 200 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IShares Russell Top 200 ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, IWL is a reasonable option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Blend area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) track a similar index. While iShares Core S&P 500 ETF has $179.67 B in assets, SPDR S&P 500 ETF has $268.48 B. IVV has an expense ratio of 0.04% and SPY charges 0.09%.

Bottom-Line

Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

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 Russell Top 200 ETF (IWL): ETF Research Reports
 
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iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): ETF Research Reports
 
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