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Is JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

The JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM) was launched on 01/07/2015, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market 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.

Market cap weighted indexes work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide 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.

This area offers many different investment choices, such as simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies; however, not all of these strategies can deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by J.P. Morgan. JPEM has been able to amass assets over $284.03 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. Before fees and expenses, JPEM seeks to match the performance of the FTSE Emerging Diversified Factor Index.

The FTSE Emerging Diversified Factor Index are selected from advanced and secondary emerging markets strictly in accordance with guidelines and mandated procedures and are selected from constituents of the FTSE Emerging Index.

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.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.44%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 3.91%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Taking into account individual holdings, Naspers Ltd Common Stock (NPN) accounts for about 2.23% of the fund's total assets, followed by Taiwan Semiconductor and China Mobile Ltd Common.

JPEM's top 10 holdings account for about 13.61% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF has lost about -13.01% so far, and is down about -7.90% over the last 12 months (as of 07/31/2020). JPEM has traded between $36.19 and $58.24 in this past 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.90 and standard deviation of 22.43% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 509 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity 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 A Inclusion Index. IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has $53.30 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $60.82 billion. IEMG has an expense ratio of 0.13% and VWO charges 0.10%.

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.


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JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG): ETF Research Reports
 
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO): ETF Research Reports
 
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