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

Zacks Equity Research

A smart beta exchange traded fund, the JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM) debuted on 01/07/2015, and offers broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market ETFs category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.

Market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, and are a good option for investors who believe in market efficiency.

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.

By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.

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

Managed by J.P. Morgan, JPEM has amassed assets over $348.35 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. JPEM seeks to match the performance of the FTSE Emerging Diversified Factor Index before fees and expenses.

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

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 cousins, other things remaining the same.

With on par with most peer products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.45%.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.83%.

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.

Looking at individual holdings, China Mobile Ltd Common accounts for about 1.79% of total assets, followed by Naspers Ltd Common Stock and Lukoil Pjsc Common Stock.

The top 10 holdings account for about 13.29% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF has gained about 8.06% so far, and was up about 5.08% over the last 12 months (as of 10/17/2019). JPEM has traded between $49.44 and $56.56 in this past 52-week period.

The fund has a beta of 0.79 and standard deviation of 14.88% for the trailing three-year period, which makes JPEM a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 542 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF is not a suitable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Emerging Market ETFs segment of the market. Instead, there are other ETFs in the space which investors should 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 $55.39 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $62.17 B. IEMG has an expense ratio of 0.14% and VWO charges 0.12%.

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
 
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG): ETF Research Reports
 
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