Technology

Is First Trust Dow Jones Global Select Dividend ETF (FGD) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Making its debut on 11/21/2007, smart beta exchange traded fund First Trust Dow Jones Global Select Dividend ETF (FGD) provides investors broad exposure to the Broad Developed World ETFs category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

For a long time now, the ETF industry has been flooded with products based on market capitalization weighted indexes, which are designed to represent the broader 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.

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.

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.

While this space offers a number of choices to investors, including simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies, not all these strategies have been able to deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

Because the fund has amassed over $372.56 million, this makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. FGD is managed by First Trust Advisors. FGD seeks to match the performance of the Dow Jones Global Select Dividend Index before fees and expenses.

This Index is an indicated annual dividend yield weighted index of 100 stocks selected from the developed-market portion of the Dow Jones World Index.

Cost & Other Expenses

When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor. And, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.59%, making it one of the more expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 6.67%.

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.

When you look at individual holdings, Bankia, S.a. (BKIA.SM) accounts for about 2.34% of the fund's total assets, followed by Yue Yuen Industrial (holdings) Limited (551.HK) and Centurylink, Inc. (CTL).

The top 10 holdings account for about 15.18% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -20.95% so far this year and is down about -12.90% in the last one year (as of 09/18/2020). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $13.90 and $25.20.

FGD has a beta of 0.97 and standard deviation of 23.92% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a low risk choice in the space. With about 96 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

First Trust Dow Jones Global Select Dividend 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.

IShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) tracks MSCI All Country World Index and the Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) tracks FTSE Global All Cap Index. IShares MSCI ACWI ETF has $12.49 billion in assets, Vanguard Total World Stock ETF has $14.31 billion. ACWI has an expense ratio of 0.32% and VT charges 0.08%.

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.

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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First Trust Dow Jones Global Select Dividend ETF (FGD): ETF Research Reports

iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI): ETF Research Reports

Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT): ETF Research Reports

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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