Is iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF (INTF) a Strong ETF Right Now?
The iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF (INTF) made its debut on 04/28/2015, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund that provides broad exposure to the Broad Developed World ETFs category of the market.
What Are Smart Beta ETFs?
Market cap weighted indexes were created to reflect the market, or a specific segment of the market, and the ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on this strategy.
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.
However, some investors believe in the possibility of beating the market through exceptional stock selection, and choose a different type of fund that tracks non-cap weighted strategies: smart beta.
Non-cap weighted indexes try to choose stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, which is based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a mix of other 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. INTF has been able to amass assets over $917.45 million, making it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the MSCI World ex USA Diversified Multi-Factor Index.
The MSCI World ex USA Diversified Multi-Factor Index is designed to select equity securities from MSCI World ex USA Index that have high exposure to four investment style factors: value, quality, momentum and low size, while maintaining a level of risk similar to that of the Parent Index.
Cost & Other Expenses
Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio.
Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.30% for INTF, making it on par with most peer products in the space.
The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 3.23%.
Sector Exposure and Top Holdings
While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.
When you look at individual holdings, Roche Holding Par Ag (ROG) accounts for about 3.62% of the fund's total assets, followed by Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) and Bhp Group Plc (BHP).
The top 10 holdings account for about 23.53% of total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
The ETF has lost about -9.72% and is down about -5.20% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 07/20/2020), respectively. INTF has traded between $17.43 and $27.44 during this last 52-week period.
INTF has a beta of 0.92 and standard deviation of 20.51% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 205 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.
IShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl 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.
Vanguard FTSE AllWorld exUS ETF (VEU) tracks FTSE All-World ex US Index and the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) tracks FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. Vanguard FTSE AllWorld exUS ETF has $24.44 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $72.84 billion. VEU has an expense ratio of 0.08% and VEA charges 0.05%.
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.
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 Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF (INTF): ETF Research Reports
BHP Group Limited (BHP): Free Stock Analysis Report
Rio Tinto PLC (RIO): Free Stock Analysis Report
Rogers Corporation (ROG): Free Stock Analysis Report
Vanguard FTSE AllWorld exUS ETF (VEU): ETF Research Reports
Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA): 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.