Is Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Value ETF (NULV) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Launched on 12/13/2016, the Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Value ETF (NULV) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value 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 work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide a low-cost, convenient and transparent way of replicating market returns.

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.

The smart beta space gives investors many different choices, from equal-weighting, one of the simplest strategies, to more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting. However, not all of these methodologies have been able to deliver remarkable returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by Nuveen, and has been able to amass over $1.62 billion, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the TIAA ESG USA Large-Cap Value Index.

The TIAA ESG USA Large-Cap Value Index comprises of equity securities issued by large capitalization companies listed on US exchanges. It uses a rules-based methodology that seeks to provide investment exposure generally replicating large-cap value benchmarks through a portfolio of securities adhering to predetermined ESG, controversial business involvement & low-carbon criteria.

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.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.26% for this ETF, which makes it on par with most peer products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.38%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Representing 21.20% of the portfolio, the fund has heaviest allocation to the Financials sector; Healthcare and Information Technology round out the top three.

When you look at individual holdings, Coca-Cola Co/the (KO) accounts for about 2.31% of the fund's total assets, followed by Walt Disney Co/the (DIS) and Procter & Gamble Co/the (PG).

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 20.33% of NULV's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Value ETF has gained about 7.35% so far, and was up about 17.27% over the last 12 months (as of 05/22/2024). NULV has traded between $32.04 and $38.86 in this past 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.93 and standard deviation of 14.80% for the trailing three-year period. With about 103 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Value ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Value segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU) tracks MSCI USA ESG Focus Index and the JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF (JEPQ) tracks ----------------------------------------. IShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF has $12.81 billion in assets, JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF has $13.39 billion. ESGU has an expense ratio of 0.15% and JEPQ charges 0.35%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Style Box - Large Cap Value.

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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Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Value ETF (NULV): ETF Research Reports

CocaCola Company (The) (KO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Procter & Gamble Company (The) (PG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

The Walt Disney Company (DIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU): ETF Research Reports

JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF (JEPQ): ETF Research Reports

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Zacks Investment Research

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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