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Is iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF (INTF) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Making its debut on 04/28/2015, smart beta exchange traded fund iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF (INTF) provides investors broad exposure to the Broad Developed World 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.

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.

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.

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 Blackrock, and has been able to amass over $1.07 B, which makes it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. INTF, before fees and expenses, 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

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 INTF are 0.30%, which makes it one of the cheaper products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 3.04%.

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.

Taking into account individual holdings, Roche Holding Par Ag (ROG) accounts for about 3.60% of the fund's total assets, followed by Hitachi Ltd and Woolworths Group Ltd (WOW).

INTF's top 10 holdings account for about 21.11% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has gained about 14.85% and is up roughly 10.18% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 12/05/2019), respectively. INTF has traded between $22.95 and $27 during this last 52-week period.

INTF has a beta of 0.90 and standard deviation of 11.93% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 229 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

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 All-World ex-US 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 All-World ex-US ETF has $24.95 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $75.72 B. VEU has an expense ratio of 0.09% 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.

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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iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF (INTF): ETF Research Reports
 
Rogers Corporation (ROG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA): ETF Research Reports
 
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU): ETF Research Reports
 
WideOpenWest, Inc. (WOW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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