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

Sweta Killa

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Broad Developed World ETFs category of the market, the iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF (INTF) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 04/28/2015.

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.

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

There are some investors, though, who think it's possible to beat the market with great stock selection; this group likely invests in another class of funds known as smart beta, which track non-cap weighted strategies.

Based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such, these indexes attempt to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance.

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

INTF is managed by Blackrock, and this fund has amassed over $1.29 B, which makes it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. Before fees and expenses, INTF 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

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.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.30%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.

It's 12-month trailing dividend yield comes in at 3.12%.

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.

Taking into account individual holdings, Roche Holding Par Ag (ROG) accounts for about 3.22% of the fund's total assets, followed by Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) and Hitachi Ltd.

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 20.58% of INTF's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Intl ETF return is roughly 11.94% so far, and is down about -5.54% over the last 12 months (as of 07/26/2019). INTF has traded between $22.95 and $28.47 in this past 52-week period.

The fund has a beta of 0.90 and standard deviation of 11.79% for the trailing three-year period, which makes INTF a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 223 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 $23.88 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $72.12 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
 
Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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