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Is iShares MSCI USA Equal Weighted ETF (EUSA) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Style Box - All Cap Blend category of the market, the iShares MSCI USA Equal Weighted ETF (EUSA) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 05/05/2010.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has long been dominated by products based on market cap weighted indexes, a strategy created to reflect the 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.

But, there are some investors who would rather invest in smart beta funds; these funds track non-cap weighted strategies, and are a strong option for those who prefer choosing great stocks in order to beat the market.

By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.

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

EUSA is managed by Blackrock, and this fund has amassed over $411.99 million, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - All Cap Blend. This particular fund, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the MSCI USA Equal Weighted Index.

The MSCI USA Equal Weighted Index represents the MSCI USA Index, measures the performance of equity securities in the top 85% by market capitalization of equity securities listed on stock exchanges in the United States.

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.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.09% for this ETF, which makes it one of the least expensive products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.66%.

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.

For EUSA, it has heaviest allocation in the Information Technology sector --about 16.50% of the portfolio --while Financials and Healthcare round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Apollo Global Management Inc (APO) accounts for about 0.30% of total assets, followed by Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) and Halliburton (HAL).

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 2.43% of EUSA's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the iShares MSCI USA Equal Weighted ETF has lost about -17.04% so far, and is down about -10.59% over the last 12 months (as of 06/13/2022). EUSA has traded between $73.30 and $90.84 in this past 52-week period.

EUSA has a beta of 1.09 and standard deviation of 24.57% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 634 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IShares MSCI USA Equal Weighted ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - All Cap Blend segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT) tracks S&P Total Market Index and the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) tracks CRSP US Total Market Index. IShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF has $38.72 billion in assets, Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF has $250.92 billion. ITOT has an expense ratio of 0.03% and VTI charges 0.03%.

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 - All Cap Blend.

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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