The iShares MSCI Intl Multifactor ETF (
INTF Quick Quote INTF - Free Report) was launched on 04/28/2015, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Broad Developed World ETFs category of the market. What Are Smart Beta ETFs?
The ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.
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.
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.
This kind of index follows this same mindset, as it attempts to pick stocks that have better chances of risk-return performance; non-cap weighted strategies base selection on certain fundamental characteristics, or a mix of such characteristics.
Methodologies like equal-weighting, one of the simplest options out there, fundamental weighting, and volatility/momentum based weighting are all choices offered to investors in this space, but not all of them can deliver superior returns.
Fund Sponsor & Index
The fund is managed by Blackrock, and has been able to amass over $877.30 million, 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.
With on par with most peer products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.30%.
The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 3.24%.
Sector Exposure and Top Holdings
It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. 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 Quick Quote ROG - Free Report) accounts for about 3.33% of the fund's total assets, followed by Rio Tinto Plc ( RIO Quick Quote RIO - Free Report) and Bhp Group Plc ( BHP Quick Quote BHP - Free Report) .
The top 10 holdings account for about 23.2% of total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
The ETF has lost about -10.13% and is down about -3.56% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 09/24/2020), respectively. INTF has traded between $17.43 and $27.44 during this last 52-week period.
INTF has a beta of 0.90 and standard deviation of 20.81% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 202 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.
IShares MSCI Intl Multifactor 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 Quick Quote VEU - Free Report) tracks FTSE All-World ex US Index and the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF ( VEA Quick Quote VEA - Free Report) tracks FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. Vanguard FTSE AllWorld exUS ETF has $24.33 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $73.16 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.