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.
Because market cap weighted indexes provide a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, they work well for investors who believe in market efficiency.
On the other hand, some investors who believe that it is possible to beat the market by superior stock selection opt to invest in another class of funds that track non-cap weighted strategies--popularly known as smart beta.
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.
While this space offers a number of choices to investors, including simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies, not all these strategies have been able to deliver superior results.
Fund Sponsor & Index
The fund is managed by Blackrock, and has been able to amass over $874.20 million, which makes it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. This particular fund, 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
For ETF investors, expense ratios are an important factor when considering a fund's return; in the long-term, cheaper funds actually have the ability to outperform their more expensive cousins if all other things remain the same.
With on par with most peer products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.30%.
INTF's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 1.99%.
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.
When you look at individual holdings, Roche Holding Par Ag (
ROG Quick Quote ROG - Free Report) accounts for about 2.94% 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) .
INTF's top 10 holdings account for about 22.22% of its total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
So far this year, INTF has added about 2.92%, and it's up approximately 20.19% in the last one year (as of 03/02/2021). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $17.43 and $28.54.
The fund has a beta of 0.90 and standard deviation of 21.05% for the trailing three-year period, which makes INTF a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 214 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 Total International Stock ETF (
VXUS Quick Quote VXUS - Free Report) tracks FTSE Global All Cap 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 Total International Stock ETF has $41.01 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $91.49 billion. VXUS 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.