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?
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.
Investors who believe in market efficiency should consider market cap indexes, as they replicate market returns in a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way.
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.
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.
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
The fund is managed by Blackrock, and has been able to amass over $886.29 million, 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
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 1.96%.
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.
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
The ETF has added roughly 4.34% so far this year and it's up approximately 67.25% in the last one year (as of 03/24/2021). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $19.40 and $28.99.
The ETF has a beta of 0.90 and standard deviation of 21.04% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the 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 $41.90 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $92.20 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.