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Is Xtrackers Russell US Multifactor ETF (DEUS) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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A smart beta exchange traded fund, the Xtrackers Russell US Multifactor ETF (DEUS - Free Report) debuted on 11/24/2015, and offers broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Blend 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.

Market cap weighted indexes work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide 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.

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

DEUS is managed by Deutsche Bank Ag, and this fund has amassed over $238.36 million, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Blend. This particular fund, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the Russell 1000 Comprehensive Factor Index.

The Russell 1000 Comprehensive Factor Index provides exposure to domestic equities based on five factors Quality, Value, Momentum, Low Volatility and Size.

Cost & Other Expenses

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long-term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins, other things remaining the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.17% for this ETF, which makes it one of the cheaper products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.23%.

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.

Taking into account individual holdings, Cash & Cash Equivalents accounts for about 1.22% of the fund's total assets, followed by Progressive Corp (PGR - Free Report) and Mckesson Corp (MCK - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 7.12% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 16.53% so far this year and is up about 42.44% in the last one year (as of 06/30/2021). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $31.76 and $44.82.

The ETF has a beta of 1.07 and standard deviation of 24.61% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 832 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Xtrackers Russell US Multifactor ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Blend segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV - Free Report) tracks S&P 500 Index and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY - Free Report) tracks S&P 500 Index. IShares Core S&P 500 ETF has $285.92 billion in assets, SPDR S&P 500 ETF has $371.48 billion. IVV has an expense ratio of 0.03% and SPY charges 0.09%.

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 - Large 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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