Designed to provide broad exposure to the European Equity ETFs category of the market, the First Trust STOXX European Select Dividend ETF (
FDD Quick Quote FDD - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 08/27/2007. 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.
Investors who believe in market efficiency should consider market cap indexes, as they replicate market returns in a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way.
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.
Based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such, these indexes attempt to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance.
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
FDD is managed by First Trust Advisors, and this fund has amassed over $304.88 million, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the European Equity ETFs. FDD, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the STOXX Europe Select Dividend 30 Index.
The STOXX Europe Select Dividend 30 Index consists of 30 high dividend-yielding securities selected from the STOXX Europe 600 Index.
Cost & Other Expenses
Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio.
Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.57% for this ETF, which makes it on par with most peer products in the space.
The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 3.62%.
Sector Exposure and Top Holdings
While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.
Looking at individual holdings, Glaxosmithkline Plc (GSK.LN) accounts for about 6.03% of total assets, followed by Sse Plc (SSE.LN) and Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN.LN).
Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 44.09% of FDD's total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
The ETF has added about 15.87% and is up roughly 39.04% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 08/23/2021), respectively. FDD has traded between $9.81 and $15.54 during this last 52-week period.
The fund has a beta of 1 and standard deviation of 25.48% for the trailing three-year period, which makes FDD a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 31 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.
First Trust STOXX European Select Dividend ETF is not a suitable option for investors seeking to outperform the European Equity ETFs segment of the market. Instead, there are other ETFs in the space which investors should consider.
JPMorgan BetaBuilders Europe ETF (
BBEU Quick Quote BBEU - Free Report) tracks MORNINGSTAR DEV EUROPE TARGET MKT EXP ID and the Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF ( VGK Quick Quote VGK - Free Report) tracks FTSE Developed Europe All Cap Index. JPMorgan BetaBuilders Europe ETF has $8.92 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF has $20.69 billion. BBEU has an expense ratio of 0.09% and VGK charges 0.08%.
Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the European Equity 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.