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Is Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets exUS ETF (RODM) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Broad Developed World ETFs category of the market, the Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets exUS ETF (RODM - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 02/25/2015.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

Market cap weighted indexes were created to reflect the market, or a specific segment of the market, and the ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on this strategy.

Investors who believe in market efficiency should consider market cap indexes, as they replicate market returns in a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way.

However, some investors believe in the possibility of beating the market through exceptional stock selection, and choose a different type of fund that tracks non-cap weighted strategies: 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.

Even though this space provides many choices to investors--think one of the simplest methodologies like equal-weighting and more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting--not all have been able to deliver first-rate results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by Hartfordfunds. RODM has been able to amass assets over $2.02 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. Before fees and expenses, RODM seeks to match the performance of the Hartford Risk-Optimized Multifactor Developed Markets (ex-US) Index.

The Hartford Risk-Optimized Multifactor Developed Markets (ex-US) Index seeks to de-concentrate country, currency, and individual company risks in developed market economies (ex US).

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 0.29% for RODM, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

RODM's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 3.16%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Most ETFs are very transparent products, and disclose their holdings on a daily basis. ETFs also offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, though it's still important for investors to research a fund's holdings.

When you look at individual holdings, Kuehne Nagel Intl Ag Reg Common Stock Chf1.0 (KNIA) accounts for about 0.86% of the fund's total assets, followed by Investor Ab B Shs Common Stock Sek6.25 (INVE - Free Report) and Merck Kgaa Common Stock (MRK - Free Report) .

RODM's top 10 holdings account for about 7.77% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF return is roughly 12.34% so far this year and it's up approximately 22.18% in the last one year (as of 08/26/2021). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $25.02 and $31.92.

The ETF has a beta of 0.79 and standard deviation of 19.46% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 504 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets exUS 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 - Free Report) tracks FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index and the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA - Free Report) tracks FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. Vanguard Total International Stock ETF has $49.14 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $104.57 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.

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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