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Should You Invest in the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF)?

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Launched on 05/01/2006, the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to provide a broad exposure to the Healthcare - Healthcare - Providers segment of the equity market.

Passively managed ETFs are becoming increasingly popular with institutional as well as retail investors due to their low cost, transparency, flexibility and tax efficiency. They are excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Additionally, sector ETFs offer convenient ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Healthcare - Healthcare - Providers is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 12, placing it in bottom 25%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $1.32 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Healthcare - Healthcare - Providers segment of the equity market. IHF seeks to match the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Select HealthCare Providers Index before fees and expenses.

The Dow Jones U.S. Select HealthCare Providers Index is free-float adjusted market capitalization-weighted index. It measures the performance of the health care providers sub-sector of the U.S. equity market. It includes health maintenance organizations, hospitals, clinics, dentists, opticians, nursing homes rehabilitation & retirement centres.


Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.42%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.56%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure which minimizes single stock risk, it is still important to look into a fund's holdings before investing. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Healthcare sector--about 100% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, Unitedhealth Group Inc (UNH - Free Report) accounts for about 23.52% of total assets, followed by Cvs Health Corp (CVS - Free Report) and Anthem Inc (ANTM - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 74.69% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF has gained about 0% so far, and is up about 24.68% over the last 12 months (as of 01/04/2022). IHF has traded between $233.34 and $291.68 in this past 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.90 and standard deviation of 26.62% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 69 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


IShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, IHF is a reasonable option for those seeking exposure to the Health Care ETFs area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

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