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Is Schwab Fundamental Emerging Markets Large Company Index ETF (FNDE) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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The Schwab Fundamental Emerging Markets Large Company Index ETF (FNDE - Free Report) was launched on 08/13/2013, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market ETFs category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

Products that are based on market cap weighted indexes, which are strategies designed to reflect a specific market segment or the market as a whole, have traditionally dominated the ETF industry.

Market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, and are a good option for investors who believe in market efficiency.

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

FNDE is managed by Charles Schwab, and this fund has amassed over $5.06 billion, which makes it one of the largest ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. This particular fund seeks to match the performance of the Russell RAFI Emerging Markets Large Co. Index (Net) before fees and expenses.

The Russell RAFI Emerging Markets Large Company Index (Net) ranks companies in the Russell Emerging Markets Index by measures of fundamental size and tracks the performance of those companies whose fundamental scores are in the top 87.5% of the Russell Emerging Markets Index.

Cost & Other Expenses

For ETF investors, expense ratios are an important factor when considering a fund's return; in the long-term, cheaper funds actually have the ability to outperform their more expensive cousins if all other things remain the same.

With on par with most peer products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.39%.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 4.25%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Taking into account individual holdings, Gazprom Pjsc Common Stock Rub5.0 (GAZP) accounts for about 4.49% of the fund's total assets, followed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufac Common Stock Twd10. And Lukoil Pjsc Common Stock Rub.025 (LKOH).

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the Schwab Fundamental Emerging Markets Large Company Index ETF return is roughly 0.70% so far, and is up about 10.90% over the last 12 months (as of 01/11/2022). FNDE has traded between $28.33 and $33.49 in this past 52-week period.

FNDE has a beta of 0.87 and standard deviation of 22.62% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 370 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Schwab Fundamental Emerging Markets Large Company Index ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Emerging Market ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG - Free Report) tracks MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO - Free Report) tracks FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index. IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has $76.51 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $79.01 billion. IEMG has an expense ratio of 0.11% and VWO charges 0.10%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Broad Emerging Market 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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