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Is FlexShares International Quality Dividend ETF (IQDF) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Making its debut on 04/12/2013, smart beta exchange traded fund FlexShares International Quality Dividend ETF (IQDF - Free Report) provides investors broad exposure to the World ETFs category of the market.

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.

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.

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.

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

The fund is managed by Flexshares, and has been able to amass over $639.04 million, which makes it one of the larger ETFs in the World ETFs. IQDF, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the Northern Trust International Quality Dividend Index.

The Northern Trust International Quality Dividend Index is designed to provide exposure to a high-quality income-oriented portfolio of long-only international securities issued by non-U.S.-based companies, with an emphasis on long-term capital growth and a targeted overall beta that is similar to that of the Northern Trust International Large Cap 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 0.47% for IQDF, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

IQDF's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 4.03%.

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, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd Common accounts for about 2.17% of the fund's total assets, followed by L'oreal Sa Common Stock Eur 0.2 (OR - Free Report) and Roche Holding Ag Common Stock Chf 0 (ROG - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 16.73% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has gained about 1.75% so far this year and is up roughly 8.68% in the last one year (as of 01/13/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $24.07 and $27.61.

IQDF has a beta of 0.87 and standard deviation of 20% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 316 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


FlexShares International Quality Dividend ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the World ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

FlexShares International Quality Dividend Defensive ETF (IQDE - Free Report) tracks Northern Trust International Quality Dividend Defensive Index and the FlexShares International Quality Dividend Dynamic ETF (IQDY - Free Report) tracks Northern Trust International Quality Dividend Dynamic Index. FlexShares International Quality Dividend Defensive ETF has $72.81 million in assets, FlexShares International Quality Dividend Dynamic ETF has $84.46 million. IQDE has an expense ratio of 0.47% and IQDY charges 0.47%.

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