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

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The Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets exUS ETF (RODM - Free Report) made its debut on 02/25/2015, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund that provides broad exposure to the Broad Developed 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.

But, there are some investors who would rather invest in smart beta funds; these funds track non-cap weighted strategies, and are a strong option for those who prefer choosing great stocks in order to beat the market.

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.

The smart beta space gives investors many different choices, from equal-weighting, one of the simplest strategies, to more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting. However, not all of these methodologies have been able to deliver remarkable returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

Because the fund has amassed over $1.44 billion, this makes it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. RODM is managed by Hartfordfunds. This particular fund seeks to match the performance of the Hartford Risk-Optimized Multifactor Developed Markets (ex-US) Index before fees and expenses.

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

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.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.29% for RODM, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 5.22%.

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.

When you look at individual holdings, Zim Integrated Shipping Serv Common Stock (ZIM - Free Report) accounts for about 0.90% of the fund's total assets, followed by Loblaw Companies Ltd Common Stock (L - Free Report) and Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N Common Stock Eur.01 (AD).

The top 10 holdings account for about 7.64% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -15.68% so far this year and is down about -14.52% in the last one year (as of 06/22/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $25.16 and $31.87.

RODM has a beta of 0.76 and standard deviation of 20.18% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 507 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 $45.53 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $91.64 billion. VXUS has an expense ratio of 0.07% 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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