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Is Franklin U.S. Low Volatility H (LVHD) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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The Franklin U.S. Low Volatility H (LVHD - Free Report) made its debut on 12/28/2015, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund that provides broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value category of the market.

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.

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.

There are some investors, though, who think it's possible to beat the market with great stock selection; this group likely invests in another class of funds known as smart beta, which track non-cap weighted strategies.

These indexes attempt to select stocks that have better chances of risk-return performance, based on certain fundamental characteristics or a combination 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 Franklin Templeton Investments. LVHD has been able to amass assets over $589.68 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. Before fees and expenses, LVHD seeks to match the performance of the QS Low Volatility High Dividend Index.

The QS Low Volatility High Dividend Index provides stable income through investment in stocks of profitable U.S. companies with relatively high dividend yields, lower price and earnings volatility.

Cost & Other Expenses

Cost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins if all other fundamentals are the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.27%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

LVHD's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 2.79%.

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.

For LVHD, it has heaviest allocation in the Consumer Staples sector --about 25.70% of the portfolio --while Utilities and Industrials round out the top three.

When you look at individual holdings, Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT - Free Report) accounts for about 3.02% of the fund's total assets, followed by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) and Cvs Health Corp (CVS - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 26.01% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -4.36% and is up about 6.99% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 06/27/2022), respectively. LVHD has traded between $35.76 and $41.12 during this last 52-week period.

LVHD has a beta of 0.76 and standard deviation of 22.01% for the trailing three-year period. With about 92 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Franklin U.S. Low Volatility H is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Value segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD - Free Report) tracks Russell 1000 Value Index and the Vanguard Value ETF (VTV - Free Report) tracks CRSP U.S. Large Cap Value Index. IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF has $52.17 billion in assets, Vanguard Value ETF has $94.85 billion. IWD has an expense ratio of 0.19% and VTV charges 0.04%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Style Box - Large Cap Value.

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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