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Is Nuveen ESG LargeCap Value ETF (NULV) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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A smart beta exchange traded fund, the Nuveen ESG LargeCap Value ETF (NULV - Free Report) debuted on 12/13/2016, and offers broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.

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.

By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.

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

The fund is managed by Nuveen. NULV has been able to amass assets over $1.48 billion, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. Before fees and expenses, NULV seeks to match the performance of the TIAA ESG USA Large-Cap Value Index.

The TIAA ESG USA Large-Cap Value Index comprises of equity securities issued by large capitalization companies listed on US exchanges. It uses a rules-based methodology that seeks to provide investment exposure generally replicating large-cap value benchmarks through a portfolio of securities adhering to predetermined ESG, controversial business involvement & low-carbon criteria.

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 0.25% for this ETF, which makes it on par with most peer products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.88%.

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.

For NULV, it has heaviest allocation in the Financials sector --about 18.20% of the portfolio --while Healthcare and Consumer Staples round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Procter & Gamble Co/the (PG - Free Report) accounts for about 3.14% of the fund's total assets, followed by Coca-Cola Co/the (KO - Free Report) and Pepsico Inc (PEP - Free Report) .

NULV's top 10 holdings account for about 23.89% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, NULV has lost about -14.34%, and is down about -8.65% in the last one year (as of 09/19/2022). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $32.39 and $39.88.

NULV has a beta of 0.91 and standard deviation of 23.38% for the trailing three-year period. With about 104 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Nuveen ESG LargeCap Value ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Value segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

IShares ESG Aware MSCI EAFE ETF (ESGD - Free Report) tracks MSCI EAFE ESG Focus Index and the iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU - Free Report) tracks MSCI USA ESG Focus Index. IShares ESG Aware MSCI EAFE ETF has $6.27 billion in assets, iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF has $21.75 billion. ESGD has an expense ratio of 0.20% and ESGU charges 0.15%.

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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