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Is iShares Core High Dividend ETF (HDV) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value category of the market, the iShares Core High Dividend ETF (HDV - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 03/29/2011.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

For a long time now, the ETF industry has been flooded with products based on market capitalization weighted indexes, which are designed to represent the broader market or a particular market segment.

Because market cap weighted indexes provide a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, they work well 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.

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.

Methodologies like equal-weighting, one of the simplest options out there, fundamental weighting, and volatility/momentum based weighting are all choices offered to investors in this space, but not all of them can deliver superior returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

HDV is managed by Blackrock, and this fund has amassed over $12.54 billion, which makes it one of the larger ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. HDV seeks to match the performance of the Morningstar Dividend Yield Focus Index before fees and expenses.

The Morningstar Dividend Yield Focus Index offers exposure to high quality U.S. domiciled companies that have had strong financial health and an ability to sustain above average dividend payouts.

Cost & Other Expenses

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long-term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins, other things remaining the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.08% for this ETF, which makes it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It's 12-month trailing dividend yield comes in at 3.41%.

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.

HDV's heaviest allocation is in the Healthcare sector, which is about 24.30% of the portfolio. Its Energy and Consumer Staples round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM - Free Report) accounts for about 7.15% of the fund's total assets, followed by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) and Abbvie Inc (ABBV - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 36.64% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the iShares Core High Dividend ETF return is roughly 7.60% so far, and was up about 13.12% over the last 12 months (as of 11/30/2022). HDV has traded between $91.29 and $109.92 in this past 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.83 and standard deviation of 23.06% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 81 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


IShares Core High Dividend 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 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 $54.69 billion in assets, Vanguard Value ETF has $106.17 billion. IWD has an expense ratio of 0.18% 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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