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Is First Trust Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (RDVY) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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A smart beta exchange traded fund, the First Trust Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (RDVY - Free Report) debuted on 01/07/2014, and offers broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value category of the market.

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.

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.

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.

Even though this space provides many choices to investors--think one of the simplest methodologies like equal-weighting and more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting--not all have been able to deliver first-rate results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by First Trust Advisors. RDVY has been able to amass assets over $8.64 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. RDVY, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the NASDAQ US Rising Dividend Achievers Index.

The NASDAQ US Rising Dividend Achievers Index is designed to provide access to a diversified portfolio of companies with a history of paying dividends.

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 0.50% for RDVY, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.62%.

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.

RDVY's heaviest allocation is in the Financials sector, which is about 36.80% of the portfolio. Its Information Technology and Healthcare round out the top three.

When you look at individual holdings, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM - Free Report) accounts for about 2.46% of the fund's total assets, followed by Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (JEF - Free Report) and Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) .

RDVY's top 10 holdings account for about 22.08% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, RDVY has lost about -8.73%, and is down about -2.85% in the last one year (as of 12/01/2022). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $38.88 and $52.79.

RDVY has a beta of 1.14 and standard deviation of 29.60% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 51 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


First Trust Rising Dividend Achievers ETF 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 $55.82 billion in assets, Vanguard Value ETF has $108.16 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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