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Is First Trust SMID Cap Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (SDVY) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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The First Trust SMID Cap Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (SDVY - Free Report) was launched on 11/01/2017, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Style Box - Mid 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.

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.

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

SDVY is managed by First Trust Advisors, and this fund has amassed over $1.09 billion, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Mid Cap Value. SDVY seeks to match the performance of the NASDAQ US Small Mid Cap Rising Dividend Achievers Index before fees and expenses.

The NASDAQ US Small Mid Cap Rising Dividend Achievers Index is composed of the securities of 100 small and mid-cap companies with a history of raising their dividends and exhibit the characteristics to continue to do so in the future.

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.

Annual operating expenses for SDVY are 0.60%, which makes it one of the most expensive products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.22%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Representing 28.40% of the portfolio, the fund has heaviest allocation to the Financials sector; Consumer Discretionary and Industrials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Amkor Technology, Inc. (AMKR - Free Report) accounts for about 1.13% of total assets, followed by Entegris, Inc. (ENTG - Free Report) and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. (SWBI - Free Report) .

SDVY's top 10 holdings account for about 10.85% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has gained about 2.69% and is down about -1.67% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 03/13/2023), respectively. SDVY has traded between $23 and $29.71 during this last 52-week period.

The fund has a beta of 1.19 and standard deviation of 30.51% for the trailing three-year period. With about 101 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


First Trust SMID Cap Rising Dividend Achievers ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Mid Cap Value segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

IShares Russell Mid-Cap Value ETF (IWS - Free Report) tracks Russell MidCap Value Index and the Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF (VOE - Free Report) tracks CRSP U.S. Mid Cap Value Index. IShares Russell Mid-Cap Value ETF has $12.39 billion in assets, Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF has $15.58 billion. IWS has an expense ratio of 0.23% and VOE charges 0.07%.

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 - Mid 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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