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Should You Invest in the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF)?

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If you're interested in broad exposure to the Healthcare - Healthcare - Providers segment of the equity market, look no further than the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF - Free Report) , a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 05/01/2006.

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

Sector ETFs are also funds of convenience, offering many ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Healthcare - Healthcare - Providers is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 4, placing it in top 25%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $1.19 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Healthcare - Healthcare - Providers segment of the equity market. IHF seeks to match the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Select HealthCare Providers Index before fees and expenses.

The Dow Jones U.S. Select HealthCare Providers Index is free-float adjusted market capitalization-weighted index. It measures the performance of the health care providers sub-sector of the U.S. equity market. It includes health maintenance organizations, hospitals, clinics, dentists, opticians, nursing homes rehabilitation & retirement centres.


When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.39%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.80%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Healthcare sector--about 100% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, Unitedhealth Group Inc (UNH - Free Report) accounts for about 22.45% of total assets, followed by Cvs Health Corp (CVS - Free Report) and Elevance Health Inc (ELV - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 66.48% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -7.68% so far this year and is down about -12.63% in the last one year (as of 03/21/2023). In that past 52-week period, it has traded between $239.35 and $295.88.

The ETF has a beta of 0.82 and standard deviation of 22.29% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 73 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


IShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF sports a Zacks ETF Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. IHF, then, is not the best option for investors seeking exposure to the Health Care ETFs segment of the market. Instead, there are better ETFs in the space to consider.

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