Making its debut on 03/03/2016, smart beta exchange traded fund Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation ETF (
VIGI Quick Quote VIGI - Free Report) provides investors broad exposure to the World ETFs 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.
Investors who believe in market efficiency should consider market cap indexes, as they replicate market returns in a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way.
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.
This kind of index follows this same mindset, as it attempts to pick stocks that have better chances of risk-return performance; non-cap weighted strategies base selection on certain fundamental characteristics, or a mix of such characteristics.
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
Because the fund has amassed over $5.21 billion, this makes it one of the largest ETFs in the World ETFs. VIGI is managed by Vanguard. Before fees and expenses, VIGI seeks to match the performance of the NASDAQ International Dividend Achievers Select Index.
The S&P Global Ex-U.S. Dividend Growers Index focuses on high quality companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States, that have both the ability and the commitment to grow their dividends over time.
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.
With one of the least expensive products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.15%.
It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.13%.
Sector Exposure and Top Holdings
ETFs offer diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk, but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.
When you look at individual holdings, Novartis Ag accounts for about 4.47% of the fund's total assets, followed by Novo Nordisk A/s (NOVO) and Roche Holding Ag (
ROG Quick Quote ROG - Free Report) . Performance and Risk
The ETF has gained about 8.26% so far this year and it's up approximately 14.35% in the last one year (as of 09/18/2023). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $61.33 and $76.81.
The fund has a beta of 0.78 and standard deviation of 15.31% for the trailing three-year period. With about 325 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.
Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the World ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.
Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (
VXUS Quick Quote VXUS - Free Report) tracks FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index and the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF ( VEA Quick Quote VEA - Free Report) tracks FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. Vanguard Total International Stock ETF has $58.23 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $113.64 billion. VXUS has an expense ratio of 0.07% and VEA charges 0.05%.
Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the World ETFs.
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.