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Is JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market ETFs category of the market, the JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 01/07/2015.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has long been dominated by products based on market cap weighted indexes, a strategy created to reflect the market or a particular market segment.

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.

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.

This area offers many different investment choices, such as simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies; however, not all of these strategies can deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by J.P. Morgan. JPEM has been able to amass assets over $312.56 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. This particular fund seeks to match the performance of the FTSE Emerging Diversified Factor Index before fees and expenses.

The JP Morgan Diversified Factor Emerging Markets Equity Index reflects the performance of emerging market securities representing a diversified set of factor characteristics which include Value, Price, Momentum, Earnings, Revisions and Quality characteristics.

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.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.44%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

JPEM's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 4.33%.

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.

Taking into account individual holdings, Infosys Ltd Common Stock (INFY_D.) accounts for about 1.54% of the fund's total assets, followed by Vale Sa Common Stock Brl (VALE3) and Petroleo Brasileiro Sa (PETR4).

JPEM's top 10 holdings account for about 10.18% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 3.06% and was up about 10.72% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 02/21/2024), respectively. JPEM has traded between $47.68 and $53.89 during this last 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.72 and standard deviation of 13.98% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 548 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Emerging Market ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO - Free Report) tracks FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index and the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG - Free Report) tracks MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index. Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $74.65 billion in assets, iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has $74.67 billion. VWO has an expense ratio of 0.08% and IEMG charges 0.09%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Broad Emerging Market ETFs.

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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