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Is Franklin U.S. Mid Cap Multifactor Index ETF (FLQM) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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The Franklin U.S. Mid Cap Multifactor Index ETF (FLQM - Free Report) was launched on 04/26/2017, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Style Box - Mid Cap Blend category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.

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.

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.

By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.

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

Managed by Franklin Templeton Investments, FLQM has amassed assets over $627.02 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Mid Cap Blend. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the LibertyQ U.S. Mid Cap Equity Index.

The LibertyQ U.S. Mid Cap Equity Index includes U.S. mid-capitalization companies that have favorable exposure to four investment style factors - quality, value, momentum and low volatility.

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.

With on par with most peer products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.30%.

FLQM's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 1.17%.

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.

For FLQM, it has heaviest allocation in the Industrials sector --about 22.30% of the portfolio --while Consumer Discretionary and Information Technology round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Trane Technologies Plc (TT - Free Report) accounts for about 1.09% of the fund's total assets, followed by Fastenal Co (FAST - Free Report) and Kroger Co (KR - Free Report) .

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 10.58% of FLQM's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the Franklin U.S. Mid Cap Multifactor Index ETF has gained about 7.84% so far, and is up roughly 22.29% over the last 12 months (as of 05/10/2024). FLQM has traded between $40.75 and $53.46 in this past 52-week period.

FLQM has a beta of 1.03 and standard deviation of 17.04% for the trailing three-year period. With about 208 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Franklin U.S. Mid Cap Multifactor Index ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Mid Cap Blend segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF (VO - Free Report) tracks CRSP US Mid Cap Index and the iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (IJH - Free Report) tracks S&P MidCap 400 Index. Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF has $64.31 billion in assets, iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF has $83.88 billion. VO has an expense ratio of 0.04% and IJH 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 Style Box - Mid Cap Blend.

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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