The iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF (EMGF) made its debut on 12/08/2015, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund that provides broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market ETFs category of the market.
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.
Market cap weighted indexes work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide a low-cost, convenient and transparent way of replicating market returns.
On the other hand, some investors who believe that it is possible to beat the market by superior stock selection opt to invest in another class of funds that track non-cap weighted strategies--popularly known as smart beta.
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
The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $364.77 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. EMGF, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Diversified Multiple-Factor Index.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Diversified Multiple Factor Index is composed of stocks of large and mid-capitalization companies in emerging markets that have favourable exposure to target style factors subject to constraints.
Cost & Other Expenses
When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor. And, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins in the long term if all other factors remain equal.
Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.45% for this ETF, which makes it on par with most peer products in the space.
The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.61%.
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.
When you look at individual holdings, China Mobile Ltd accounts for about 3.03% of the fund's total assets, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Itausa Investimentos Itau Pref Sa (ITSA4).
The top 10 holdings account for about 21.86% of total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
The ETF has added roughly 4.65% and is down about -16.09% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 06/17/2019), respectively. EMGF has traded between $37.92 and $48.39 during this last 52-week period.
The ETF has a beta of 0.94 and standard deviation of 17.66% for the trailing three-year period. With about 241 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.
IShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF is not a suitable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Emerging Market ETFs segment of the market. Instead, there are other ETFs in the space which investors should consider.
IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) tracks MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (
VWO Quick Quote VWO - Free Report) tracks FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China An Inclusion Index. IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has $57.03 B in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $61.68 B. IEMG has an expense ratio of 0.14% and VWO charges 0.12%.
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.
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.