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Should iShares Russell Top 200 ETF (IWL) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Large Cap Blend segment of the US equity market, the iShares Russell Top 200 ETF (IWL) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 09/22/2009.

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $421.69 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Large Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

Why Large Cap Blend

Large cap companies typically have a market capitalization above $10 billion. Overall, they are usually a stable option, with less risk and more sure-fire cash flows than mid and small cap companies.

Blend ETFs usually hold a mix of growth and value stocks as well as stocks that exhibit both value and growth characteristics.

Costs

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.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.15%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.88%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer a 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.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector--about 26.40% of the portfolio. Healthcare and Financials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Apple Inc (AAPL) accounts for about 6.07% of total assets, followed by Microsoft Corp (MSFT - Free Report) and Amazon Com Inc (AMZN).

The top 10 holdings account for about 28.46% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

IWL seeks to match the performance of the Russell Top 200 Index before fees and expenses. The Russell Top 200 Index is a float-adjusted, capitalization-weighted index that measures the performance of the largest capitalization sector of the U.S. equity market.

The ETF return is roughly 3.94% so far this year and is up about 25.37% in the last one year (as of 02/06/2020). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $62.66 and $78.09.

The ETF has a beta of 1 and standard deviation of 13.09% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 199 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IShares Russell Top 200 ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, IWL is an outstanding option for investors seeking exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Blend segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) track a similar index. While iShares Core S&P 500 ETF has $210.35 B in assets, SPDR S&P 500 ETF has $319.37 B. IVV has an expense ratio of 0.04% and SPY charges 0.09%.

Bottom-Line

Passively managed ETFs are becoming increasingly popular with institutional as well as retail investors due to their low cost, transparency, flexibility and tax efficiency. They are excellent vehicles for long term investors.

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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