Launched on 12/08/2015, the iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF (EMGF - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market ETFs category of the market.
What Are Smart Beta ETFs?
Products that are based on market cap weighted indexes, which are strategies designed to reflect a specific market segment or the market as a whole, have traditionally dominated the ETF industry.
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.
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.
Methodologies like equal-weighting, one of the simplest options out there, fundamental weighting, and volatility/momentum based weighting are all choices offered to investors in this space, but not all of them can deliver superior returns.
Fund Sponsor & Index
The fund is managed by Blackrock. EMGF has been able to amass assets over $521.89 million, making it one of the larger 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 EMGF, making it on par with most peer products in the space.
It's 12-month trailing dividend yield comes in at 2.73%.
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.
Taking into account individual holdings, Alibaba Group Holding Adr Represen (BABA - Free Report) accounts for about 4.24% of the fund's total assets, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Sk Hynix Inc.
EMGF's top 10 holdings account for about 26.33% of its total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
So far this year, EMGF has lost about -5.95%, and it's up approximately 3.07% in the last one year (as of 07/07/2020). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $30.50 and $46.67.
The fund has a beta of 0.93 and standard deviation of 23.43% for the trailing three-year period. With about 276 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.
IShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets 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.
IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG - Free Report) tracks MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO - Free Report) tracks FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index. IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has $52.64 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $60.08 billion. IEMG has an expense ratio of 0.13% and VWO charges 0.10%.
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.