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Is Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets exUS ETF (RODM) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Smart Beta ETF report for RODM

This story originally appeared on Zacks

The Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets exUS ETF (RODM) was launched on 02/25/2015, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Broad Developed World ETFs category of the market.

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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.

There are some investors, though, who think it's possible to beat the market with great stock selection; this group likely invests in another class of funds known as smart beta, which track 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 sponsored by Hartfordfunds. It has amassed assets over $1.94 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs in the Broad Developed World ETFs. Before fees and expenses, RODM seeks to match the performance of the Hartford Risk-Optimized Multifactor Developed Markets (ex-US) Index.

The Hartford Risk-Optimized Multifactor Developed Markets (ex-US) Index seeks to de-concentrate country, currency, and individual company risks in developed market economies (ex US).

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.

With on par with most peer products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.29%.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 3.28%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Kuehne Nagel Intl Ag Reg Common Stock Chf1.0 (KNIA) accounts for about 0.86% of total assets, followed by Investor Ab B Shs Common Stock Sek6.25 (INVE) and Merck Kgaa Common Stock (MRK).

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 7.77% of RODM's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, RODM has added about 8.26%, and is up about 18.11% in the last one year (as of 10/11/2021). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $25.02 and $31.92.

The ETF has a beta of 0.79 and standard deviation of 19.49% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 504 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets exUS ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Developed World ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS) tracks FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index and the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) tracks FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. Vanguard Total International Stock ETF has $49.06 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF has $101.98 billion. VXUS has an expense ratio of 0.08% and VEA 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 Broad Developed World 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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Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets exUS ETF (RODM): ETF Research Reports


Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report


Identiv, Inc. (INVE): Free Stock Analysis Report


Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA): ETF Research Reports


Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS): ETF Research Reports


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