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Is First Trust Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (RDVY) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Making its debut on 01/07/2014, smart beta exchange traded fund First Trust Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (RDVY) provides investors broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value 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 offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, and are a good option for investors who believe in market efficiency.

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.

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.

Even though this space provides many choices to investors--think one of the simplest methodologies like equal-weighting and more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting--not all have been able to deliver first-rate results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by First Trust Advisors, and has been able to amass over $7.61 billion, which makes it one of the larger ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. Before fees and expenses, RDVY seeks to match the performance of the NASDAQ US Rising Dividend Achievers Index.

The NASDAQ US Rising Dividend Achievers Index is designed to provide access to a diversified portfolio of companies with a history of paying dividends.

Cost & Other Expenses

For ETF investors, expense ratios are an important factor when considering a fund's return; in the long-term, cheaper funds actually have the ability to outperform their more expensive cousins if all other things remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for RDVY are 0.50%, which makes it on par with most peer products in the space.

RDVY's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 1.92%.

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.

Representing 37.70% of the portfolio, the fund has heaviest allocation to the Financials sector; Information Technology and Healthcare round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM) accounts for about 2.46% of total assets, followed by Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (JEF) and Apple Inc. (AAPL).

The top 10 holdings account for about 22.08% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -23.15% and is down about -16.71% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 09/26/2022), respectively. RDVY has traded between $39.75 and $52.79 during this last 52-week period.

RDVY has a beta of 1.13 and standard deviation of 28.87% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 51 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


First Trust Rising Dividend Achievers ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Value segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) tracks Russell 1000 Value Index and the Vanguard Value ETF (VTV) tracks CRSP U.S. Large Cap Value Index. IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF has $48.64 billion in assets, Vanguard Value ETF has $91.86 billion. IWD has an expense ratio of 0.18% and VTV charges 0.04%.

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 - Large Cap Value.

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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First Trust Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (RDVY): ETF Research Reports
Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (JEF): Free Stock Analysis Report
WilliamsSonoma, Inc. (WSM): Free Stock Analysis Report
Vanguard Value ETF (VTV): ETF Research Reports
iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD): ETF Research Reports
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