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Is Schwab Fundamental U.S. Small Company Index ETF (FNDA) a Strong ETF Right Now?

The Schwab Fundamental U.S. Small Company Index ETF (FNDA) made its debut on 08/13/2013, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund that provides broad exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Value category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.

A good option for investors who believe in market efficiency, market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns.

However, some investors believe in the possibility of beating the market through exceptional stock selection, and choose a different type of fund that tracks non-cap weighted strategies: 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.

While this space offers a number of choices to investors, including simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies, not all these strategies have been able to deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by Charles Schwab. FNDA has been able to amass assets over $4.76 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs in the Style Box - Small Cap Value. FNDA, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the Russell RAFI US Small Co. Index.

The Russell RAFI US Small Company Index measures the performance of the small company size segment by fundamental overall company scores.

Cost & Other Expenses

Cost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins if all other fundamentals are the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.25% for FNDA, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.24%.

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.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Industrials sector - about 18.60% of the portfolio. Consumer Discretionary and Financials round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Sm Energy Co Common Stock Usd.01 (SM) accounts for about 0.88% of the fund's total assets, followed by Dillards Inc Cl A Common Stock (DDS) and Amc Entertainment Hlds Cl A Common Stock Usd.01 (AMC).

The top 10 holdings account for about 4.79% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -7.65% so far this year and is down about -0.53% in the last one year (as of 03/14/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $48.69 and $57.77.

The fund has a beta of 1.22 and standard deviation of 29.28% for the trailing three-year period, which makes FNDA a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 932 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

Schwab Fundamental U.S. Small Company Index ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Small Cap Value segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN) tracks Russell 2000 Value Index and the Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF (VBR) tracks CRSP U.S. Small Cap Value Index. IShares Russell 2000 Value ETF has $14.58 billion in assets, Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF has $25.89 billion. IWN has an expense ratio of 0.24% and VBR charges 0.07%.

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 - Small 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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Schwab Fundamental U.S. Small Company Index ETF (FNDA): ETF Research Reports
 
Dillard's, Inc. (DDS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SM Energy Company (SM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (AMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF (VBR): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN): ETF Research Reports
 
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