Is iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (CRBN) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research
·4-min read

A smart beta exchange traded fund, the iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (CRBN) debuted on 12/08/2014, and offers broad exposure to the World 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 work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide a low-cost, convenient and transparent way of replicating market returns.

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.

The smart beta space gives investors many different choices, from equal-weighting, one of the simplest strategies, to more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting. However, not all of these methodologies have been able to deliver remarkable returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

Because the fund has amassed over $492.09 million, this makes it one of the larger ETFs in the World ETFs. CRBN is managed by Blackrock. CRBN seeks to match the performance of the MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target Index before fees and expenses.

The MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target Index is designed to address two dimensions of carbon exposure ? carbon emissions and potential carbon emissions from fossil fuel reserves.

Cost & Other Expenses

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long-term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins, other things remaining the same.

Annual operating expenses for CRBN are 0.20%, which makes it one of the least expensive products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.91%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer 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.

Looking at individual holdings, Apple Inc (AAPL) accounts for about 3.85% of total assets, followed by Microsoft Corp (MSFT) and Amazon Com Inc (AMZN).

The top 10 holdings account for about 15.52% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has gained about 4.80% and it's up approximately 12.52% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 10/23/2020), respectively. CRBN has traded between $89.44 and $137.90 during this last 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.96 and standard deviation of 20.78% for the trailing three-year period, making it a low risk choice in the space. With about 1412 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the World ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares ESG MSCI EM ETF (ESGE) tracks MSCI Emerging Markets ESG Focus Index and the iShares ESG MSCI USA ETF (ESGU) tracks MSCI USA ESG Focus Index. IShares ESG MSCI EM ETF has $4.69 billion in assets, iShares ESG MSCI USA ETF has $10.87 billion. ESGE has an expense ratio of 0.25% and ESGU charges 0.15%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the 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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iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (CRBN): ETF Research Reports
 
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iShares ESG MSCI EM ETF (ESGE): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares ESG MSCI USA ETF (ESGU): ETF Research Reports
 
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