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5 New iShares ETFs Worth a Look


BlackRock's iShares is the world's largest exchange traded fund issuer. Here, a look at five of the better ETFs that debuted in 2011.


A previous looks at some of 2011's new ETFs focused on some of the smaller ETF issuers, but today we're heading in the opposite direction.

BlackRock's (BLK) iShares is the world's largest ETF issuer. In the U.S., iShares had 220 ETFs with almost $444 billion in assets under management at the end of October. That's well above the firm's closest rival, State Street (STT) State Street Global Advisors, which had "just" 104 ETFs and $264.5 billion in assets under management (AUM) at the end of last month.

Part of the recipe for retaining the throne as the world's largest ETF issuer is the introduction of new ETFs. iShares did plenty of that in 2011 and did so across an array of assets classes – stocks, bonds, forex, etc.

With that, let's look at five of the better new iShares that debuted in 2011.

1. iShares High Dividend Equity Fund (HDV)
Inception date: March 31
Year-to-date performance: 10%
Average daily volume: 227,600
Investor Appeal Grade: A

HDV doesn't do anything noticeably different than a lot of other dividend ETFs that are older, but investors want dividends and they want them badly. That much is highlighted by the fact that HDV is just nine months old and has almost $908 million in AUM. On the basis of performance and its AUM total, HDV is clearly one of 2011's best new ETFs. Period.

2. iShares S&P Intl Preferred Stock Index Fund (IPFF)
Inception date: November 15
Year-to-date performance: 0.5%
Average daily volume: 11,200
Investor Appeal Grade: B+

Like so many ETFs tracking preferred issues, IPFF is heavily allocated to financials. In this case, over 84% of the ETF's weight is devoted to that sector. The newest member of this list, IPFF isn't even two months old, but an AUM total of almost $6.2 million in that time is impressive.

3. iShares Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond ETF (LEMB)
Inception date: October 18
Year-to-date performance: -2.7%
Average daily volume: 1,800
Investor Appeal Grade: A

The non-dollar theme has proven prevalent with international bond ETFs in 2011 and LEMB has been no exception, raking in almost $29 million in AUM. As I previously noted, LEMB has a long way to go to challenge the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Local Debt ETF (ELD). A distribution yield of 3.7% is nice.

4. iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility Index Fund (EEMV)
Inception date: October 18
Year-to-date performance: 1.8%
Average volume: 14,780
Investor Appeal Grade: B+

Investors love emerging markets, but that doesn't mean they have to love volatility. EEMV provides an outlet for the volatility-shy among us to still get a slice of emerging markets growth. This ETF is off to a decent start, but 2012 could see EEMV's validation or repudiation.

5. iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap Index Fund (EEMS)
Inception date: August 16
Year-to-date performance: -17.2%
Average daily volume: 1,770
Investor Appeal Grade: B

That grade is quite a feat given the ETF's performance, as is $32.5 million in AUM in what has been a miserable year for the combination of small-caps and emerging markets. Three countries – Taiwan, South Korea and India – account for 47% of the weight of this ETF. EEMS is clearly a survivor, but it has a lot of competition in this market niche.

Editor's Note: This content was originally published on by The ETF Professor.

Below, find some more great ETF and market content from Benzinga:

Fast Money's Terranova: Start 2012 Defensive
By Brandon Pilzner

Banished: 2011's Biggest ETF Disappointments
By The ETF Professor

Sears Brings the Joy by Announcing the Stores to Close
By Brett Callwood

Twitter: @Benzinga

Benzinga Pro covers this and all market news in real time. Get your free trial here.

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