The largest ETF provider in the country — iShares, which is owned by BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) — is releasing four new ETFs on Thursday. These funds will enable investors to get low-cost exposure to broad indexes in both the equity and fixed income spaces. The funds include the iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO), the iShares Core MSCI Europe ETF (IEUR), the iShares Core MSCI Pacific ETF (IPAC), and the iShares Core GNMA Bond ETF (IUSB).
In what follows I will give an overview of each fund so that you can decide whether any of them would fit well with your portfolio strategy. Keep in mind that while there is no substitute for stock-picking, there are many instances when the best strategy and the best use of your time is to come up with an overall view of the macroeconomic environment and make investment decisions accordingly through index funds that own stocks in different regions or sectors in the economy.
1. The iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF
This fund is designed to replicate the performance of the Morningstar U.S. Dividend Growth Index, which you can read about in greater detail here. The basic idea of the index is to record the performance of stocks that have a long-standing history of raising their dividends. This strategy would appeal to more conservative investors and retirees who are looking for an income stream. These stocks are not going to skyrocket in value in a few weeks or months, but they will make you money in the long run. The fund will include several familiar holdings including Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), and Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP).