Designed to provide broad exposure to the Materials - Broad segment of the equity market, the Vanguard Materials ETF (VAW - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 01/26/2004.While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.Investor-friendly, sector ETFs provide many options to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Materials - Broad is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 5, placing it in top 31%.Index DetailsThe fund is sponsored by Vanguard.
It has amassed assets over $2.86 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Materials - Broad segment of the equity market. VAW seeks to match the performance of the MSCI US Investable Market Materials 25/50 Index before fees and expenses.The MSCI US Investable Market Materials 25/50 Index includes stocks of U.S. companies within the materials sector.CostsCost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts if all other fundamentals are the same.Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.10%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.98%.Sector Exposure and Top HoldingsWhile 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 Materials sector--about 100% of the portfolio.Looking at individual holdings, Linde Plc (LIN - Free Report) accounts for about 13.32% of total assets, followed by Sherwin-Williams Co. (SHW - Free Report) and Air Products And Chemicals Inc. (APD - Free Report) .The top 10 holdings account for about 46.77% of total assets under management.Performance and RiskSo far this year, VAW has added roughly 0%, and is down about -11.84% in the last one year (as of 01/03/2023).
During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $147.73 and $199.49.The ETF has a beta of 1.11 and standard deviation of 29.05% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 117 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.AlternativesVanguard Materials ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, VAW is a sufficient option for those seeking exposure to the Materials ETFs area of the market.
Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB - Free Report) tracks Materials Select Sector Index and the FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources ETF (GUNR - Free Report) tracks Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources Index. Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF has $5.28 billion in assets, FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources ETF has $7.36 billion. XLB has an expense ratio of 0.10% and GUNR charges 0.46%.Bottom LineTo 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.