This ETF is one of several products available to investors looking to achieve targeted exposure to a specific "factor," which in the case of USMV is low volatility. The underlying index consists of stocks that have historically exhibited relatively low volatility, a unique methodology that makes USMV potentially useful in a number of different ways. This fund can be used as an alternative to broad-based domestic equity funds, though the shallow nature of the underlying portfolio may be a concern. Perhaps a better use would be as a way to dial down the overall risk of an equity portfolio, essentially allowing investors to scale back their downside loss potential while still maintaining some up side. USMV is appealing in the sense that it allows investors to achieve cheap, easy exposure to a strategy that would be difficult and time consuming to implement under the "do it yourself" methodology the expense ratio is extremely low given the methodology employed, and the strategy offered can be a simple but effective way to fine tune the overall risk of a portfolio. We might be hesitant to achieve all of a portfolio's domestic equity exposure through this one ticker--there are only about 125 components in total--but acknowledge that USMV can be a very useful complementary holding.
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