What is the  IQDF ETF ?
5 min read
By Beqa Bumbeishvili, ETF Insider

What is the IQDF ETF ?

IQDF ETF: Overview

The IQDF ETF, also known as the International Quality Dividend-Focused ETF, is a financial instrument designed to provide exposure to a high-quality income-oriented universe of long-only international securities issued by non-U.S.-based companies. The main goal of this ETF is to target long-term capital growth while maintaining a similar overall market sensitivity, or beta, as the Northern Trust International Large Cap Index (the "Parent Index"). Before delving into the underlying and exposure details of the IQDF ETF, let's understand its core features and benefits.

IQDF ETF Underlying and Exposure: What Does It Track and How?

To create the Underlying Index for the IQDF ETF, the index provider, Northern Trust International (NTI), employs a proprietary scoring model that ranks securities based on various metrics obtained from company filings. This model assesses management efficiency, profitability, and cash flow generation to determine the quality of each security. Securities ranking in the lowest quintile of quality are removed, as are those that do not pay dividends.
NTI then optimizes the selection and weighting of eligible securities to achieve multiple objectives: maximizing the overall quality score relative to the Parent Index, attaining an aggregate dividend yield higher than that of the Parent Index, and achieving the desired beta target. The optimization process includes various constraints to manage risk exposure effectively.
As of December 31, 2022, the Underlying Index comprises 196 issues. This index follows transparent, objective rules for security selection, exclusion, rebalancing, and adjustments for corporate actions. It is reconstituted quarterly, and the IQDF ETF generally aligns its portfolio with the composition of the Underlying Index.

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IQDF ETF: Benefits to Invest in This ETF

One of the primary advantages of investing in the IQDF ETF is its focus on quality dividend-paying securities. Dividend payments can provide a stable income stream for investors, making it an attractive option for those seeking income-oriented investments. Additionally, the ETF's approach of targeting high-quality international securities may appeal to investors looking to diversify their portfolios beyond domestic markets.
Moreover, the IQDF ETF adopts a passive or indexing approach, aiming to replicate the performance of its Underlying Index. This strategy eliminates the need for active management and reduces expenses, making it a cost-effective investment option.

IQDF ETF: Considerations Before Investing

While the IQDF ETF presents several benefits, potential investors should consider certain factors before making investment decisions. One critical aspect is understanding the risk associated with international investments. Foreign markets may have different regulatory environments, political climates, and economic conditions that can impact investment performance.
Furthermore, investors should analyze the ETF's expense ratio, tracking error, and liquidity to ensure it aligns with their investment goals and risk tolerance. It's essential to review the historical performance of the ETF and evaluate how it behaves under different market conditions.


The IQDF ETF offers investors exposure to a high-quality income-oriented universe of international securities. Its focus on dividends and quality metrics makes it an attractive option for those seeking income and diversification. However, as with any investment, it's essential to conduct thorough research and consider one's financial goals and risk appetite before investing in the IQDF ETF.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. The information provided in this article is based on sources believed to be reliable, but we do not provide any investment advisory services. Investors should consult with a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

IQDF ETF issuer
IQDF ETF official page

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  • What is the IQDF ETF?

    The IQDF ETF, also known as the FlexShares International Quality Dividend Defensive Index Fund, is an exchange-traded fund that focuses on investing in international equities with strong dividend characteristics and defensive qualities.

  • What is the underlying index that the IQDF ETF aims to track?

    The IQDF ETF aims to track the performance of the Northern Trust International Quality Dividend Defensive Index. This index selects and ranks international companies based on their quality, dividend yield, and low volatility attributes.

  • What types of companies are included in the IQDF ETF?

    The IQDF ETF includes companies from various international markets that have demonstrated strong dividend characteristics, financial stability, and lower volatility, making them attractive for investors seeking a defensive approach to investing.

  • How does the IQDF ETF work?

    The IQDF ETF works by investing in a portfolio of international equities that have been selected and weighted based on their quality, dividend yield, and low volatility characteristics as defined by the underlying index.

  • What are the advantages of investing in the IQDF ETF?

    Investing in the IQDF ETF provides exposure to international dividend-paying companies with defensive qualities, which can help manage risk during volatile market conditions. Additionally, the focus on quality and dividends may offer the potential for income and long-term capital appreciation.