What is the  QDF ETF ?
5 min read
By Ron Koren, ETF Insider

What is the QDF ETF ?

In the ever-evolving world of finance, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have gained significant popularity as a versatile investment option. One such ETF that has captured the attention of investors is the QDF ETF. In this article, we will explore the QDF ETF, its overview, underlying exposure, benefits of investing, and important considerations before making a decision. Let's dive into the details!

QDF ETF: Overview

The QDF ETF, which stands for Quality Dividend Fund, is designed to provide investors with exposure to a high-quality income-oriented universe of long-only U.S. equity securities. It aims to emphasize long-term capital growth while maintaining a targeted overall beta that is similar to the Northern Trust 1250 Index (Parent Index). This index comprises U.S. domiciled large- and mid-capitalization companies, making it an attractive option for those seeking market exposure with an income-oriented approach.

QDF ETF Underlying and Exposure: What does it track and how?

The QDF ETF derives its underlying index through a meticulous process. The index provider, Northern Trust (NTI), starts with all securities in the Parent Index and then eliminates those securities that rank in the lowest quintile of quality based on a proprietary scoring model. Additionally, securities that do not pay a dividend are also excluded from the selection process.
The proprietary quality scoring model evaluates various metrics obtained from company filings and quantitatively ranks the securities based on three key components - management efficiency, profitability, and cash flow generation. Once the selection process is complete, an optimization process is employed to select and weight eligible securities. This process aims to maximize the overall quality score relative to the Parent Index, achieve an aggregate dividend yield exceeding the Parent Index, and reach the desired beta target.
The QDF ETF adopts a "passive" or indexing approach, focusing on a representative sampling strategy to manage the fund. It invests in a sample of securities that collectively have an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index. However, the fund may not hold all the securities in the index, reserving the right to invest in substantially all of them if deemed necessary in the best interest of the fund.

QDF overlap What is the  QDF ETF ?QDF overlap What is the QDF ETF ?

QDF ETF: Benefits to Invest

Investing in the QDF ETF offers several advantages to investors. Firstly, it provides exposure to high-quality income-oriented U.S. equity securities, which can potentially generate long-term capital growth. The focus on quality companies may also result in reduced volatility, providing investors with a more stable investment experience.
Moreover, the QDF ETF follows an indexing approach, eliminating the need for active management fees and trading costs. As it aims to track its Underlying Index, it offers a cost-effective investment solution for investors looking to gain exposure to the Parent Index without incurring high expenses.

QDF ETF: Considerations Before Investing

Before investing in the QDF ETF, investors should be aware of certain considerations. Firstly, the fund may concentrate its investments in particular industries or sectors to the same extent as the Underlying Index. As of December 31, 2022, the Underlying Index was concentrated in the Information Technology sector. Concentration in a specific sector can expose the fund to sector-specific risks.
Additionally, investors should evaluate their risk tolerance and investment goals. While the QDF ETF aims to provide long-term capital growth, it is essential to align the investment with individual financial objectives.


The QDF ETF is a well-designed investment option that offers exposure to a high-quality income-oriented universe of U.S. equity securities. It follows a passive indexing approach and aims to provide long-term capital growth while maintaining a targeted overall beta. Before investing, investors should carefully consider their risk tolerance and financial goals to make an informed decision.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide any investment advisory services. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as personalized investment advice. Investors should conduct thorough research and seek advice from financial professionals before making any investment decisions.

QDF ETF issuer
QDF ETF official page

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  • What is the QDF ETF?

    The QDF ETF, also known as the FlexShares Quality Dividend Index Fund, is an exchange-traded fund that aims to track the performance of high-performing equity securities of U.S. companies.

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

    The QDF ETF aims to track the FlexShares Quality Dividend Index, a rules-based index designed to provide investors with exposure to U.S. companies that have strong fundamentals in growth, value, profitability, and cash flow.

  • How are companies selected for inclusion in the QDF ETF?

    The Index Provider, MarketGrader Capital, LLC, selects 400 stocks from the MarketGrader U.S. Coverage Universe based on their fundamentals and then screens them for specific criteria regarding concentration, market capitalization, and liquidity. The eligible stocks are equally weighted in the Underlying Index.

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

    The QDF ETF includes a diverse range of U.S. companies with strong fundamentals, which may come from various sectors such as technology, finance, consumer goods, healthcare, and more.

  • How does the QDF ETF work?

    The QDF ETF operates by investing at least 80% of its total assets in the equity securities that make up the Underlying Index. By holding a diversified basket of U.S. companies with favorable fundamentals, the ETF seeks to provide investors with exposure to high-performing equity securities.