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IDOG: A Diamond in the Inflationary Rough

  • Last month, the ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (IDOG) handily outperformed weak broad-based international and US indices as cyclical sectors helped lift IDOG’s deep value portfolio. Despite generally sluggish global markets after March inflation data in the US came in higher-than-expected, inflation across European and other developed international economies remained more subdued, resulting in better risk sentiment across international markets in April.  

  • IDOG’s significant overweight to the United Kingdom (18.80% weight*) paid dividends last month, contributing the most to fund performance through April (+0.45%) and year-to-date (+1.27%). Stronger commodities pricing drove IDOG’s cyclical names in April with UK-based mining company, Rio Tinto PLC (RIO LN, 2.20% weight*), returning 8.21% as commodity miners and producers rallied on the back of robust Chinese demand and higher metal prices. Denmark shipping company, A.P. Moller–Maersk A/S (MAERSKB DC, 2.11% weight*), surged nearly 17% in April ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings where the markets expect to see a rise in guidance thanks to higher-for-longer shipping rates. Additionally, Norwegian aluminum supplier, Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY NO, 2.34% weight*), rose 13.31% last month, benefitting from higher metal prices and the company’s newest solar project in Brazil that became operational during the month.

  • Sector attribution within IDOG saw cyclical sectors, Materials, Financials and Industrials rally in April on stronger corporate earnings growth. NatWest Group Plc. (NWG LN, 2.37% weight*) gained over 13% in April after the financial company reported net interest income above average analyst estimates on the back of asset growth within lending and deposits, despite tighter conditions. Similarly, in IDOG’s Utilities sector, Fortum Oyj (FORTUM FH, 2.04% weight*), returned 7.18% last month after reporting better first-quarter profits on higher margins resulting from a large uptick in hydropower demand. Lastly, the artificial intelligence (AI) craze continued within developed markets as WPP PLC (WPP LN, 2.24% weight*) gained nearly 7% within IDOG’s Communication Services sector after the advertising company announced a partnership with Google (not in IDOG) to integrate Google’s data analytics & AI tools within WPP’s marketing systems. 

“This weak growth backdrop, coupled with much lower inflation, sets up a strong case for the ECB [European Central Bank] to begin its rate cutting cycle in June and ahead of the US Federal Reserve (Fed)… Given this, the market is more confident in the eurozone rates outlook by pricing in an early start to the easing cycle compared to the US. Lower rates may lead to improving business investment, as well as corporate margins.”

– JPMorgan Global Market Strategist, Kerry Craig, April 16, 2024

International Developed Central Banks Expected to Cut Rates Ahead of the US
  • With inflationary pressures ticking higher in consecutive months in the US, investors are beginning to wake up to opportunities within international developed markets. Not only do international markets have much more attractive valuation multiples than the US, but more benign inflation readings relative to the US are leading investors to price in expected interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank (ECB) starting in June, while US rates cuts are now expected to be pushed out to December 2024. 

  • As the “Magnificent 7” (Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla and Meta) pushes valuations on US broad-based indices to teeth-chattering levels, broad-based international indices face a similar concentration risk with the top ten stocks in the MSCI EAFE Index driving over 60% of its gains so far in 2024.1 Similarly, sector concentration risk within Financials at nearly 20% in the MSCI EAFE results in an overreliance on lower-quality European banks that have had difficulties navigating a higher interest rate backdrop. The ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (IDOG) provides equal-weighted sector and stock exposure to deep-value international names that offer investors elevated yields at much lower valuation multiples than the MSCI EAFE Index, currently trading at 9.90x trailing twelve month earnings versus 15.71x1 on the MSCI EAFE Index.  


  • Investors now expect the ECB to implement its first rate cut in June, diverging from the US where recent spikes in inflation have pushed out expectations of the first rate cut to as far as December. 

  • IDOG’s 77% allocation to Western Europe1 sets the fund up well for a possible investor rotation to Europe from the US markets as macro tailwinds build on a potentially easing ECB, as we saw with Japan’s sharp rally in 2023 as its central bank held interest rates well below other developed markets.

Performance Summary
  Cumulative Annualized
  1 M YTD 1 Y 3 Y 1 Y 5 Y 10 Y SI
IDOG - NAV (Net Asset Value) -0.40% -0.16% 8.68% 21.45% 12.89% 7.17% 4.14% 5.87%
IDOG - Market Price -0.98% -0.75% 7.61% 20.73% 12.57% 7.20% 4.15% 5.91%
S-Network International Sector Dividend Dogs Index - NTR -0.39% -0.07% 9.08% 22.77% 13.36% 7.60% 4.54% 6.29%
Morningstar Developed Markets ex-North America Index - NTR -2.47% 2.59% 9.01% 5.94% 15.01% 6.99% 4.69% 6.10%

Source: Bloomberg L.P. and SS&C ALPS Advisors, cumulative performance as of 04/30/2024 and annualized performance as of 03/31/2024

Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. The investment return and principal value will fluctuate. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance quoted. For current month-end performance call 1-866-759-5679 or visit www.alpsfunds.com. Performance includes reinvested distributions and capital gains.

Market Price is based on the midpoint of the bid/ask spread at 4 p.m. ET and does not represent the returns an investor would receive if shares were traded at other times.

Fund inception date: 06/27/2013

Total Operating Expenses: 0.50%

* Weight in IDOG as of 04/30/2024

1 Bloomberg, as of 04/30/2024


Top 10 Holdings

NatWest Group PLC 2.37%   Rio Tinto PLC 2.20%
Norsk Hydro ASA 2.34%   OMV AG 2.20%
WPP PLC 2.24%   Telenor ASA 2.13%
Credit Agricole SA 2.24%   Imperial Brands PLC 2.11%
Intesa Sanpaolo SpA 2.23%   AP Moller - Maersk A/S 2.11%

As of 04/30/2024, subject to change

Important Disclosures & Definitions

An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus containing this and other information, call 1-866-759-5679 or visit www.alpsfunds.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Shares of ETFs are bought and sold at market price (not NAV) and are not individually redeemable.

Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results; current performance may be higher or lower than performance quoted.

All investments are subject to risks, including the loss of money and the possible loss of the entire principal amount invested. Additional information regarding the risks of this investment is available in the prospectus.

The Fund is subject to the additional risks associated with concentrating its investments in companies in the market sector.

Diversification does not eliminate the risk of experiencing investment losses.

The Fund’s investments in non-US issuers may involve unique risks compared to investing in securities of US issuers, including, among others, less liquidity generally, greater market volatility than US securities and less complete financial information than for US issuers. In addition, adverse political, economic or social developments could undermine the value of the Fund’s investments or prevent the Fund from realizing the full value of its investments. Finally, the value of the currency of the country in which the Fund has invested could decline relative to the value of the US dollar, which may affect the value of the investment to US investors. 

The Fund employs a “passive management” - or indexing - investment approach and seeks investment results that correspond (before fees and expenses) generally to the performance of its underlying index. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund is not “actively” managed. Therefore, it would not necessarily sell or buy a security unless that security is removed from or added to the underlying index, respectively.

Basis Point (bps): a unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1% and is used to denote the change in a financial instrument.

Morningstar Developed Markets ex-North America Index: measures the performance of companies in developed markets ex-North America. It covers approximately 97% of the full market capitalization in the Developed Markets ex-North America. 

MSCI EAFE Index: an equity index which captures large- and mid-cap representation across 21 developed markets countries around the world, excluding the US and Canada, covering approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.

S-Network International Sector Dividend Dogs Index (IDOGX): a portfolio of stocks derived from a universe of mainly large capitalization stocks domiciled in developed markets outside the Americas (the “S-Network Developed Market (ex NA) Index”). The IDOGX methodology selects the five stocks in each of the ten GICS sectors that make up the universe which offer the highest dividend yields as of the last trading day of November. The fifty stocks that are selected for inclusion in the portfolio are equally weighted. 

One may not invest directly in an index.

ALPS Advisors, Inc., registered investment advisor with the SEC, is the investment advisor to the Fund. ALPS Advisors, Inc. is affiliated with ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc.

ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. is the distributor for the Fund.

Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value

DOG001400  08/31/2024

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