Best BlackRock ETFs for 2024

Jitanchandra Solanki
11 Min read

An investor performing research on Exchange-Traded-Funds (ETFs) will quickly stumble across the names ‘iShares’ and ‘BlackRock’. What exactly iShares or BlackRock ETFs are, and the advantages and disadvantages of investing in them, are covered in this article. A list of noteworthy ETF and index investing options through BlackRock is also discussed. 

Key Takeaways

  • BlackRock is the world’s largest financial asset manager and is itself a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange
  • iShares ETFs are ETFs which are issued and managed by BlackRock 
  • An advantage of investing in BlackRock ETFs is that BlackRock is a large asset manager that offers a high level of transparency 
  • According to some, investing in BlackRock ETFs has a drawback due to its extensive holdings, potentially yielding disproportionate influence for the custodian holding the assets 

What are BlackRock ETFs? 

BlackRock is the world’s largest financial asset manager. BlackRock has issued many Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) since 2009. These are financial instruments that investors can purchase like traditional shares to receive the performance of the number of underlying assets held in an ETF.

As an example, an ETF focused on gold-producing companies can contain several dozen companies that physically mine or otherwise produce gold. This ETF will be of interest to investors who want to (indirectly) invest in gold, as they can buy the fund in a single transaction as if they were buying a stock. This provides a level of diversification, without the hassle of adding dozens of different stocks to a portfolio.

BlackRock manages ETFs through iShares, which it acquired in 2009 and, at that time, held 48% of the ETF market. iShares was originally created and managed by Lee Kranefuss for Barclays. In 2009, BlackRock made a deal with Barclays to buy out iShares at a price of $13.2 billion. In this deal, the asset manager became responsible for issuing and managing all iShares ETFs, solidifying its position as a major player in the ETF market.

Best BlackRock ETFs to Watch

This list of BlackRock ETF and index investing options serves as an initial guide, offering investors an overview of available options in the market. It is meant to be a starting point for investors to conduct their own research and identify ETFs that align with their diverse preferences and needs, as the 'best' is subjective.

  1. iShares FTSE 100 ETF – Invests Broadly into the Largest Companies in the UK 
  2. iShares Gold Producers ETF – Indirect Investment into Gold by Buying Gold-Mining Companies 
  3. iShares Core UK Gilts ETF – A Fund Composed of UK Government Bonds 
  4. iShares UK Property – A Fund Focused on Investing in the UK Property Market 

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iShares FTSE 100 ETF 

The iShares FTSE 100 ETF (CSUKX) by BlackRock is well-suited for investors looking to invest broadly in the UK economy. It tracks the FTSE 100, an index comprising the largest British companies by market capitalisation. Investors consider these companies 'blue chip,' indicating they are viewed as healthy, robust businesses with substantial size and growth potential.

The top ten equities by weight in this ETF are Shell PLC (~9.3%), AstraZeneca PLC (~7.9%), HSBC Holdings PLC (~6.3%), Unilever PLC (~5.2%), BP PLC (~4.3%), Diageo PLC (~3.4%), Rio Tinto PLC (~3.1%), British American Tobacco (~2.9%), GlaxoSmithKline (~2.9%), and Glencore PLC (~2.9%).

The top sectors this fund invests in are Financials (~18%), Basic Consumer Goods (~17%), Energy (~13%), Industrials (~12%), and Healthcare (~12%). Other sectors with smaller capital allocations include Materials (9%), and Luxury Consumer Goods (~7%), among others.

iShares Gold Producers ETF

The iShares Gold Producers ETF (IAUP) has around $1.4 billion in assets under management and is one of BlackRock’s more target-specified funds. The aim of this BlackRock ETF is to invest directly in companies that mine, produce, and process gold. By investing in this ETF investors are indirectly investing in gold as an asset, as the stock prices of these companies are reliant on the price of gold on the spot market.

The largest holdings within this fund in order of relative size are Newmont (~13.9%), Agnico Eagle Mines LTD (~10.3%), Barrick Gold Corp (~10.2%), Franco Nevada Corp (~8.8%), Wheaton Precious Metals Corp (~8.8%), Gold Fields ADR Representing LTD (~5.1%), Zijin Mining Group LTD H (~3.7%), Northern Star Resources LTD (~3.7%), Royal Gold Inc (~3.1%), and AngloGold Ashanti PLC (~3.1%).

Being solely focused on gold-producing companies, all of this fund’s capital is invested in the Materials sector. A tiny amount (~0.14%) of the fund’s capital is currently held in cash and derivatives.

iShares Core UK Gilts ETF

Gilts are government bonds issued by the UK government. A government bond can be bought by investors as a way of providing a loan to the government. In doing so, the government raises the money it might need to implement public policies. As a reward for providing the loan, investors are rewarded with interest in the form of coupon payments.

Generally, bonds issued by countries with a stable economy and government are generally seen as less risky investments than stocks. This is because historically, bonds tend to be less volatile, though that is not necessarily always the case. In the past year, bonds have declined sharply in price due to the rising interest rates that central banks are implementing to combat inflation in Western economies.

The iShares Core UK Gilts ETF (IGLT.UK) has around 92% of its funds held in conventional UK government bonds. This is the simplest form of bond issued by the UK government. Around 8% is held in bonds issued by ‘the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’, which is his majesty’s government. These bonds can differ in the nominal value and interest rates.

Nearly all of this fund’s capital (~99.94%) is held in Treasury assets, namely bonds. The rest of the fund’s capital is cash and derivatives.

iShares UK Property

The iShares UK Property ETF (IUKP) directly invests in UK real estate companies, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs, mandated to allocate a substantial portion of capital to properties, offer a number of tax benefits. This makes them a more appealing property investment for some UK investors than investing through a traditional corporate structure.

The largest companies represented in this fund by size of capital allocation are Segro Reit PLC (~18.9%), Land Securities Group REIT PLC (~9%), Unite Group PLC (~6.6%), British Land REIT PLC (~6.2%), Tritax Big Box REIT PLC (~5.5%), Derwent London REIT PLC (~4.7%), LondonMetric Property REIT PLC (~3.8%), Grainger PLC (~3.6%), Big Yellow Group PLC (~3.5%), and Safestore Holdings PLC (3.2%).

The main economic sector represented in this fund is Real Estate, covering 99% of the fund’s capital (the rest is held in cash and derivatives). When it comes to subcategories, the main sectors are ‘Miscellaneous’ (~34%), Diversified REITs (~31%), Residential REITs (~9.4%), and Office REITs (~9.3%).

How to Invest in BlackRock ETFs

With Admirals, you can invest in BlackRock ETFs, through a large selection of iShares ETFs available from the Invest.MT5 account and with the following commissions:

  • UK stocks and ETFs – 0.1% of trade value, 1 GBP minimum commission.
  • US stocks and ETFs – From $0.02 per share, 1 USD minimum commission.

You can learn more about investing commissions on the Admirals Contract Specification page. You can search for global stocks and ETFs from the MT5 web platform and invest in four steps:

  1. Open an account with Admirals.
  2. Click on Trade on one of your live or demo trading accounts to open the web platform.
  3. Search for your symbol at the top of the search window.
  4. Click Create New Order in the bottom window to open a trading ticket to input your trade size, stop loss and take profit level.
Source: Example of a chart and trading ticket from the Trade.MT5 web trading platform. Illustrative purposes only. Date captured: 27 November 2023.

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Pros & Cons of Investing in BlackRock ETFs

As an advantage, investing in BlackRock ETFs is generally regarded as safe, as BlackRock is a trusted party and, being based in the United States, is subject to many financial rules and regulations that protect retail investors.

BlackRock is, however, seen as too big by some. As the world’s largest asset manager, they are the largest shareholder in thousands, if not millions of companies worldwide. Though they hold these shares on behalf of their clients, this still often means that BlackRock can exert some level of influence over these companies because of the voting rights associated with these shares.

However, BlackRock serves simply as a custodian managing capital. Investors can invest in companies through BlackRock’s ETFs, or opt for other ETF-issuing asset managers in the financial market. The choice of an ETF, which depends on things like the ETF’s investment objective and expense ratio, among other things, is for most investors probably more important than whichever asset manager happens to issue the fund.

Continue Reading:

FAQs on Best BlackRock ETFs

 

Does BlackRock have an ETF? 

BlackRock is the world’s largest financial asset manager and issues many ETFs. In 2009, BlackRock bought iShares ETFs from Barclays for $13.2 billion. All iShares ETFs are now managed by BlackRock, one of the world's largest ETF providers.

 

Did BlackRock buy iShares? 

iShares is a collection of ETFs that was created and managed by Lee Kranefuss for Barclays, a British bank. In 2009 BlackRock acquired iShares and is now in charge of issuing and managing all iShares ETFs.

 

What is BlackRock’s biggest ETF? 

The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF is the biggest BlackRock ETF and index investing option, with approximately $360 billion in assets. Simultaneously, this BlackRock ETF is one of the largest globally. This fund's primary objective is to track the S&P 500, representing the 500 largest companies in the United States.

 

Who is BlackRock owned by?

BlackRock is a publicly traded company, allowing anyone to purchase its shares. This means a lot of their shares are held by institutional investors, like Vanguard Group and State Street Global Advisors. These institutional investors are in fact custodians for numerous retail investors who own BlackRock shares.

 

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