Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth

FTC Top Performer Intra-day
Price $53.97
Today’s Change +0.41%(0.77)
3:59pm 05/22/2017
SYG Bottom Performer Intra-day
Price $68.97
Today’s Change +0.13%(0.19)
2:05pm 05/22/2017
  • Overview
  • Efficiency
  • Tradability
  • Fit

ETF.com Insight

Profound fundamental differences exist among competing US large-cap growth ETFs. Index providers have their own style methodologies–unique selection parameters and weighting schemesThe segment is currently dominated by three funds: IWF, IVW and VUG. to create growth portfolios. For example, in determining a “growth” stock Russell considers a stock’s projected EPS growth and historical sales growth trend, while MSCI also considers a stocks historical EPS growth and current internal growth. Weighting schemes vary too: Many funds use the classic market-cap weighting scheme but others stray to tiered or proprietary weighting schemes.

While most indexes allow overlap of a company’s weighting between their growth and value indexes, there are a few pure growth indexes that eliminate any overlap between style baskets–a company is either growth, core or value. The Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth (RPG) is one such “pure growth” fund. Its underlying index selects and weights stocks with S&P’s proprietary “growth scores.” Because of its unique “pure growth” selection and weighting scheme, solid tracking and ease of access, RPG is our Analyst Pick for the US large-cap growth segment.
Another differentiator between the ETFs in this segment is their size cutoffs: Some funds include hefty exposure to companies we consider mid-caps while others hew more tightly to large cap securities. The spectrum ranges from funds like PXLG and IWY that hold mostly mega-cap securities to FTC or SYG which allocates 20% or more of assets to mid-cap securities.

By assets, the segment is currently dominated by three funds: the iShares Russell 1000 Growth (IWF), iShares S&P 500 Growth (IVW), and Vanguard Growth (VUG). Combined, they hold about 90% of segment assets, with IWFs $30B in AUM accounting for nearly 40% alone. All three provide a cost-efficient way to gain broad exposure to growth stocks in the Russell 1000 Index, S&P 500 Index and CSRP US Large-Cap Index. New entrants are gaining traction here, with the Schwab U.S. Large Cap Growth (SCHG) and iShares Russell 200 Growth (IWY) making significant strides on the asset front. SCHG charges only 7 bps annually, the lowest in the segment.

Like our MSCI benchmark, a majority of funds have heavy exposures to tech and are often top-heavy in mega-caps like Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Google. A few funds stray though, such as RPG whose top 10 holdings skip most of the tech giants. (Insight updated 05/22/17)

All Funds (18)

MGK $2.9 B 2902112111.65 Best Fit to our benchmark

A 95
E
99
99
T
100
100
F
95
95

IWY $913.11 M 913108500 Heavy in tech

A 95
E
97
97
T
97
97
F
95
95

IVW $17.43 B 17426352960 Tilts towards health care

A 95
E
99
99
T
100
100
F
95
95

VOOG $1.53 B 1529238750 Tilts towards health care

A 95
E
97
97
T
99
99
F
95
95

SPYG $807.69 M 807685544.95899 Pulls from S&P 500

A 94
E
98
98
T
92
92
F
94
94

VUG $26.53 B 26534819960 A solid choice for long term investors

A 93
E
99
99
T
100
100
F
93
93

VONG $1.14 B 1139137053.86 Large holdings base

A 93
E
98
98
T
99
99
F
93
93

IWF $35.0 B 35003697000 Most popular in the segment

A 93
E
98
98
T
99
99
F
93
93

JKE $744.93 M 744927800 Tilts heavily toward tech

A 89
E
97
97
T
93
93
F
89
89

SCHG $4.12 B 4116780165.6 Cheapest in the segment

A 89
E
100
100
T
99
99
F
89
89

RPG $1.95 B 1945487838.333 Solid tracking and easy access

A 69
E
95
95
T
99
99
F
69
69

FTC $626.27 M 626273306.148 Alpha-seeking

A 67
E
88
88
T
96
96
F
67
67

PXLG $166.63 M 166626750 changed indexes May 2015

B 81
E
92
92
T
69
69
F
81
81

PWB $434.84 M 434837500 Concentrated in consumer cyclicals

B 79
E
90
90
T
90
90
F
79
79

SYG $34.09 M 34091395 Actively Managed

C 78
E
81
81
T
64
64
F
78
78

CFGE $27.37 M 27374400.36 poor liquidity so far

D 75
E
69
69
T
55
55
F
75
75

RPX $12.38 M 12375412.5 Closure Risk

D 85
E
69
69
T
64
64
F
85
85

RWG $5.94 M 5943396.2 Actively-managed

D 63
E
69
69
T
52
52
F
63
63

ETF.com Grade as 05/18/17

Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth

Performance Dispersion
Performance  [as of 05/19/17] 1 Month 3 Month YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Benchmark: MSCI USA Large Growth3.59%4.97%13.08%21.95%12.67%16.00%--
A 95.042937MGK2902112111.65MGKVanguard Mega Cap Growth ETF3.47%5.41%13.70%22.67%11.94%15.92%--
A 94.722092IWY913108500IWYiShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF3.30%5.10%12.75%22.03%12.98%16.17%--
A 94.616266IVW17426352960IVWiShares S&P 500 Growth ETF3.35%4.66%11.43%20.47%11.98%15.23%7.49%
A 94.577032VOOG1529238750VOOGVanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF3.37%4.73%11.45%20.58%11.99%15.90%--
A 94.432931SPYG807685544.95899SPYGSPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF3.39%4.65%11.38%20.55%11.95%15.83%8.83%
A 93.304085VUG26534819960VUGVanguard Growth ETF3.49%5.08%12.98%21.50%11.40%15.65%8.63%
A 92.880237VONG1139137053.86VONGVanguard Russell 1000 Growth ETF3.25%4.50%11.88%21.37%11.87%15.69%--
A 92.824138IWF35003697000IWFiShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF3.27%4.58%11.88%21.39%11.85%15.69%8.50%
A 89.49795JKE744927800JKEiShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF4.32%6.23%13.77%19.68%11.72%15.48%8.10%
A 88.949286SCHG4116780165.6SCHGSchwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF3.32%4.00%11.68%21.95%11.43%16.26%--
A 69.108055RPG1945487838.333RPGGuggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF3.66%4.88%10.87%17.92%9.14%16.40%9.77%
A 67.275203FTC626273306.148FTCFirst Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund2.84%3.04%9.29%12.59%9.57%15.21%6.69%
B 80.67532PXLG166626750PXLGPowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio3.34%6.55%15.24%19.88%10.21%14.17%--
B 78.972826PWB434837500PWBPowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio3.31%4.11%10.34%15.71%11.60%15.84%7.32%
C 77.926511SYG34091395SYGSPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF1.33%1.80%9.07%17.57%13.34%----
D 75.108817448849CFGE27374400.36CFGECalamos Focus Growth ETF4.99%1.95%-0.95%-6.82%------
D 84.614002086017RPX12375412.5RPXColumbia Large Cap Growth-8.67%-6.54%-10.79%0.64%13.80%8.10%--
D 62.966077322475RWG5943396.2RWGColumbia Select Large Cap Growth-13.66%-11.13%-14.66%-5.93%7.40%4.51%--
All returns over 1 year are annualized. All returns are total returns unless otherwise stated.

ETF.com Efficiency Insight

IWF, VUG and IVW are the three most established funds, holding a significant portion of the segments total assets under their belts. As expected, all three funds have high EfficiencyThe lowest scores in Efficiency are seen in alpha-seekers scores, with VUG being the cheapest of the three at 9 bps and boasting the segment's best tracking (-8 bps). IWF and IVW charge 20 bps and 18 bps, respectively, and both track their indexes exceptionally well. While Vanguard’s newly launched Russell 1000 Index (VONG) and S&P 500 Growth (VOOG) charge 3-5 bps lower than IWF and IVW and track the same underlying indexes, investors have so far shrugged off these cost differences, continuing to favor the liquidity leaders. While Vanguard tends to carry some of the lowest-cost funds, they disclose their holdings on a monthly basis with a 2-week lag, which is not ideal (we like to see daily holdings) and detracts slightly from their Efficiency score.

SCHG performs impressively in Efficiency, charging a segment low expense ratio of 7 bps with excellent tracking as well (-10 bps). Propelled by cost advantage and a solid tracking record, SCHG quickly became the fastest growing fund in a crowded segment (approaching $2B in AUM).

Some of the lowest scores in Efficiency are seen in alpha-seekers like FTC and actively managed funds RWG and SYG. Investors pay hefty annual fees for their better-mousetrap schemes: 70 bps for FTC, 80 bps for RWG, and 60 bps for SYG. To the dismay of tax-conscious investors, RWG paid out $2.6 per share in combined short- and long-term capital gains in 2011. With 15 funds in the segment and over 90% of all assets being held by just three funds, several funds lag significantly in assets. Four funds are below the $150M mark in AUM, with two of those funds holding less than $10M. Investors should closely monitor AUM growth for RWG and SYG. Currently, RWG ($9M in AUM) and SYG ($3M) are at high risk for closure. (Insight updated 05/22/17)

All Funds (18)

99
99.447325
99
98.828848
99
98.608012
98
98.325531
98
98.268478
98
97.905303
97
97.437414
97
97.197325
97
96.527806
95
94.564426
92
92.055197
90
89.923101
88
88.258661
81
81.345052
100
100
69
69.287599671735
69
69.012265636132
69
68.625752652297

ETF.com Grade as 05/18/17

Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth

Tracking Difference (12 Month)

Ticker Expense Ratio Median Max. Upside Max. Downside Max LT/ST Cap Gains Rate Rule Legal Structure Fund Closure Risk Efficiency
PXLG PowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio 0.39% -0.50% -0.46% -0.54% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.055197
RPG Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF 0.35% -0.36% -0.31% -0.47% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 94.564426
FTC First Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund 0.62% -0.68% -0.54% -0.82% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 88.258661
SCHG Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF 0.04% -0.06% -0.02% -0.09% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
IVW iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF 0.18% -0.17% -0.15% -0.21% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.608012
SPYG SPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF 0.15% -0.16% -0.12% -0.26% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.325531
IWF iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF 0.20% -0.18% -0.16% -0.22% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.268478
SYG SPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF 0.60% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 81.345052
IWY iShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF 0.20% -0.21% -0.17% -0.26% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.197325
VONG Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth ETF 0.12% -0.12% -0.09% -0.14% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.905303
JKE iShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF 0.25% -0.23% -0.19% -0.32% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.527806
VOOG Vanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF 0.15% -0.15% -0.11% -0.19% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.437414
MGK Vanguard Mega Cap Growth ETF 0.07% -0.06% -0.03% -0.08% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.828848
VUG Vanguard Growth ETF 0.06% -0.04% -0.02% -0.07% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 99.447325
PWB PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio 0.57% -0.65% -0.58% -0.77% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 89.923101
CFGE Calamos Focus Growth ETF -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 69.287599671735
RPX Columbia Large Cap Growth -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 69.012265636132
RWG Columbia Select Large Cap Growth -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 68.625752652297

ETF.com Tradability Insight

Five funds in this segment have perfect or nearly perfect scores - IVW, VUG, SCHG, MGK and IWF. But when it comes to sheer liquidity, IWF is in a class of its own. On most days, IWF tradesWhen it comes to sheer liquidity, IWF is in a class of its own over $200M with an average spread of just 1 bp. For institutions and large traders whose primary concern is liquidity, IWF is the go-to fund. While falling slightly behind IWF, IVW and VUG separate themselves from the remaining funds, trading at impressive daily volumes—both over $80M. IVW and VUG also trade with extremely tight spreads of 2 bps–some of the tightest in the segment.

Our Analyst Pick, RPG, has decent on-screen liquidity (over $10M median daily volume) for retail investors with an acceptable average spread at 5 bps. It also has excellent block liquidity for institutional investors trading multiple creation units at a time.

Investors should use caution when trading the smaller and less liquid funds. Many of them trade less than $1M, while a few don’t trade at all on many days. SYG, RWG and CFGE are the most illiquid with average spreads of 35 bps or more. (Insight updated 05/22/17)

All Funds (18)

100
99.718531
100
99.645987
100
99.601533
99
99.37622
99
99.119471
99
99.063086
99
99.005654
99
98.93994
97
96.996533
96
96.089038
93
92.577552
92
91.864796
90
89.845943
69
68.817842
64
63.865216
55
54.751744763297
64
64.193491424364
52
52.412591326416

ETF.com Grade as 05/18/17

Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth

Ticker Median Daily Volume ($) Average Spread Creation Unit/Day Market Hours Overlap Underlying Volume/Unit % Creation Cost Per Unit (%) Impediment to Creations Score - Tradability
PWB PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio $770.09 K 0.06% 0.44 100.00% 0.01% 0.03% None 89.845943
PXLG PowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio $154.23 K 0.18% 0.08 100.00% 0.01% 0.03% None 68.817842
RPG Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF $6.06 M 0.02% 1.36 100.00% 0.03% 0.02% None 99.119471
SCHG Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF $16.06 M 0.04% 5.34 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 99.063086
SPYG SPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF $3.14 M 0.19% 0.54 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 91.864796
SYG SPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF $144.47 K 0.33% 0.04 100.00% 0.03% 0.00% None 63.865216
VONG Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth ETF $3.94 M 0.04% 1.31 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 98.93994
VOOG Vanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF $5.27 M 0.04% 1.74 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 99.005654
FTC First Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund $1.75 M 0.07% 0.67 100.00% 0.02% 0.02% None 96.089038
VUG Vanguard Growth ETF $78.46 M 0.01% 25.11 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 99.601533
IVW iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF $75.77 M 0.01% 11.61 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 99.645987
IWF iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF $146.88 M 0.01% 25.47 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 99.37622
IWY iShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF $2.79 M 0.10% 0.91 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 96.996533
JKE iShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF $1.4 M 0.12% 0.21 100.00% 0.03% 0.00% None 92.577552
MGK Vanguard Mega Cap Growth ETF $11.64 M 0.03% 4.73 100.00% 0.01% 0% None 99.718531
CFGE Calamos Focus Growth ETF $0 0.00 100.00% 0.00% 0.11% None 54.751744763297
RPX Columbia Large Cap Growth $75.28 K 0.03 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 64.193491424364
RWG Columbia Select Large Cap Growth $4.73 K 0.00 100.00% 0.04% 0.02% None 52.412591326416

ETF.com/ Block Liquidity

SYG
5
4
3
2
1
VONG
5
4
3
2
1
VOOG
5
4
3
2
1
VUG
5
4
3
2
1
FTC
5
4
3
2
1
IVW
5
4
3
2
1
IWF
5
4
3
2
1
IWY
5
4
3
2
1
JKE
5
4
3
2
1
MGK
5
4
3
2
1
PWB
5
4
3
2
1
PXLG
5
4
3
2
1
RPG
5
4
3
2
1
SCHG
5
4
3
2
1
SPYG
5
4
3
2
1
CFGE
5
4
3
2
1
RPX
5
4
3
2
1
RWG
5
4
3
2
1

This measurement shows how easy it is to trade 25,000 shares of each ETF.

ETF.com Fit Insight

In comparing Fit scores between funds in the US Large Cap Growth segment, remember that each index provider has its own style methodology, which can lead to significant tilt and portfolioStyle methodologies can lead to significant tilt and portfolio differences holdings discrepancies against our MSCI benchmark. While most indexes allow companies with growth and value characteristics to overlap their weightings between growth and value indexes, some implement pure style strategies that eliminate overlap by allocating each company’s weight to one of growth, core or value.

Initial selection universes also impact the final portfolios; for example, IWF holds over 600 names, as it selects growth stocks from the Russell 1000 Index, whereas IWY only holds around 130 names, as it pulls growth stocks from a smaller universe–the Russell Top 200 Index. Despite its underlying index change in April 2013, MGK continues to be the segment leader in Fit due to a high level of portfolio overlap and similar weighted avg. market cap. MGK now tracks a CRSP index which selects stocks based on several growth factors, including historical and future EPS growth, sales per share growth, investment-to-assets ratio and return on assets. It makes our Opportunities List as a result of its unique growth factor screen.

Funds tracking Russell and S&P indexes, like segment leaders IWF and IVW, have minor differences in portfolio composition. For example, S&P-based funds tend to have a larger healthcare tilt vs. our benchmark. Still, most growth funds have one thing in common—heavy tech exposure as giants like Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Google often dominate top holdings.

RPG, a pure growth fund based on the S&P 500 Index, also has a very different portfolio from its peers due to its unique selection and weighting scheme based on growth scores. RPG is heavy in financials, consumer cyclicals, and healthcare with names like D.R. Horton, Southwest Airlines and Lennar among its top holdings.

The true alpha-seekers are another story. By design they deviate substantially from the neutral benchmark.  RWG, one of the three actively managed funds in the segment, holds the lowest Fit score thanks to its inclusion of ADRs of foreign companies listed in the US like Chinese search engine Baidu.  (Insight updated 05/22/17)

All Funds (18)

95
95.042937
95
94.722092
95
94.616266
95
94.577032
94
94.432931
93
93.304085
93
92.880237
93
92.824138
89
89.49795
89
88.949286
81
80.67532
79
78.972826
78
77.926511
69
69.108055
67
67.275203
75
75.108817448849
85
84.614002086017
63
62.966077322475

ETF.com Grade as 05/18/17

Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth