Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth

SYG Top Performer Intra-day
Price $68.12
Today’s Change +0.02%(0.02)
10:05am 02/23/2017
RPG Bottom Performer Intra-day
Price $88.52
Today’s Change -0.50%(-0.56)
10:49am 02/23/2017
  • 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 02/22/17)

All Funds (19)

MGK $2.54 B 2536438548.6 Best Fit to our benchmark

A 95
E
99
99
T
99
99
F
95
95

IWY $795.72 M 795717120 Heavy in tech

A 94
E
97
97
T
96
96
F
94
94

IVW $15.73 B 15734878445 Tilts towards health care

A 94
E
99
99
T
100
100
F
94
94

SPYG $732.92 M 732922056.99297 Pulls from S&P 500

A 94
E
98
98
T
92
92
F
94
94

VOOG $1.37 B 1372882500 Tilts towards health care

A 93
E
97
97
T
97
97
F
93
93

VUG $24.23 B 24225206951.89 A solid choice for long term investors

A 93
E
99
99
T
100
100
F
93
93

IWF $33.33 B 33328283520 Most popular in the segment

A 92
E
98
98
T
99
99
F
92
92

VONG $936.55 M 936550076.79 Large holdings base

A 92
E
98
98
T
98
98
F
92
92

JKE $704.82 M 704817980 Tilts heavily toward tech

A 89
E
97
97
T
92
92
F
89
89

SCHG $3.74 B 3737121284.3 Cheapest in the segment

A 87
E
100
100
T
99
99
F
87
87

PWB $416.18 M 416182800 Concentrated in consumer cyclicals

A 77
E
91
91
T
94
94
F
77
77

RPG $1.91 B 1911093543.029 Solid tracking and easy access

A 73
E
95
95
T
99
99
F
73
73

FTC $605.99 M 605986504.032 Alpha-seeking

A 69
E
88
88
T
97
97
F
69
69

PXLG $134.25 M 134254500 changed indexes May 2015

B 74
E
92
92
T
67
67
F
74
74

SYG $13.58 M 13578109.2 Actively Managed

C 82
E
78
78
T
62
62
F
82
82

NULG $6.63 M 6625550 N/A

N/A 0
E
0
-1
T
0
-1
F
0
-1

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 02/16/17

Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth

Performance Dispersion
Performance  [as of 02/21/17] 1 Month 3 Month YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Benchmark: MSCI USA Large Growth5.08%9.05%8.37%24.09%11.57%14.16%--
A 94.637333MGK2536438548.6MGKVanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund5.27%9.21%8.46%24.38%10.71%13.97%--
A 93.741771IWY795717120IWYiShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF5.06%8.88%7.74%22.55%12.16%14.36%--
A 93.731852IVW15734878445IVWiShares S&P 500 Growth ETF4.48%7.93%7.00%22.35%11.05%13.52%7.48%
A 93.569142SPYG732922056.99297SPYGSPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF4.41%7.86%6.96%22.42%11.07%14.27%8.76%
A 93.462675VOOG1372882500VOOGVanguard S&P 500 Growth Index Fund4.45%7.82%6.96%22.34%11.04%14.31%--
A 92.848765VUG24225206951.89VUGVanguard Growth Index Fund5.02%8.66%8.09%24.17%10.10%13.58%8.54%
A 92.363263IWF33328283520IWFiShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF4.86%8.40%7.54%23.28%10.79%13.76%8.49%
A 92.342133VONG936550076.79VONGVanguard Russell 1000 Growth Index Fund4.89%8.39%7.58%23.38%10.88%13.85%--
A 88.71166JKE704817980JKEiShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF4.54%8.07%7.68%19.76%10.00%13.38%7.90%
A 86.827242SCHG3737121284.3SCHGSchwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF4.80%8.54%7.95%25.70%10.86%14.05%--
A 77.323335PWB416182800PWBPowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio4.45%6.75%6.61%18.20%9.75%14.66%7.31%
A 73.4186RPG1911093543.029RPGGuggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF4.37%6.04%6.65%22.36%7.17%14.18%9.68%
A 69.218845FTC605986504.032FTCFirst Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund3.95%5.95%6.79%17.56%8.61%13.33%--
B 73.779746PXLG134254500PXLGPowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio5.36%8.04%8.81%21.31%9.91%12.05%--
C 82.209158SYG13578109.2SYGSPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF5.14%9.78%7.87%23.68%13.11%----
N/A 0NULG6625550NULGNuShares ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF3.68%--5.12%--------
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 02/22/17)

All Funds (19)

99
98.9817
99
98.812657
99
98.625234
98
98.328088
98
98.274983
98
97.948712
97
97.408411
97
97.186111
97
96.563394
95
94.511983
92
92.084251
91
90.962635
88
88.294815
78
78.12876
100
100
N/A
0
69
69.287599671735
69
69.012265636132
69
68.625752652297

ETF.com Grade as 02/16/17

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
RPG Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF 0.35% -0.35% -0.30% -0.47% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 94.511983
FTC First Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund 0.62% -0.68% -0.54% -0.82% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 88.294815
SCHG Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF 0.04% -0.05% -0.02% -0.09% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
IVW iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF 0.18% -0.16% -0.15% -0.21% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.625234
SPYG SPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF 0.15% -0.14% -0.09% -0.26% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.328088
IWF iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF 0.20% -0.17% -0.16% -0.22% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.274983
SYG SPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF 0.60% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Medium 78.12876
IWY iShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF 0.20% -0.20% -0.17% -0.26% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.186111
VONG Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth Index Fund 0.12% -0.12% -0.09% -0.14% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.948712
JKE iShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF 0.25% -0.22% -0.19% -0.32% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.563394
VOOG Vanguard S&P 500 Growth Index Fund 0.15% -0.14% -0.11% -0.19% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.408411
MGK Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund 0.07% -0.06% -0.03% -0.10% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.812657
VUG Vanguard Growth Index Fund 0.08% -0.05% -0.02% -0.08% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.9817
PWB PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio 0.57% -0.62% -0.56% -0.77% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 90.962635
NULG NuShares ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF 0.35% -- -- -- -- / -- Low 0
PXLG PowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio 0.39% -0.50% -0.46% -0.54% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.084251
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 02/22/17)

All Funds (19)

100
99.64518
100
99.59318
99
99.364686
99
99.206526
99
99.125298
99
98.801986
98
98.409713
97
97.383592
97
96.619079
96
95.804893
94
94.402502
92
92.273819
92
91.978061
67
67.394728
62
62.013139
N/A
0
55
54.751744763297
64
64.193491424364
52
52.412591326416

ETF.com Grade as 02/16/17

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
VONG Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth Index Fund $3.85 M 0.06% 1.39 100.00% 0.00% 0.02% None 98.409713
VOOG Vanguard S&P 500 Growth Index Fund $5.94 M 0.12% 2.15 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 96.619079
FTC First Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund $2.42 M 0.09% 0.97 100.00% 0.02% 0.02% None 97.383592
VUG Vanguard Growth Index Fund $91.0 M 0.02% 31.69 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 99.59318
IVW iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF $75.93 M 0.02% 11.99 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 99.64518
NULG NuShares ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF $0 0.29% 0.00 100.00% 0.01% 0.04% None 0
IWF iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF $182.11 M 0.01% 33.46 100.00% 0.01% 0.03% None 99.364686
IWY iShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF $2.03 M 0.10% 0.72 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 95.804893
JKE iShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF $2.22 M 0.16% 0.35 100.00% 0.02% 0.00% None 92.273819
MGK Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund $8.48 M 0.04% 3.69 100.00% 0.01% 0.03% None 98.801986
PWB PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio $977.35 K 0.06% 0.61 100.00% 0.01% 0.03% None 94.402502
PXLG PowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio $104.5 K 0.19% 0.06 100.00% 0.01% 0.03% None 67.394728
RPG Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF $9.31 M 0.02% 2.16 100.00% 0.03% 0.02% None 99.125298
SCHG Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF $15.81 M 0.03% 5.49 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 99.206526
SPYG SPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF $2.96 M 0.21% 0.55 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 91.978061
SYG SPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF $33.68 K 0.30% 0.01 100.00% 0.04% 0.00% None 62.013139
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

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
VONG
5
4
3
2
1
VOOG
5
4
3
2
1
VUG
5
4
3
2
1
SYG
5
4
3
2
1
NULG
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 02/22/17)

All Funds (19)

95
94.637333
94
93.741771
94
93.731852
94
93.569142
93
93.462675
93
92.848765
92
92.363263
92
92.342133
89
88.71166
87
86.827242
82
82.209158
77
77.323335
74
73.779746
73
73.4186
69
69.218845
N/A
0
75
75.108817448849
85
84.614002086017
63
62.966077322475

ETF.com Grade as 02/16/17

Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth