Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth

SYG Top Performer Intra-day
Price $79.73
Today’s Change +0.39%(0.49)
11:47am 12/13/2017
FMDG Bottom Performer Intra-day
Price $27.64
Today’s Change 0.00%(0.00)
4:00pm 12/12/2017
  • 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 12/13/17)

All Funds (20)

MGK $3.46 B 3458943935.85 Best Fit to our benchmark

A 94
E
99
99
T
100
100
F
94
94

VONG $1.53 B 1525706173.14 Large holdings base

A 93
E
98
98
T
99
99
F
93
93

IWF $40.09 B 40089355940 Most popular in the segment

A 93
E
97
97
T
99
99
F
93
93

IWY $960.86 M 960856035 Heavy in tech

A 92
E
96
96
T
96
96
F
92
92

IVW $19.84 B 19843313420 Tilts towards health care

A 91
E
98
98
T
100
100
F
91
91

VOOG $1.93 B 1926114500 Tilts towards health care

A 90
E
97
97
T
99
99
F
90
90

SPYG $1.12 B 1122453555.4294 Pulls from S&P 500

A 90
E
100
100
T
99
99
F
90
90

VUG $32.5 B 32495495259.36 A solid choice for long term investors

A 90
E
99
99
T
100
100
F
90
90

JKE $865.08 M 865080165 Tilts heavily toward tech

A 88
E
95
95
T
95
95
F
88
88

SCHG $5.04 B 5043302421.15 Cheapest in the segment

A 88
E
100
100
T
99
99
F
88
88

PWB $526.52 M 526515200 Concentrated in consumer cyclicals

A 81
E
91
91
T
94
94
F
81
81

RPG $2.25 B 2252937877.524 Solid tracking and easy access

A 72
E
94
94
T
99
99
F
72
72

PXLG $187.61 M 187613200 changed indexes May 2015

B 78
E
93
93
T
73
73
F
78
78

FTC $706.92 M 706915721.882 Alpha-seeking

B 68
E
88
88
T
95
95
F
68
68

SYG $59.38 M 59383688.25 Actively Managed

C 78
E
81
81
T
64
64
F
78
78

NULG $40.55 M 40547000 N/A

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

FMDG $5.66 M 5658144 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 12/07/17

Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth

Performance Dispersion
Performance  [as of 12/12/17] 1 Month 3 Month YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Benchmark: MSCI USA Large Growth2.57%7.30%29.61%28.85%14.41%17.24%9.99%
A 93.581605MGK3458943935.85MGKVanguard Mega Cap Growth ETF2.13%6.08%28.90%28.28%13.37%16.44%--
A 92.836454VONG1525706173.14VONGVanguard Russell 1000 Growth ETF2.62%7.82%29.34%28.67%14.38%17.05%--
A 92.751015IWF40089355940IWFiShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF2.64%7.78%29.23%28.52%14.38%16.96%9.62%
A 92.3727IWY960856035IWYiShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF2.57%7.96%31.19%30.79%15.37%17.69%--
A 90.520644IVW19843313420IVWiShares S&P 500 Growth ETF2.34%6.81%26.87%26.24%13.46%16.24%8.68%
A 90.493395VOOG1926114500VOOGVanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF2.31%6.84%26.85%26.18%13.45%16.60%--
A 90.418074SPYG1122453555.4294SPYGSPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF2.35%6.93%26.86%26.37%13.48%16.67%9.85%
A 90.304594VUG32495495259.36VUGVanguard Growth ETF1.97%5.68%27.05%26.33%12.66%16.00%9.35%
A 88.185861JKE865080165JKEiShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF2.24%6.80%29.88%29.01%13.22%16.38%9.05%
A 87.974405SCHG5043302421.15SCHGSchwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF2.76%6.84%27.18%25.99%12.91%16.86%--
A 81.179904PWB526515200PWBPowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio1.88%7.12%29.50%29.74%13.86%17.40%8.36%
A 71.567066RPG2252937877.524RPGGuggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF1.22%6.13%26.27%25.12%11.12%17.15%11.32%
B 78.290772PXLG187613200PXLGPowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio1.35%5.95%35.22%34.13%13.45%15.73%--
B 67.857289FTC706915721.882FTCFirst Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund2.15%6.95%24.36%22.72%10.99%16.12%7.70%
C 77.926511SYG59383688.25SYGSPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF2.57%6.05%26.25%25.88%14.35%----
N/A 0NULG40547000NULGNuShares ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF1.86%5.58%23.81%--------
N/A 0FMDG5658144FMDGFieldstone Merlin Dynamic Large Cap Growth ETF-0.52%6.48%----------
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 12/13/17)

All Funds (20)

99
99.400915
99
98.946376
98
97.745141
98
97.648199
97
97.34923
97
97.292284
96
96.350647
95
94.635072
94
94.477628
93
93.115926
91
90.537299
88
88.215355
81
81.345052
100
100
100
100
N/A
0
N/A
0
69
69.287599671735
69
69.012265636132
69
68.625752652297

ETF.com Grade as 12/07/17

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
FTC First Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund 0.62% -0.68% -0.54% -0.82% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 88.215355
SCHG Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF 0.04% -0.07% -0.05% -0.08% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
IVW iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF 0.18% -0.21% -0.15% -0.24% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.648199
SPYG SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF 0.04% -0.23% -0.15% -0.28% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
IWF iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF 0.20% -0.22% -0.17% -0.25% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.292284
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% -0.26% -0.19% -0.31% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.350647
VONG Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth ETF 0.12% -0.13% -0.09% -0.16% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.745141
JKE iShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF 0.25% -0.31% -0.21% -0.67% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 94.635072
VOOG Vanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF 0.15% -0.19% -0.12% -0.24% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.34923
MGK Vanguard Mega Cap Growth ETF 0.07% -0.07% -0.03% -0.10% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.946376
VUG Vanguard Growth ETF 0.06% -0.04% -0.02% -0.07% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 99.400915
PWB PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio 0.57% -0.73% 0.88% -1.42% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 90.537299
NULG NuShares ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF 0.35% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Medium 0
PXLG PowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio 0.39% -0.50% -0.46% -0.54% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.115926
FMDG Fieldstone Merlin Dynamic Large Cap Growth ETF 0.80% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
RPG Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF 0.35% -0.42% -0.34% -0.50% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 94.477628
CFGE Calamos Focus Growth ETF -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 69.287599671735
RWG Columbia Select Large Cap Growth -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 68.625752652297
RPX Columbia Large Cap Growth -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 69.012265636132

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 12/13/17)

All Funds (20)

100
99.675311
100
99.671725
100
99.636242
99
99.436426
99
99.206653
99
99.190236
99
99.1789
99
99.158404
99
99.037649
96
96.349545
95
95.189728
95
94.923039
94
94.265921
73
73.499758
64
63.865216
N/A
0
N/A
0
55
54.751744763297
64
64.193491424364
52
52.412591326416

ETF.com Grade as 12/07/17

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
VOOG Vanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF $5.01 M 0.03% 1.52 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 99.206653
FTC First Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund $1.67 M 0.10% 0.55 100.00% 0.02% 0.02% None 94.923039
VUG Vanguard Growth ETF $77.79 M 0.01% 22.70 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 99.636242
IVW iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF $70.98 M 0.01% 9.54 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 99.671725
NULG NuShares ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF $317.01 K 0.08% 0.21 100.00% 0.01% 0.03% None 0
IWF iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF $160.53 M 0.01% 24.81 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 99.436426
FMDG Fieldstone Merlin Dynamic Large Cap Growth ETF $16.66 K 0.19% 0.01 -- -- 0.04% None 0
IWY iShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF $2.92 M 0.10% 0.82 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 96.349545
JKE iShares Morningstar Large-Cap Growth ETF $1.62 M 0.04% 0.21 100.00% 0.02% 0.00% None 95.189728
MGK Vanguard Mega Cap Growth ETF $9.98 M 0.03% 3.71 100.00% 0.01% 0.00%% None 99.675311
PWB PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio $1.16 M 0.11% 0.57 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 94.265921
PXLG PowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio $350.81 K 0.20% 0.16 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 73.499758
RPG Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF $5.49 M 0.02% 1.05 100.00% 0.03% 0.02% None 99.190236
SCHG Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF $14.37 M 0.04% 4.09 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 99.1789
SPYG SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF $6.33 M 0.04% 3.92 100.00% 0.00% 0.02% None 99.037649
SYG SPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF $214.96 K 0.22% 0.05 100.00% 0.03% 0.00% None 63.865216
VONG Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth ETF $3.74 M 0.04% 1.11 100.00% 0.01% 0.01% None 99.158404
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
SYG
5
4
3
2
1
VONG
5
4
3
2
1
VOOG
5
4
3
2
1
VUG
5
4
3
2
1
NULG
5
4
3
2
1
FMDG
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 12/13/17)

All Funds (20)

94
93.581605
93
92.836454
93
92.751015
92
92.3727
91
90.520644
90
90.493395
90
90.418074
90
90.304594
88
88.185861
88
87.974405
81
81.179904
78
78.290772
78
77.926511
72
71.567066
68
67.857289
N/A
0
N/A
0
75
75.108817448849
85
84.614002086017
63
62.966077322475

ETF.com Grade as 12/07/17

Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Growth