Equity: U.S. - Small Cap

DWAS Top Performer Intra-day
Price $42.75
Today’s Change +0.57%(1.35)
12:32pm 08/22/2017
DESC Bottom Performer Intra-day
Price $30.65
Today’s Change -0.07%(-0.23)
9:53am 08/22/2017
  • Overview
  • Efficiency
  • Tradability
  • Fit

ETF.com Insight

The US small-cap equity space is crowded—20+ funds offer some take on small-caps, be it straight-ahead market-cap, an index-based strategy or active management.

Far and awayin some cases, tracking differences blur the distinction between fees the most popular small-cap ETFs are those tracking market-weight indexes: the Russell 2000 and S&P 600. In fact, three of the market-weight funds (IWM, IJR and VB) together dominate small-cap assets. The rest of the assets are split between lesser-known market-cap funds, fundamentals-focused strategies and alpha-seeking funds.

The good news for small-cap investors is the top funds in the space capture the market return at extremely low cost. Taking the largest small-cap ETF as an example, IWM offers exposure to nearly 2,000 stocks with excellent liquidity, at typical holding costs lower than its fee. Vanguard’s VB, which tracks 1,500 stocks in a CRSP index, also tends to cost even less than its low fee.

What distinguishes the large number of market-weight ETFs from each other? Often, the answer is “very little.” Expense ratios and liquidity are the main distinguishing factors, and in some cases, tracking differences blur the distinction between fees. Investors here can choose their favorite index and are still likely to get an excellent price and deep liquidity.

The small-cap ETFs tracking alternative indexes are a little more varied. The remaining funds offer niche strategies in everything from dividend weighted, revenue weighted, to so-called 'core' indexes. Some of these funds are barely a blip on the radar, asset-wise, but others, like the WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend ETF (DES), have attracted hundreds of millions. The less popular of these ETFs often have serious liquidity concerns, so keep an eye on the Tradability score of anything that looks appealing.

Those that prefer active management have 1 choice (IESM), but assets and liquidity are weak for the relatively new fund. (Insight updated 08/22/17)

All Funds (43)

SCHA $5.29 B 5289224679.3 very low all-in costs

A 93
E
100
100
T
98
98
F
93
93

VB $18.43 B 18428033825.28 dirt-cheap all-in costs

A 93
E
100
100
T
99
99
F
93
93

FNDA $1.94 B 1939372427.4 viable assets and liquidity

A 90
E
97
97
T
97
97
F
90
90

VTWO $1.04 B 1043157500 rock solid but lags IWM in liquidiy

A 85
E
97
97
T
98
98
F
85
85

TWOK $219.55 M 219553444 lags IWM and VTWO in liquidity

A 85
E
98
98
T
79
79
F
85
85

IWM $33.69 B 33694043570 Extremely large & liquid

A 85
E
99
99
T
98
98
F
85
85

JKJ $231.92 M 231915450 not as liquid as some

A 84
E
97
97
T
71
71
F
84
84

VIOO $664.45 M 664454000 Decent but eclipsed by IJR

A 80
E
97
97
T
97
97
F
80
80

SLY $725.47 M 725465181.66167 IJR is more liquid

A 80
E
98
98
T
89
89
F
80
80

IJR $29.92 B 29915412475 Trades easily

A 79
E
100
100
T
98
98
F
79
79

DES $1.85 B 1852487470 stable and liquid

A 73
E
92
92
T
94
94
F
73
73

EES $471.74 M 471738000 tracks its index well

A 72
E
94
94
T
83
83
F
72
72

XSLV $917.78 M 917784000 Low Volatility

A 67
E
97
97
T
92
92
F
67
67

PSC $266.52 M 266519517.9078 N/A

B 80
E
91
91
T
52
52
F
80
80

CSF $59.55 M 59551800 Low-vol market timer

B 77
E
86
86
T
66
66
F
77
77

FYX $461.76 M 461763056.766 very expensive to hold

B 76
E
88
88
T
93
93
F
76
76

EQWS $20.93 M 20928600 paltry assets

B 74
E
90
90
T
61
61
F
74
74

SMLV $200.67 M 200666108.25 Low AUM, low trading volume

B 72
E
99
99
T
63
63
F
72
72

DGRS $93.46 M 93457475 investor interest still weak

B 71
E
93
93
T
72
72
F
71
71

DWAS $179.82 M 179821750 popular but not cheap to hold

B 64
E
91
91
T
72
72
F
64
64

RWJ $491.66 M 491661813.9 high holding costs

B 60
E
85
85
T
88
88
F
60
60

EWSC $33.05 M 33045600 same index as EQWS

C 73
E
87
87
T
57
57
F
73
73

SMMV $8.19 M 8191260 N/A

C 62
E
84
84
T
61
61
F
62
62

SCAP $4.21 M 4209392.04696 N/A

D 76
E
68
68
T
43
43
F
76
76

OUSM $43.54 M 43540419 N/A

D 62
E
56
56
T
77
77
F
62
62

NUSC $17.73 M 17730510 N/A

F 92
E
56
56
T
58
58
F
92
92

XSHD $8.16 M 8156073.303 N/A

F 46
E
54
54
T
50
50
F
46
46

JPSE $35.69 M 35692798.685644 N/A

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

CSA $26.42 M 26422825 higher fee

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

CSML $163.22 M 163220424.003 N/A

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

CSB $35.3 M 35304840 N/A

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

DESC $4.56 M 4563030.42 N/A

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

CALF $3.4 M 3403500 N/A

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

SMDV $424.29 M 424291500 low assets, weak liquidity

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

RNSC $1.9 M 1898643.97212 N/A

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

SMLF $47.23 M 47231775 New; trade with care

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

GSSC $11.54 M 11535000 N/A

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

XSHQ $1.2 M 1199573.991 N/A

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

SQLV $2.33 M 2334790 N/A

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

FLQS $3.6 M 3600000 N/A

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

ZSML $1.34 M 1344500 Looks for companies with the biggest earnings increases

F 68
E
54
54
T
39
39
F
68
68

IESM $8.36 M 8361150 thin investor interest

C 78
E
84
84
T
58
58
F
78
78

EWRS $35.93 M 35931000 same index as EQWS

B 72
E
87
87
T
59
59
F
72
72

ETF.com Grade as 08/17/17

Equity: U.S. - Small Cap

Performance Dispersion
Performance  [as of 08/21/17] 1 Month 3 Month YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Benchmark: MSCI USA Small Cap--------------
A 93.038988SCHA5289224679.3SCHASchwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF-4.71%-0.16%1.39%9.70%6.30%12.83%--
A 92.719371VB18428033825.28VBVanguard Small-Cap ETF-4.37%-0.20%2.74%9.55%6.21%12.83%8.18%
A 90.119763FNDA1939372427.4FNDASchwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF-5.05%-1.62%-1.33%8.99%5.92%----
A 85.408837VTWO1043157500VTWOVanguard Russell 2000 ETF-5.37%-0.34%0.83%11.28%6.91%12.24%--
A 85.074874TWOK219553444TWOKSPDR Russell 2000 ETF-5.48%-0.35%0.98%11.68%7.31%----
A 84.866681IWM33694043570IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETF-5.42%-0.45%0.71%11.24%6.94%12.33%7.08%
A 84.110756JKJ231915450JKJiShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF-4.83%-1.66%-0.38%7.71%5.97%12.39%7.23%
A 79.691987VIOO664454000VIOOVanguard S&P Small-Cap 600 ETF-5.72%-0.79%-1.71%10.79%8.49%13.71%--
A 79.622712SLY725465181.66167SLYSPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF-5.79%-1.03%-1.88%10.50%8.42%13.58%8.99%
A 79.431814IJR29915412475IJRiShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF-5.85%-0.99%-1.83%10.52%8.41%13.72%8.32%
A 73.296798DES1852487470DESWisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend Fund-5.58%-1.75%-5.54%5.91%6.87%12.79%7.25%
A 71.546232EES471738000EESWisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Earnings Fund-5.23%-0.89%-3.17%13.21%6.41%12.65%8.76%
A 66.578486XSLV917784000XSLVPowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio-3.62%0.98%-1.25%12.84%13.01%----
B 80.068312PSC266519517.9078PSCPrincipal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF-4.96%-0.70%0.45%--------
B 76.645204CSF59551800CSFVictoryShares US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF-4.88%-0.66%-1.53%13.41%4.09%----
B 76.059211FYX461763056.766FYXFirst Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund-5.62%-0.12%-0.78%9.16%4.63%11.14%7.22%
B 74.336922EQWS20928600EQWSPowerShares Russell 2000 Equal Weight Portfolio-6.21%-2.35%-3.55%8.96%5.19%10.93%4.46%
B 71.929321SMLV200666108.25SMLVSPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF-4.09%-0.38%-3.56%11.98%9.96%----
B 70.946488DGRS93457475DGRSWisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund-6.07%-2.81%-6.00%5.24%6.30%----
B 63.543364DWAS179821750DWASPowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio-4.18%3.89%4.41%12.39%4.10%10.91%--
B 59.733111RWJ491661813.9RWJOppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF-8.82%-5.78%-9.37%4.03%4.06%12.48%--
C 73.116192EWSC33045600EWSCGuggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF-6.70%-2.34%-5.33%7.59%2.44%9.12%--
C 62.064864SMMV8191260SMMViShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF-2.08%1.71%6.14%--------
D 76.278463SCAP4209392.04696SCAPAdvisorShares Cornerstone Small Cap ETF-4.67%1.48%3.22%14.36%------
D 62.221447OUSM43540419OUSMO'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF-3.38%-0.65%0.56%--------
F 92.283937NUSC17730510NUSCNuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF-4.48%0%%2.88%--------
F 45.994359XSHD8156073.303XSHDPowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio-4.48%-2.82%-8.10%--------
N/A 0JPSE35692798.685644JPSEJPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF-4.01%-0.25%1.43%--------
N/A 0CSA26422825CSAVictoryShares US Small Cap Volatility Wtd Index ETF-4.95%-0.83%-1.35%13.28%------
N/A 0CSML163220424.003CSMLIQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF-6.61%-2.52%----------
N/A 0CSB35304840CSBVictoryShares US Small Cap High Div Volatility Wtd ETF-3.56%0.43%-3.61%10.55%------
N/A 0DESC4563030.42DESCDeutsche X-trackers Russell 2000 Comprehensive Factor ETF-4.39%-0.39%-2.89%12.55%------
N/A 0CALF3403500CALFPacer U.S. Small Cap Cash Cows 100 ETF-11.67%------------
N/A 0SMDV424291500SMDVProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF-4.51%2.09%0.11%14.48%------
N/A 0RNSC1898643.97212RNSCFirst Trust Small Cap US Equity Select ETF-4.28%------------
N/A 0SMLF47231775SMLFiShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Small-Cap ETF-5.07%-0.15%-0.80%11.99%------
N/A 0GSSC11535000GSSCGoldman Sachs ActiveBeta U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF-5.58%------------
N/A 0XSHQ1199573.991XSHQPowerShares S&P SmallCap Quality Portfolio-0.51%2.01%----------
N/A 0SQLV2334790SQLVLegg Mason Small-Cap Quality Value ETF-7.31%------------
N/A 0FLQS3600000FLQSFranklin LibertyQ U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF-1.51%1.31%----------
F 67.528426ZSML1344500ZSMLETFS Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index Fund5.28%14.69%-4.28%32.80%------
C 78.062121909754IESM8361150IESMiShares Enhanced US Small-Cap ETF2.65%11.34%13.46%12.25%7.95%----
B 71.940939152313EWRS35931000EWRSGuggenheim Russell 2000 Equal Weight-13.64%-18.45%-14.72%-20.44%1.32%2.67%--
All returns over 1 year are annualized. All returns are total returns unless otherwise stated.

ETF.com Efficiency Insight

Fee wars among ETF issuers have driven holding costs down. Small-cap ETFs holding hundreds of stocks are now available for under 15 basis points annually. Low fees are a positiveSCHA's actual holding cost is even lower than its fee contributor to great tracking and to actual investor holding costs. Securities-lending revenue and turnover due to non-cap-weighted strategies also drive tracking performance.

SCHA and VB stand out as low-fee leaders charging under 10 bps. Amazingly, each fund’s actual holding cost (as measured by median tracking difference) is even lower than its fee to the point where the funds are effectively free to hold.

GURX, ZSML and FYX stand out at the other extreme with the segment’s highest fees. Actual holding costs for these are higher still, approaching 100 bps.

Such cost differences count for a lot in the case of large, multiyear allocations.

Costs and tracking differences certainly vary among the funds, but so do risks, especially the risk that an ETF will close due to lack of interest. Several small-cap funds have tiny asset bases, and could be shut down by their issuers. (Other metrics beyond AUM also go into our qualitative risk level.) Specifically, watch out for SMLV, DGRS and PXSC. If a fund does close, rarely do investors lose the value of their investment, but closure does typically trigger a tax event for holders of the ETF, and investors must cope with reinvestment. All things equal, it’s clearly preferable to invest in a stable fund.

Tracking risks aren’t a consideration for the segment’s lone actively-managed fund, IESM. Still, investors here should keep a watchful eye on the funds slender asset base.

One last caveat: Investors should look beyond holdings costs as a proxy for all-in costs when choosing an ETF in this space. Trading costs can quickly outweigh the savings from choosing cheaper but less liquid funds, especially when the fee difference is a handful of basis points for shorter holding periods. (Insight updated 08/22/17)

All Funds (43)

100
99.547537
99
98.948799
99
98.752459
98
98.01023
98
97.694112
97
97.212101
97
97.19797
97
96.827659
97
96.807074
97
96.612311
94
93.812886
93
93.349208
92
92.022755
91
90.795319
91
90.728344
90
89.846648
88
88.276368
87
86.887698
86
86.478168
85
85.348469
84
84.009725
68
68.289189
56
56.03575
56
55.831562
54
53.837838
100
100
100
100
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
54
54.11577
84
83.629378793993
87
87.007897976144

ETF.com Grade as 08/17/17

Equity: U.S. - Small Cap

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
CSA VictoryShares US Small Cap Volatility Wtd Index ETF 0.35% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 0
JPSE JPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF 0.29% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 0
VB Vanguard Small-Cap ETF 0.06% 0.04% 0.07% 0.01% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 99.547537
CSB VictoryShares US Small Cap High Div Volatility Wtd ETF 0.35% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Medium 0
XSHD PowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio 0.30% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 53.837838
IJR iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF 0.07% -0.04% 0.04% -0.12% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
VIOO Vanguard S&P Small-Cap 600 ETF 0.15% 0.06% 0.14% -0.09% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.212101
CSF VictoryShares US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF 0.38% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 86.478168
NUSC NuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF 0.40% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 55.831562
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF 0.20% 0.05% 0.11% -0.00% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.948799
VTWO Vanguard Russell 2000 ETF 0.15% 0.03% 0.06% -0.01% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.19797
DES WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend Fund 0.38% -0.35% -0.14% -0.44% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.022755
OUSM O'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF 0.48% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 56.03575
JKJ iShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF 0.25% -0.21% -0.07% -0.33% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.612311
XSLV PowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio 0.25% -0.29% -0.23% -0.40% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.827659
DGRS WisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund 0.38% -0.28% -0.12% -0.40% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.349208
XSHQ PowerShares S&P SmallCap Quality Portfolio 0.29% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
RWJ Oppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF 0.39% -0.67% -0.42% -1.16% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 85.348469
DWAS PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio 0.60% -0.62% -0.51% -0.73% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 90.795319
FLQS Franklin LibertyQ U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF 0.35% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
SCHA Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF 0.05% -0.00% 0.07% -0.04% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
EWSC Guggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF 0.41% -0.35% -0.22% -0.70% 20.00% / 39.60% High 86.887698
EES WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Earnings Fund 0.38% -0.25% -0.08% -0.37% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.812886
CSML IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF 0.35% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
SLY SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF 0.15% -0.07% 0.01% -0.16% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.01023
DESC Deutsche X-trackers Russell 2000 Comprehensive Factor ETF 0.30% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 0
EQWS PowerShares Russell 2000 Equal Weight Portfolio 0.25% -0.36% -0.27% -0.44% 20.00% / 39.60% High 89.846648
CALF Pacer U.S. Small Cap Cash Cows 100 ETF 0.59% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
SMDV ProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF 0.40% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
SCAP AdvisorShares Cornerstone Small Cap ETF 0.90% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 68.289189
RNSC First Trust Small Cap US Equity Select ETF 0.60% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
SMLF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Small-Cap ETF 0.30% -0.63% -0.19% -0.87% 20.00% / 39.60% Medium 0
SMMV iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF 0.20% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 84.009725
FNDA Schwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF 0.25% -0.27% -0.21% -0.41% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.807074
GSSC Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF 0.20% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
SMLV SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF 0.12% -0.16% 0.16% -0.34% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.752459
PSC Principal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF 0.38% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 90.728344
FYX First Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund 0.64% -0.52% -0.45% -0.66% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 88.276368
SQLV Legg Mason Small-Cap Quality Value ETF 0.60% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
TWOK SPDR Russell 2000 ETF 0.10% 0.07% 0.32% -0.05% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.694112
ZSML ETFS Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index Fund -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 54.11577
IESM iShares Enhanced US Small-Cap ETF -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 83.629378793993
EWRS Guggenheim Russell 2000 Equal Weight -0.13% 0.02% -0.39% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 87.007897976144

ETF.com Tradability Insight

Tradability can determine whether a small-cap ETF is truly investment-worthy or not. Several funds with otherwise-attractive strategies and efficient management trade at large spreads. TheIWM trades more than $3B most days, a massive sum cost of a bad trade can far outweigh the small differences in annual fees between competing ETFs.

The largest funds here provide some of the best liquidity that ETFs have to offer. IWM, iShares Russell 2000 ETF, trades well more than $3B most days—a massive sum—at penny-wide spreads. In fact, all three of the top-trading small-cap funds (IWM, IJR and VB) trade huge amounts daily, and will absorb institutional-size trades with little impact. To be sure, these funds offer outstanding Tradability for retail-sized orders too.

However, watch out for the funds that occupy the other end of the liquidity spectrum. For instance, PXSC trades at very thin volumes—under 1,000 shares most days—and spreads are wide. Placing a market order in such a fund is a recipe for high cost execution.

Poor liquidity isn’t confined to more esoteric strategies— plain-vanilla funds like TWOK (the SPDR Russell 2000) trade thinly, so double-check Tradability scores even if the fund sounds safe. All told, poor liquidity can add significant cost—and time spent—to the investment. The silver lining in the US small-cap segment is that the primary liquidity of these ETFs tends to be high, so if you can place large transactions through a liquidity provider, you’re still likely to get a fair price. Institutional traders should nonetheless check for potential price impact for creates and redeems (via underlying volume/unit), as funds like SMLV, IESM and XSLV have less liquid underlying names. (Insight updated 08/22/17)

All Funds (43)

99
98.829903
98
98.202733
98
98.145296
98
97.976674
98
97.951235
97
97.252951
97
96.722132
94
93.666639
93
92.912741
92
91.518164
89
88.682043
88
87.737751
83
82.522846
79
78.899346
77
77.101442
72
72.316868
72
72.163469
71
70.92039
66
65.94395
63
63.499206
61
61.41508
61
60.95846
58
58.331433
57
57.322124
52
52.143219
50
49.550171
43
42.601245
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
39
39.34955
58
57.52387108872
59
59.346433883911

ETF.com Grade as 08/17/17

Equity: U.S. - Small Cap

Ticker Median Daily Volume ($) Average Spread Creation Unit/Day Market Hours Overlap Underlying Volume/Unit % Creation Cost Per Unit (%) Impediment to Creations Score - Tradability
SCHA Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF $18.53 M 0.05% 5.79 99.00% 0.02% 0.05% None 97.951235
JPSE JPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF $89.8 K 0.19% 0.07 100.00% 0.04% 0.18% None 0
CSA VictoryShares US Small Cap Volatility Wtd Index ETF $81.27 K 0.36% 0.04 100.00% 0.09% 0.04% None 0
SLY SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF $1.87 M 0.18% 0.30 100.00% 0.16% 0.05% None 88.682043
XSHD PowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio $38.15 K 0.51% 0.03 100.00% 0.49% 0.04% None 49.550171
CSB VictoryShares US Small Cap High Div Volatility Wtd ETF $102.72 K 0.29% 0.05 100.00% 0.49% 0.01% None 0
SMDV ProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF $1.52 M 0.15% 1.09 100.00% 0.48% 0.02% None 0
NUSC NuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF $38.78 K 0.41% 0.03 100.00% 0.02% 0.04% None 58.331433
CSF VictoryShares US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF $216.56 K 0.29% 0.10 100.00% 0.09% 0.04% None 65.94395
SMLF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Small-Cap ETF $129.28 K 0.41% 0.07 100.00% 0.05% 0.09% None 0
OUSM O'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF $304.57 K 0.21% 0.24 100.00% 0.04% 0.04% None 77.101442
DES WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend Fund $4.51 M 0.12% 1.12 99.00% 0.18% 0.04% None 93.666639
SMLV SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF $458.17 K 0.35% 0.10 100.00% 0.66% 0.01% None 63.499206
XSHQ PowerShares S&P SmallCap Quality Portfolio $0 0.66% 0 100.00% 0.15% 0.04% None 0
DGRS WisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund $366.58 K 0.19% 0.23 100.00% 0.16% 0.03% None 72.163469
TWOK SPDR Russell 2000 ETF $712.69 K 0.23% 0.17 99.00% 0.04% 0.06% None 78.899346
FLQS Franklin LibertyQ U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF $0 0.24% 0 100.00% 0.04% 0.10% None 0
DWAS PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio $637.88 K 0.35% 0.30 100.00% 0.31% 0.02% None 72.316868
VB Vanguard Small-Cap ETF $51.45 M 0.04% 15.27 99.00% 0.02% 0.02% None 98.829903
CSML IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF $749.91 K 0.20% 0.58 100.00% 0.19% 0.05% None 0
EES WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Earnings Fund $911.9 K 0.26% 0.56 100.00% 0.08% 0.16% None 82.522846
VIOO Vanguard S&P Small-Cap 600 ETF $2.9 M 0.05% 0.93 99.00% 0.08% 0.02% None 97.252951
CALF Pacer U.S. Small Cap Cash Cows 100 ETF $20.78 K 0.28% 0.02 100.00% 0.21% 0.02% None 0
EQWS PowerShares Russell 2000 Equal Weight Portfolio $36.26 K 0.28% 0.01 100.00% 0.09% 0.05% None 60.95846
VTWO Vanguard Russell 2000 ETF $6.73 M 0.03% 2.37 98.00% 0.05% 0.04% None 98.145296
RNSC First Trust Small Cap US Equity Select ETF $0 0.31% 0 99.00% 0.09% 0.14% None 0
XSLV PowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio $4.08 M 0.13% 1.87 100.00% 0.35% 0.02% None 91.518164
GSSC Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF $16.03 K 0.18% 0.01 99.00% 0.09% 0.16% None 0
FNDA Schwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF $6.47 M 0.10% 3.66 100.00% 0.02% 0.03% None 96.722132
SQLV Legg Mason Small-Cap Quality Value ETF $76.11 K 0.20% 0.06 99.00% 0.19% 0.05% None 0
FYX First Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund $1.44 M 0.13% 0.52 100.00% 0.09% 0.02% None 92.912741
EWSC Guggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF $83.9 K 0.39% 0.03 100.00% 0.11% 0.13% None 57.322124
DESC Deutsche X-trackers Russell 2000 Comprehensive Factor ETF $10.58 K 0.15% 0.01 99.00% 0.08% 0.13% None 0
IJR iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF $133.25 M 0.02% 37.91 100.00% 0.09% 0.04% None 97.976674
SCAP AdvisorShares Cornerstone Small Cap ETF $0 0.84% 0.00 99.00% 0.07% 0.06% None 42.601245
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF $2.72 B 0.01% 388.74 99.00% 0.06% 0.04% None 98.202733
SMMV iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF $51.0 K 0.29% 0.03 99.00% 0.05% 0.08% None 61.41508
JKJ iShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF $287.14 K 0.13% 0.04 100.00% 0.25% 0.01% None 70.92039
PSC Principal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF $0 0.52% 0 100.00% 0.05% 0.11% None 52.143219
RWJ Oppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF $1.59 M 0.16% 0.49 100.00% 0.28% 0.10% None 87.737751
ZSML ETFS Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index Fund $0 0.00 100.00% 0.02% 0.02% None 39.34955
IESM iShares Enhanced US Small-Cap ETF $102.89 K 0.06 100.00% 0.00% 0.06% None 57.52387108872
EWRS Guggenheim Russell 2000 Equal Weight $134.43 K 0.07 98.00% 0.09% 0.17% None 59.346433883911

ETF.com/ Block Liquidity

JPSE
5
4
3
2
1
CSF
5
4
3
2
1
OUSM
5
4
3
2
1
DES
5
4
3
2
1
DGRS
5
4
3
2
1
DWAS
5
4
3
2
1
EES
5
4
3
2
1
CSML
5
4
3
2
1
FNDA
5
4
3
2
1
FYX
5
4
3
2
1
IJR
5
4
3
2
1
IWM
5
4
3
2
1
JKJ
5
4
3
2
1
RWJ
5
4
3
2
1
SCHA
5
4
3
2
1
SLY
5
4
3
2
1
SMLF
5
4
3
2
1
TWOK
5
4
3
2
1
VB
5
4
3
2
1
VIOO
5
4
3
2
1
VTWO
5
4
3
2
1
XSLV
5
4
3
2
1
CSA
5
4
3
2
1
CSB
5
4
3
2
1
NUSC
5
4
3
2
1
XSHQ
5
4
3
2
1
FLQS
5
4
3
2
1
EQWS
5
4
3
2
1
CALF
5
4
3
2
1
RNSC
5
4
3
2
1
GSSC
5
4
3
2
1
SQLV
5
4
3
2
1
SMDV
5
4
3
2
1
SMLV
5
4
3
2
1
EWSC
5
4
3
2
1
DESC
5
4
3
2
1
SCAP
5
4
3
2
1
SMMV
5
4
3
2
1
PSC
5
4
3
2
1
XSHD
5
4
3
2
1
ZSML
5
4
3
2
1
IESM
5
4
3
2
1
EWRS
5
4
3
2
1

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

ETF.com Fit Insight

No matter what kind of small-cap exposure investors are looking for, there are plenty of ETF options. Choices range from those that simply capture the market return to funds delivering aThe Russell 2000 is an excellent index for capturing the small-cap market range of niche strategies and alternate weightings.

Among those offering the market return, a few names stand out. The Vanguard Small-Cap ETF (VB) earns the highest score here, tracking a comprehensive CRSP index that holds roughly 1,500 small-cap stocks. Schwab’s SCHA also earns high marks, tracking a Dow Jones Index of over 2,000 stocks. Surprisingly, funds tracking the Russell 2000 Index, including the asset-behemoth IWM, don’t earn a great Fit score. That has more to do with our benchmark for small-caps (which tends to lean toward larger stocks) than it does with any shortcoming of the Russell 2000 Index. Don’t let the score throw you off here: The Russell 2000 is an excellent index for capturing the small-cap market.

Choices abound among alternative strategies as well. Most of them don’t score favorably in Fit because they don’t aim to provide the market return or provide vanilla exposure. But low Fit scores don’t mean these funds don’t provide valuable exposure. WisdomTree’s Small-Cap Dividend Fund (DES) is a diversified and small-leaning fund that weights its holdings according to dividend. DES’ higher cash flows, coupled with the capital appreciation potential of small-caps, sounds appealing, but be sure you’re comfortable with its exposure tilts, and know also that some dividend strategies have lagged in total return over the past year.

Also popular are so-called core funds, which hold only those stocks that fall in the middle of the style spectrum between growth and value. The iShares Morningstar Small Core (JKJ), the PowerShares Fundamental Pure Small Core (PXSC) and the First Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDex (FYX) all offer some flavor of that methodology.

Equal-weighted methodologies have gained less traction here than in other ETF segments. GURX equal-weights its copycat holdings while EWRS equal weights by sectors and then by stocks within the sector.

IESM is the lone actively managed fund in the segment. So far performance has lagged as the fund reaches deep into the microcap space.

 (Insight updated 08/22/17)

All Funds (43)

93
93.038988
93
92.719371
92
92.283937
90
90.119763
85
85.408837
85
85.074874
85
84.866681
84
84.110756
80
80.068312
80
79.691987
80
79.622712
79
79.431814
77
76.645204
76
76.278463
76
76.059211
74
74.336922
73
73.296798
73
73.116192
72
71.929321
72
71.546232
71
70.946488
67
66.578486
64
63.543364
62
62.221447
62
62.064864
60
59.733111
46
45.994359
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
N/A
0
68
67.528426
78
78.062121909754
72
71.940939152313

ETF.com Grade as 08/17/17

Equity: U.S. - Small Cap