Equity: U.S. - Small Cap

ZSML Top Performer Intra-day
Price $26.90
Today’s Change +1.45%(5.70)
2:55pm 01/23/2017
OUSM Bottom Performer Intra-day
Price 0.00
Today’s Change 0.00%(0.00)
  • 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 01/23/17)

All Funds (36)

SCHA $4.74 B 4742282824.8 very low all-in costs

A 96
E
100
100
T
98
98
F
96
96

VIOO $513.62 M 513618000 Decent but eclipsed by IJR

A 96
E
97
97
T
97
97
F
96
96

SLY $658.32 M 658323132.12465 IJR is more liquid

A 96
E
98
98
T
89
89
F
96
96

IJR $27.3 B 27300489580 Trades easily

A 96
E
100
100
T
97
97
F
96
96

VB $16.49 B 16492466780.12 dirt-cheap all-in costs

A 95
E
99
99
T
99
99
F
95
95

IWM $37.29 B 37285740170 Extremely large & liquid

A 92
E
99
99
T
98
98
F
92
92

VTWO $913.03 M 913027500 rock solid but lags IWM in liquidiy

A 92
E
97
97
T
98
98
F
92
92

JKJ $232.55 M 232547550 not as liquid as some

A 92
E
97
97
T
81
81
F
92
92

FNDA $1.39 B 1388444808.4473 viable assets and liquidity

A 90
E
94
94
T
97
97
F
90
90

TWOK $189.57 M 189566856 lags IWM and VTWO in liquidity

A 90
E
97
97
T
87
87
F
90
90

FYX $530.41 M 530414706.616 very expensive to hold

A 90
E
88
88
T
96
96
F
90
90

DES $1.97 B 1966321980 stable and liquid

A 84
E
92
92
T
94
94
F
84
84

EES $454.9 M 454904175 tracks its index well

A 83
E
94
94
T
85
85
F
83
83

XSLV $876.91 M 876914100 Low Volatility

A 64
E
97
97
T
92
92
F
64
64

SMLV $194.99 M 194989266.3 Low AUM, low trading volume

A 56
E
99
99
T
80
80
F
56
56

EWSC $31.78 M 31781750 same index as EQWS

B 92
E
93
93
T
59
59
F
92
92

RWJ $462.08 M 462078397.2 high holding costs

B 82
E
85
85
T
91
91
F
82
82

EQWS $15.53 M 15528000 paltry assets

B 81
E
93
93
T
61
61
F
81
81

DGRS $93.4 M 93402120 investor interest still weak

B 68
E
94
94
T
73
73
F
68
68

DWAS $169.42 M 169417750 popular but not cheap to hold

B 64
E
91
91
T
85
85
F
64
64

CSF $39.61 M 39610000 Low-vol market timer

B 59
E
86
86
T
67
67
F
59
59

SCAP $3.33 M 3329676.644 N/A

F 73
E
60
60
T
58
58
F
73
73

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

F 68
E
54
54
T
39
39
F
68
68

NUSC $9.88 M 9882920 N/A

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

SMDV $381.5 M 381498000 low assets, weak liquidity

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

OUSM $2.58 M 2582912.8 N/A

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

SMLF $27.98 M 27977360 New; trade with care

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

SMMV $5.17 M 5172440 N/A

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

PSC $242.38 M 242382057.3878 N/A

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

JPSE $27.02 M 27020316.012106 N/A

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

CSA $20.28 M 20280000 higher fee

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

XSHD $6.35 M 6349525.398 N/A

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

CSB $22.31 M 22308000 N/A

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

DESC $3.09 M 3093330.933 N/A

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

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 01/19/17

Equity: U.S. - Small Cap

Performance Dispersion
Performance  [as of 01/20/17] 1 Month 3 Month YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Benchmark: MSCI USA Small Cap-1.09%9.98%0.62%35.80%6.92%13.45%--
A 96.310251SCHA4742282824.8SCHASchwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF-1.33%10.40%0.42%36.71%6.92%13.89%--
A 96.112731VIOO513618000VIOOVanguard S&P Small Cap 600 Index Fund ETF-2.96%13.04%-1.23%39.19%9.33%14.99%--
A 96.007736SLY658323132.12465SLYSPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF-2.97%12.95%-1.25%39.21%9.25%15.00%9.32%
A 95.942781IJR27300489580IJRiShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF-2.98%12.96%-1.16%39.28%9.31%15.06%8.87%
A 95.22841VB16492466780.12VBVanguard Small-Cap Index Fund-0.77%9.62%0.94%34.99%7.16%13.76%8.25%
A 92.39166IWM37285740170IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETF-2.15%11.45%-0.30%37.66%6.57%13.18%7.14%
A 92.269158VTWO913027500VTWOVanguard Russell 2000 Index Fund-2.15%11.43%-0.19%37.55%6.55%13.13%--
A 92.016403JKJ232547550JKJiShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF-2.01%10.28%-0.24%35.95%8.34%13.71%7.39%
A 90.221742FNDA1388444808.4473FNDASchwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF-1.87%11.92%0.03%39.54%8.24%----
A 90.169503TWOK189566856TWOKSPDR Russell 2000 ETF-2.17%11.34%-0.15%37.64%6.56%----
A 89.533724FYX530414706.616FYXFirst Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund-2.64%11.94%-0.50%38.77%4.61%11.90%--
A 84.108735DES1966321980DESWisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund-2.79%11.30%-1.62%46.22%9.89%14.85%7.36%
A 82.901918EES454904175EESWisdomTree SmallCap Earnings Fund-3.04%15.29%-1.45%47.74%7.34%13.63%--
A 64.26119XSLV876914100XSLVPowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio-2.54%13.57%-1.93%38.67%13.76%----
A 55.935361SMLV194989266.3SMLVSPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF-3.64%15.23%-2.29%39.43%12.20%----
B 92.498166EWSC31781750EWSCGuggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF-3.73%13.22%-1.50%44.25%3.38%10.94%--
B 81.523612RWJ462078397.2RWJOppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF-4.22%14.65%-1.28%47.65%8.29%14.99%--
B 81.034848EQWS15528000EQWSPowerShares Russell 2000 Equal Weight Portfolio-2.67%11.15%-0.95%45.63%7.36%12.20%4.82%
B 68.030784DGRS93402120DGRSWisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund-3.42%11.95%-1.41%44.22%8.30%----
B 63.703949DWAS169417750DWASPowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio-2.98%8.74%-0.92%23.69%0.52%----
B 59.225595CSF39610000CSFVictory CEMP US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF-3.37%12.83%-2.01%29.59%------
F 72.840575SCAP3329676.644SCAPAdvisorShares Cornerstone Small Cap ETF-1.57%9.53%0.09%--------
F 67.528426ZSML1344500ZSMLETFS Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index Fund5.28%14.69%-4.28%32.80%------
N/A 0NUSC9882920NUSCNuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF-0.58%--0.89%--------
N/A 0SMDV381498000SMDVProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF-3.13%13.02%-2.07%40.38%------
N/A 0OUSM2582912.8OUSMO'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF----0.04%--------
N/A 0SMLF27977360SMLFiShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Small-Cap ETF-2.48%12.73%-0.42%34.92%------
N/A 0SMMV5172440SMMViShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF-0.39%8.03%0.12%--------
N/A 0PSC242382057.3878PSCPrincipal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF-1.79%10.83%-0.19%--------
N/A 0JPSE27020316.012106JPSEJPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF-2.99%---1.42%--------
N/A 0CSA20280000CSAVictory CEMP US Small Cap Volatility Wtd Index ETF-3.22%13.73%-1.68%39.72%------
N/A 0XSHD6349525.398XSHDPowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio-1.58%---1.09%--------
N/A 0CSB22308000CSBVictory CEMP US Small Cap High Div Volatility Wtd ETF-3.02%13.18%-1.64%39.77%------
N/A 0DESC3093330.933DESCDeutsche X-trackers Russell 2000 Comprehensive Factor ETF-3.94%13.94%-2.47%--------
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 01/23/17)

All Funds (36)

99
98.996077
99
98.981966
99
98.684634
98
97.926806
97
97.456946
97
97.239819
97
97.20555
97
97.10098
97
96.524799
94
94.199203
94
93.929718
94
93.63147
93
92.604253
93
92.580932
92
92.37908
91
90.977386
88
88.378067
86
85.980665
85
85.03816
60
60.189189
54
54.11577
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
84
83.629378793993
87
87.007897976144

ETF.com Grade as 01/19/17

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
DGRS WisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund 0.38% -0.12% -0.07% -2.91% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.63147
RWJ Oppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF 0.39% -0.68% -0.45% -1.12% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 85.03816
ZSML ETFS Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index Fund 1.38% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Closing 54.11577
DWAS PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio 0.60% -0.55% -0.49% -0.65% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 90.977386
SCHA Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF 0.06% 0.02% 0.07% -0.02% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
EWSC Guggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF 0.41% -0.13% 0.02% -0.39% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.580932
EES WisdomTree SmallCap Earnings Fund 0.38% -0.11% -0.05% -0.27% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.929718
SLY SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF 0.15% -0.01% 0.01% -0.13% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.926806
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% -0.48% -0.45% -0.52% 20.00% / 39.60% Medium 92.604253
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 60.189189
SMLF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Small-Cap ETF 0.30% -0.35% -0.16% -0.75% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
SMMV iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF 0.20% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
FNDA Schwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF 0.32% -0.23% -0.18% -0.37% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 94.199203
SMLV SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF 0.12% -0.16% 0.16% -0.34% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.981966
PSC Principal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF 0.38% -- -- -- -- / -- N/A 0
FYX First Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund 0.64% -0.52% -0.45% -0.66% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 88.378067
TWOK SPDR Russell 2000 ETF 0.10% 0.25% 0.32% 0.01% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.456946
CSA Victory CEMP US Small Cap Volatility Wtd Index ETF 0.35% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Medium 0
JPSE JPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF 0.39% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
VB Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund 0.08% 0.02% 0.07% 0.01% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.996077
CSB Victory CEMP 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% -- -- -- -- / -- Low 0
IJR iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF 0.07% -0.01% 0.04% -0.07% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
VIOO Vanguard S&P Small Cap 600 Index Fund ETF 0.15% 0.05% 0.10% -0.09% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.239819
CSF Victory CEMP US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF 0.38% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 85.980665
NUSC NuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF 0.40% -- -- -- -- / -- Low 0
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF 0.20% 0.09% 0.11% 0.05% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.684634
VTWO Vanguard Russell 2000 Index Fund 0.15% 0.02% 0.06% -0.00% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.20555
DES WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund 0.38% -0.13% -0.06% -0.39% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.37908
OUSM O'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF 0.48% -- -- -- -- / -- Low 0
JKJ iShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF 0.25% -0.10% -0.06% -0.29% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.524799
XSLV PowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio 0.25% -0.28% -0.23% -0.40% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.10098
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 01/23/17)

All Funds (36)

99
99.078595
98
98.420276
98
98.138077
98
97.919935
97
97.330034
97
97.328996
97
97.116336
96
96.160916
94
94.231335
92
92.177121
91
91.231363
89
89.16721
87
87.351154
85
85.387586
85
85.232235
81
81.46995
80
80.271783
73
72.823922
67
67.36789
61
61.070268
59
58.749511
58
58.298827
39
39.34955
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
58
57.52387108872
59
59.346433883911

ETF.com Grade as 01/19/17

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
EES WisdomTree SmallCap Earnings Fund $1.72 M 0.28% 0.35 100.00% 0.21% 0.05% None 85.232235
VB Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund $100.21 M 0.03% 31.05 100.00% 0.01% 0.02% None 99.078595
EQWS PowerShares Russell 2000 Equal Weight Portfolio $90.47 K 0.34% 0.05 100.00% 0.07% 0.05% None 61.070268
VIOO Vanguard S&P Small Cap 600 Index Fund ETF $4.7 M 0.07% 1.50 100.00% 0.07% 0.02% None 97.328996
VTWO Vanguard Russell 2000 Index Fund $10.05 M 0.05% 3.82 100.00% 0.02% 0.04% None 98.138077
FNDA Schwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF $7.59 M 0.09% 4.42 100.00% 0.02% 0.03% None 97.116336
XSLV PowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio $8.05 M 0.13% 3.78 100.00% 0.31% 0.02% None 92.177121
FYX First Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund $3.8 M 0.10% 1.45 100.00% 0.08% 0.02% None 96.160916
ZSML ETFS Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index Fund $0 10.82% 0.00 100.00% 0.02% 0.02% None 39.34955
EWSC Guggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF $241.2 K 0.49% 0.10 100.00% 0.09% 0.12% None 58.749511
IJR iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF $240.04 M 0.03% 37.49 100.00% 0.15% 0.04% None 97.330034
DESC Deutsche X-trackers Russell 2000 Comprehensive Factor ETF $21.56 K 0.12% 0.01 100.00% 0.06% 0.13% None 0
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF $4.11 B 0.01% 612.89 100.00% 0.06% 0.04% None 98.420276
SCAP AdvisorShares Cornerstone Small Cap ETF $19.27 K 0.37% 0.02 100.00% 0.05% 0.07% None 58.298827
JKJ iShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF $653.58 K 0.11% 0.08 100.00% 0.19% 0.01% None 81.46995
SMMV iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF $47.18 K 0.33% 0.04 100.00% 0.04% 0.08% None 0
RWJ Oppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF $3.7 M 0.15% 1.08 100.00% 0.24% 0.09% None 91.231363
PSC Principal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF $7.71 K 0.44% 0.00 100.00% 0.04% 0.11% None 0
CSA Victory CEMP US Small Cap Volatility Wtd Index ETF $84.27 K 0.33% 0.03 100.00% 0.07% 0.04% None 0
SCHA Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF $32.14 M 0.05% 10.34 100.00% 0.02% 0.05% None 97.919935
JPSE JPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF $16.53 K 0.20% 0.01 100.00% 0.03% 0.19% None 0
CSB Victory CEMP US Small Cap High Div Volatility Wtd ETF $121.81 K 0.29% 0.05 100.00% 0.39% 0.01% None 0
SLY SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF $4.21 M 0.24% 0.69 100.00% 0.13% 0.05% None 89.16721
XSHD PowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio $182.38 K 0.48% 0.13 100.00% 0.68% 0.04% None 0
CSF Victory CEMP US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF $237.89 K 0.27% 0.12 100.00% 0.07% 0.04% None 67.36789
SMDV ProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF $5.16 M 0.14% 3.92 100.00% 0.40% 0.02% None 0
NUSC NuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF $2.5 K 0.45% 0.00 100.00% 0.02% 0.04% None 0
DES WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund $12.75 M 0.12% 3.09 100.00% 0.16% 0.04% None 94.231335
SMLF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Small-Cap ETF $144.87 K 0.85% 0.08 100.00% 0.06% 0.09% None 0
OUSM O'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF $224.85 K 0.22% 0.19 100.00% 0.04% 0.04% None 0
DGRS WisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund $839.47 K 0.19% 0.50 100.00% 0.13% 0.03% None 72.823922
SMLV SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF $1.65 M 0.35% 0.35 100.00% 0.53% 0.01% None 80.271783
DWAS PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio $983.35 K 0.28% 0.49 100.00% 0.27% 0.03% None 85.387586
TWOK SPDR Russell 2000 ETF $1.44 M 0.28% 0.37 100.00% 0.03% 0.06% None 87.351154
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

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
SMDV
5
4
3
2
1
SMLF
5
4
3
2
1
SMLV
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
EWSC
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
FNDA
5
4
3
2
1
FYX
5
4
3
2
1
ZSML
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
JPSE
5
4
3
2
1
CSA
5
4
3
2
1
CSB
5
4
3
2
1
NUSC
5
4
3
2
1
EQWS
5
4
3
2
1
XSHD
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 01/23/17)

All Funds (36)

96
96.310251
96
96.112731
96
96.007736
96
95.942781
95
95.22841
92
92.498166
92
92.39166
92
92.269158
92
92.016403
90
90.221742
90
90.169503
90
89.533724
84
84.108735
83
82.901918
82
81.523612
81
81.034848
73
72.840575
68
68.030784
68
67.528426
64
64.26119
64
63.703949
59
59.225595
56
55.935361
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
78
78.062121909754
72
71.940939152313

ETF.com Grade as 01/19/17

Equity: U.S. - Small Cap