Equity: U.S. - Small Cap

DESC Top Performer Intra-day
Price $32.51
Today’s Change 0.00%(0.00)
4:00pm 04/26/2017
SMDV Bottom Performer Intra-day
Price $54.22
Today’s Change -0.88%(-1.60)
4:00pm 04/28/2017
  • 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 04/28/17)

All Funds (37)

SCHA $5.43 B 5431727051.4 very low all-in costs

A 96
E
100
100
T
98
98
F
96
96

VB $18.49 B 18491573269.45 dirt-cheap all-in costs

A 95
E
99
99
T
99
99
F
95
95

DES $2.05 B 2045701560 stable and liquid

A 94
E
92
92
T
94
94
F
94
94

VIOO $646.01 M 646014000 Decent but eclipsed by IJR

A 94
E
97
97
T
97
97
F
94
94

SLY $745.7 M 745703678.51981 IJR is more liquid

A 93
E
98
98
T
86
86
F
93
93

IJR $30.49 B 30494627955 Trades easily

A 93
E
100
100
T
98
98
F
93
93

FNDA $1.75 B 1749067368 viable assets and liquidity

A 93
E
97
97
T
97
97
F
93
93

JKJ $244.6 M 244602600 not as liquid as some

A 91
E
97
97
T
77
77
F
91
91

IWM $41.03 B 41029553600 Extremely large & liquid

A 90
E
100
100
T
98
98
F
90
90

VTWO $1.03 B 1032858750 rock solid but lags IWM in liquidiy

A 90
E
97
97
T
99
99
F
90
90

TWOK $204.34 M 204344582.4 lags IWM and VTWO in liquidity

A 88
E
97
97
T
84
84
F
88
88

EES $506.97 M 506966425 tracks its index well

A 85
E
94
94
T
83
83
F
85
85

SMLV $216.61 M 216614584.2 Low AUM, low trading volume

A 64
E
99
99
T
73
73
F
64
64

XSLV $960.29 M 960290100 Low Volatility

A 62
E
96
96
T
91
91
F
62
62

EWSC $35.44 M 35435400 same index as EQWS

B 95
E
91
91
T
56
56
F
95
95

FYX $496.85 M 496851511.652 very expensive to hold

B 90
E
88
88
T
93
93
F
90
90

EQWS $22.24 M 22235400 paltry assets

B 88
E
93
93
T
59
59
F
88
88

PSC $255.94 M 255941143.9199 N/A

B 81
E
90
90
T
56
56
F
81
81

CSF $50.28 M 50282520 Low-vol market timer

B 81
E
87
87
T
67
67
F
81
81

DGRS $105.67 M 105668770 investor interest still weak

B 79
E
93
93
T
74
74
F
79
79

RWJ $556.52 M 556524860.22 high holding costs

B 79
E
85
85
T
90
90
F
79
79

DWAS $196.75 M 196746700 popular but not cheap to hold

B 68
E
90
90
T
84
84
F
68
68

SMMV $8.27 M 8265990 N/A

C 62
E
84
84
T
61
61
F
62
62

SCAP $4.29 M 4294763.244 N/A

F 76
E
60
60
T
54
54
F
76
76

NUSC $11.73 M 11734650 N/A

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

SMDV $425.5 M 425502000 low assets, weak liquidity

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

OUSM $28.58 M 28576267.2 N/A

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

SMLF $47.5 M 47497060 New; trade with care

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

XSHQ $2.57 M 2565525.655 N/A

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

JPSE $31.5 M 31495213.659823 N/A

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

CSA $23.6 M 23595770 higher fee

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

XSHD $9.01 M 9009025.74 N/A

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

CSB $31.12 M 31121700 N/A

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

DESC $4.86 M 4863932.426 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 04/20/17

Equity: U.S. - Small Cap

Performance Dispersion
Performance  [as of 04/27/17] 1 Month 3 Month YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Benchmark: MSCI USA Small Cap4.09%3.63%5.67%20.64%9.20%13.04%--
A 96.132052SCHA5431727051.4SCHASchwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF4.17%3.00%4.81%20.48%8.97%13.43%--
A 94.940006VB18491573269.45VBVanguard Small-Cap Index Fund3.91%3.46%5.62%19.50%9.10%13.34%7.94%
A 93.842616DES2045701560DESWisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund5.79%2.02%1.22%20.76%10.61%14.68%7.42%
A 93.674416VIOO646014000VIOOVanguard S&P Small Cap 600 Index Fund ETF4.48%3.18%3.12%23.41%11.36%14.73%--
A 93.284759SLY745703678.51981SLYSPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF4.34%2.97%2.98%23.10%11.29%14.65%9.00%
A 93.168833IJR30494627955IJRiShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF4.43%3.10%3.21%23.30%11.35%14.83%8.55%
A 92.685821FNDA1749067368FNDASchwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF3.95%2.33%3.62%20.06%9.21%----
A 90.704171JKJ244602600JKJiShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF4.59%3.29%4.42%21.25%9.42%13.06%7.20%
A 90.14187IWM41029553600IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETF4.61%3.79%4.82%24.65%9.64%13.10%7.03%
A 90.03597VTWO1032858750VTWOVanguard Russell 2000 Index Fund4.68%3.82%4.94%24.64%9.56%13.16%--
A 88.097235TWOK204344582.4TWOKSPDR Russell 2000 ETF4.44%3.96%4.97%24.50%9.65%----
A 85.19427EES506966425EESWisdomTree SmallCap Earnings Fund5.61%2.74%2.08%25.34%9.11%13.73%8.53%
A 64.391505SMLV216614584.2SMLVSPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF4.90%2.02%1.13%24.59%13.55%----
A 62.336099XSLV960290100XSLVPowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio5.04%2.96%1.84%26.64%15.14%----
B 94.99749EWSC35435400EWSCGuggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF4.93%1.71%1.52%22.49%5.23%10.65%--
B 90.285758FYX496851511.652FYXFirst Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund5.23%2.59%3.66%21.43%6.77%11.94%--
B 88.074338EQWS22235400EQWSPowerShares Russell 2000 Equal Weight Portfolio5.69%2.58%2.71%24.17%8.68%11.59%4.44%
B 80.924691PSC255941143.9199PSCPrincipal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF4.84%4.88%5.33%--------
B 80.876389CSF50282520CSFVictoryShares US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF5.72%3.65%3.30%25.26%------
B 79.399843DGRS105668770DGRSWisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund5.61%1.01%0.75%20.12%9.45%----
B 79.169898RWJ556524860.22RWJOppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF4.82%2.18%1.48%20.66%9.11%14.89%--
B 67.828208DWAS196746700DWASPowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio4.97%2.30%3.56%17.96%5.31%----
C 62.046066SMMV8265990SMMViShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF4.34%6.05%6.60%--------
F 75.642317SCAP4294763.244SCAPAdvisorShares Cornerstone Small Cap ETF3.75%2.36%4.12%--------
N/A 0NUSC11734650NUSCNuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF4.57%3.43%5.88%--------
N/A 0SMDV425502000SMDVProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF5.43%3.80%2.85%27.78%------
N/A 0OUSM28576267.2OUSMO'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF4.20%3.60%4.60%--------
N/A 0SMLF47497060SMLFiShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Small-Cap ETF4.65%1.94%3.14%23.05%------
N/A 0XSHQ2565525.655XSHQPowerShares S&P SmallCap Quality Portfolio--------------
N/A 0JPSE31495213.659823JPSEJPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF5.73%5.01%5.13%--------
N/A 0CSA23595770CSAVictoryShares US Small Cap Volatility Wtd Index ETF5.86%3.91%3.53%26.32%------
N/A 0XSHD9009025.74XSHDPowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio4.17%0.30%-0.08%--------
N/A 0CSB31121700CSBVictoryShares US Small Cap High Div Volatility Wtd ETF4.99%1.04%0.87%21.92%------
N/A 0DESC4863932.426DESCDeutsche X-trackers Russell 2000 Comprehensive Factor ETF6.25%3.44%2.40%--------
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 04/28/17)

All Funds (37)

100
99.591051
99
99.115763
99
98.758415
98
98.024002
97
97.455229
97
97.246895
97
97.228255
97
96.768037
97
96.540378
96
96.00797
94
93.887891
93
93.411709
93
93.221591
92
92.187631
91
91.042122
90
89.756706
90
89.70199
88
88.277242
87
86.727441
85
85.20431
84
84.305698
60
60.189189
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
54
54.11577
84
83.629378793993
87
87.007897976144

ETF.com Grade as 04/20/17

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
JKJ iShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF 0.25% -0.11% -0.06% -0.33% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.540378
XSLV PowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio 0.25% -0.29% -0.23% -0.40% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.00797
DGRS WisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund 0.38% -0.16% -0.07% -0.33% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.411709
XSHQ PowerShares S&P SmallCap Quality Portfolio 0.29% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
RWJ Oppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF 0.39% -0.71% -0.58% -1.16% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 85.20431
DWAS PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio 0.60% -0.57% -0.49% -0.73% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 89.756706
SCHA Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF 0.05% 0.01% 0.07% -0.04% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
EWSC Guggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF 0.41% -0.37% -0.22% -0.70% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 91.042122
EES WisdomTree SmallCap Earnings Fund 0.38% -0.12% -0.05% -0.35% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.887891
SLY SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF 0.15% -0.02% 0.01% -0.16% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.024002
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% -0.33% -0.13% -0.43% 20.00% / 39.60% Medium 93.221591
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% -0.60% -0.16% -0.87% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
SMMV iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF 0.20% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 84.305698
FNDA Schwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF 0.25% -0.25% -0.18% -0.41% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.768037
SMLV SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF 0.12% -0.16% 0.16% -0.34% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 98.758415
PSC Principal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF 0.38% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 89.70199
FYX First Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund 0.64% -0.52% -0.45% -0.66% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 88.277242
TWOK SPDR Russell 2000 ETF 0.10% 0.25% 0.32% -0.05% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.455229
CSA VictoryShares 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 0.29% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
VB Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund 0.08% 0.03% 0.07% 0.01% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 99.115763
CSB VictoryShares US Small Cap High Div Volatility Wtd ETF 0.35% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
XSHD PowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio 0.30% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
IJR iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF 0.07% -0.01% 0.04% -0.12% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 100
VIOO Vanguard S&P Small Cap 600 Index Fund ETF 0.15% 0.06% 0.14% -0.09% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.246895
CSF VictoryShares US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF 0.38% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 86.727441
NUSC NuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF 0.40% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF 0.20% 0.09% 0.11% 0.03% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 99.591051
VTWO Vanguard Russell 2000 Index Fund 0.15% 0.02% 0.06% -0.01% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.228255
DES WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund 0.38% -0.21% -0.06% -0.41% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.187631
OUSM O'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF 0.48% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
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 04/28/17)

All Funds (37)

99
99.202541
99
98.64883
98
98.312031
98
97.994344
98
97.951352
97
97.300088
97
96.780832
94
94.022026
93
93.34924
91
91.170971
90
90.47555
86
85.648272
84
84.054945
84
84.023991
83
83.498981
77
76.500155
74
74.250958
73
73.471197
67
67.407519
61
61.396051
59
58.519685
56
55.63623
56
55.576317
54
53.757862
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 04/20/17

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
DWAS PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio $968.21 K 0.27% 0.48 100.00% 0.38% 0.02% None 84.023991
TWOK SPDR Russell 2000 ETF $845.14 K 0.29% 0.21 100.00% 0.04% 0.06% None 84.054945
EES WisdomTree SmallCap Earnings Fund $1.16 M 0.39% 0.73 100.00% 0.08% 0.16% None 83.498981
VB Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund $105.08 M 0.03% 31.97 100.00% 0.02% 0.02% None 99.202541
EQWS PowerShares Russell 2000 Equal Weight Portfolio $74.18 K 0.40% 0.03 100.00% 0.10% 0.05% None 58.519685
VIOO Vanguard S&P Small Cap 600 Index Fund ETF $3.82 M 0.06% 1.22 100.00% 0.08% 0.02% None 97.300088
VTWO Vanguard Russell 2000 Index Fund $8.24 M 0.03% 3.03 100.00% 0.03% 0.04% None 98.64883
FNDA Schwab Fundamental US Small Co. Index ETF $7.72 M 0.11% 4.49 100.00% 0.02% 0.03% None 96.780832
XSLV PowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility Portfolio $5.22 M 0.14% 2.49 100.00% 0.39% 0.02% None 91.170971
FYX First Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX Fund $1.94 M 0.14% 0.70 100.00% 0.09% 0.02% None 93.34924
EWSC Guggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight ETF $104.06 K 0.45% 0.04 100.00% 0.11% 0.12% None 55.63623
IJR iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF $206.13 M 0.02% 59.72 100.00% 0.09% 0.04% None 97.994344
DESC Deutsche X-trackers Russell 2000 Comprehensive Factor ETF $22.51 K 0.23% 0.01 100.00% 0.07% 0.13% None 0
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF $3.95 B 0.01% 580.88 100.00% 0.06% 0.04% None 98.312031
SCAP AdvisorShares Cornerstone Small Cap ETF $5.17 K 0.51% 0.01 100.00% 0.07% 0.07% None 53.757862
JKJ iShares Morningstar Small-Cap ETF $484.36 K 0.11% 0.06 100.00% 0.22% 0.01% None 76.500155
SMMV iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Small-Cap ETF $49.85 K 0.27% 0.03 100.00% 0.05% 0.08% None 61.396051
RWJ Oppenheimer Small Cap Revenue ETF $2.75 M 0.17% 0.85 100.00% 0.21% 0.09% None 90.47555
PSC Principal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF $5.44 K 0.42% 0.00 100.00% 0.04% 0.11% None 55.576317
CSA VictoryShares US Small Cap Volatility Wtd Index ETF $79.92 K 0.34% 0.04 100.00% 0.10% 0.04% None 0
SCHA Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF $24.23 M 0.05% 7.78 100.00% 0.02% 0.05% None 97.951352
JPSE JPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF $89.35 K 0.22% 0.07 100.00% 0.03% 0.18% None 0
CSB VictoryShares US Small Cap High Div Volatility Wtd ETF $124.42 K 0.22% 0.06 100.00% 0.49% 0.01% None 0
SLY SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF $2.74 M 0.31% 0.44 100.00% 0.16% 0.05% None 85.648272
XSHD PowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio $80.39 K 0.38% 0.07 100.00% 0.51% 0.04% None 0
CSF VictoryShares US Discovery Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF $295.23 K 0.29% 0.15 100.00% 0.10% 0.04% None 67.407519
SMDV ProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF $4.01 M 0.14% 3.04 100.00% 0.60% 0.02% None 0
NUSC NuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF $23.65 K 0.39% 0.02 100.00% 0.02% 0.04% None 0
DES WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund $8.9 M 0.12% 2.17 100.00% 0.18% 0.04% None 94.022026
SMLF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Small-Cap ETF $94.38 K 0.62% 0.05 100.00% 0.05% 0.09% None 0
OUSM O'Shares FTSE Russell Small Cap Quality Dividend ETF $509.68 K 0.20% 0.41 100.00% 0.04% 0.04% None 0
DGRS WisdomTree US Smallcap Quality Dividend Growth Fund $434.89 K 0.22% 0.26 100.00% 0.16% 0.03% None 74.250958
SMLV SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF $732.48 K 0.31% 0.16 100.00% 0.66% 0.01% None 73.471197
XSHQ PowerShares S&P SmallCap Quality Portfolio $0 0.48% 0.00 100.00% -- -- None 0
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

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
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
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
SMDV
5
4
3
2
1
SMLF
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
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
XSHQ
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 04/28/17)

All Funds (37)

96
96.132052
95
94.99749
95
94.940006
94
93.842616
94
93.674416
93
93.284759
93
93.168833
93
92.685821
91
90.704171
90
90.285758
90
90.14187
90
90.03597
88
88.097235
88
88.074338
85
85.19427
81
80.924691
81
80.876389
79
79.399843
79
79.169898
76
75.642317
68
67.828208
64
64.391505
62
62.336099
62
62.046066
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 04/20/17

Equity: U.S. - Small Cap