Many exchange traded fund investors are indexing purists familiar with the research released by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French in the 1990s showing that small-cap value stocks tend to outperform the broader markets over longer time periods.
The phenomenon is known as the small-cap value premium.
The iShares S&P Small Cap 600 Value Index Fund (NYSEArca: IJS) is up 12.5% year to date, compared with an 8.6% gain for the S&P 500.
The improved outlook on the Eurozone financial status has helped investors feel less anxious over riskier equity picks, especially in small capitalization stocks. Additionally, the better-than-expected string of U.S. economic data has boosted confidence in U.S. stocks. [Small-Cap ETFs are Leading the Rally]
Decades of historical data and academic research indicate that small-cap value stocks tend to generate higher returns over the long-run, especially during the start of a bullish run when the smaller, more nimble companies take charge. However, potential investors need to be aware that this asset class may show larger swings in volatility. [ETF Chart of the Day: Small-Cap Growth]
“According to the Morningstar Small Value Index, small-cap value stocks returned 9.2% on an annualized basis over the past 10 years,” Michael Rawson, Morningstar analyst, said in a research note. “While that is better than the 2.9% annualized return on the S&P 500, at 21%, it experienced greater volatility than the 16% standard deviation of the S&P 500.”
Other small-cap value ETFs include:
- iShares Russell 2000 Value Index (NYSEArca: IWN)
- iShares Morningstar Small Value Index Fund (NYSEArca: JKL)
- Powershares Dynamic Small Cap Value Portfolio Fund (NYSEArca: PWY)
- Rydex S&P Small Cap 600 Pure Value ETF (NYSEArca: RZV)
- SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap Value ETF (NYSEArca: SLYV)
- Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF (NYSEArca: VBR)
- Vanguard Russell 2000 Value ETF (NYSEArca: VTWV)
- Vanguard S&P Small-Cap 600 Value ETF (NYSEArca: VIOV)
iShares S&P Small Cap 600 Value Index Fund
For more information on small-cap stocks, visit our small-cap category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.