Despite continuing to lag its large cap counterpart the S&P 500 Index year to date, the small-cap iShares Russell 2000 (NYSEArca: IWM) has been the most popular fund in terms of receiving asset inflows of north of $1.9 billion in recent sessions (fund AUM is $20.5 billion) in recent sessions.
IWM, which has an expense ratio of 0.28%, continues to dwarf the much smaller VTWO (Vanguard Russell 2000, Expense Ratio 0.21%) in terms of assets under management, as VTWO has $207 million currently, as well as average daily trading volume (37 million shares versus 40,000 shares). [Small-Cap ETFs are Rally’s Missing Ingredient]
Another Russell 2000 linked ETF launched recently (in February of this year), SMLV (SPDR Russell 2000 Low Volatility, Expense Ratio 0.25%), which is designed to track the Russell 2000 Low Volatility Index (think SPLV and USMV for example in terms of product design and target), but the fund remains rather small from an asset standpoint ($6.2 million in AUM). [Two New Low-Volatility ETFs]
While top holdings in the Russell 2000 Index are currently names like ALK, PCYC, and AXLL, the Russell 2000 Low Volatility Index currently has its heaviest exposure to ROIC (2.09%), RHP (2.01%), UNS (2.00%), POR (2.00%), and TEN (1.97%). [Why Low-Volatility ETFs are Thriving]
Since the “Low Vol” approach has been broadly and rather quickly embraced by the institutional money manager community, we would expect with Small-Caps in play here on strong IWM inflows that a fund like SMLV would surface on at least a few radars in the near term.