Small-Cap Emerging Market ETFs

Broad emerging market exchange traded funds have not been moving as quickly as in previous years, but the small-cap segment in the developing world has stood out, providing investors diversification and access to the growth in domestic consumption.

The WisdomTree Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend Fund (NYSEArca: DGS) has gained 4.5% year-to-date and the SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap ETF (NYSEArca: EWX) rose 5.1%. Meanwhile, the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) dropped 4.8% year-to-date and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (NYSEArca: EEM) is down 5.4%. [Options Traders Betting Against Emerging Market ETFs with Puts]

“We’re in an environment this year, year to date, where the small caps in emerging markets are outperforming the large caps in emerging markets by about 700 basis points,” WisdomTree Chief Investment Strategist Luciano Siracusano said on CNBC. “But something is happening in emerging markets. It’s a trend we’ve seen over the last three, five and 10 years, so I think it’s definitely an asset class investors should be looking at.”

VWO and EEM are both primarily comprised of mega- and large-cap stocks. VWO has 47.4% in giant-caps, 41.0% in large-caps and 10.7% in mid-caps. EEM has 46.8% in giant-caps, 40.8% in large-caps and 12.0% in mid-caps. [Emerging Market ETFs Test Long-Term Trends and Support]

“The large caps are tied to the global economy, particularly what’s happening in Europe and of course what’s happening in China,” Siracusano said. “I think the small caps have more exposure to what’s going on on ground in their countries, and those countries are still growing.”