It is no secret that U.S. Small-Cap equities have had an impressive performance run in 2013 with the largest ETF in the space in terms of assets under management IWM (iShares Russell 2000, Expense Ratio 0.28%) pulling in more than $5.5 billion YTD (total AUM is $27.2 billion currently).
An offshoot of Small-Caps, “Microcaps” should also be watched closely especially heading into year-end for a potential acceleration of activity. IWC (iShares Russell Microcap Index, Expense Ratio
0.71%) remains the largest ETF in the Microcap category with $779 million in AUM as the fund is also up impressively year to date and flirting with recent highs. As to be expected, the holdings in these Microcap ETFs are largely uncovered,somewhat unknown equity names that evade the radars of most sell-side research firms and institutional portfolio managers due to the low market capitalizations if not limited floats (shares outstanding).
IWC has top end exposure at the moment to names like RDN (0.69%), AEGR (0.62%), ACAD (0.54%), ARCP (0.54%), and HLSS (0.45%). Other competing Microcap ETFs in the space to consider include FDM (First Trust DJ Select Microcap Index, Expense Ratio 0.60%) which has attracted $133 million in assets under management since its 2005 inception, and the smaller PZI (PowerShares Zacks Micro
Cap Portfolio, Expense Ratio 0.60%) and WMCR (Guggenheim Wilshire Micro Cap, Expense Ratio 0.50%).