On the other hand, investors have been rewarded, to this point, by paying up for performance. IWM is up nearly 31% this year, but that PSCC is up nearly 39% while PSCD is up 35%. The Power Shares S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio (NasdaqGS: PSCE) is up almost 44.5% this year. [Small-Cap ETFs Pack a Big Punch]

The PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio (NYSEArca: DWAS), this year’s best broad market small-cap ETF, has also rewarded investors willing to embrace pricey stocks. DWAS hit a new all-time high Thursday on roughly two and a half times the average daily volume.

The ETF’s methodology, which centers around identifying 200 small-caps with robust relative strength, may blur the line between active and passive management, but that does not discount the fact DWAS has surged 37.2%.  The largest sector weight in DWAS is almost 29% to health care and health care small-caps also trade at valuations above what is found on the Russell 2000 Index. [Soaring Small-Cap ETF Changes up a Bit]

*Chart posted in WSJ story.

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of IWM.