U.S. Small Cap stocks have regained their mojo at least in the very short term it seems, with benchmark ETF IWM (iShares Russell 2000, Expense Ratio 0.20%) up more than 1% in the past five trading sessions versus SPY (SPDR S&P 500, Expense Ratio 0.09%) up only small during this same time period.
Year to date as well as in the trailing one year period, there is only marginal out-performance evident in U.S. Small Caps as measured by the Russell 2000 when compared to the Large Cap S&P 500, and what is even more interesting is that in the trailing five year period, the S&P 500 is actually marginally out-performing Small Caps.
Year to date IWM has had a rough time in terms of asset flows, seeing more than $3.5 billion flow out of the fund via redemption activity, bringing its asset base to approximately $26.9 billion. It still has a noticeable edge over the second largest U.S. Small Cap ETF in the U.S. landscape, IJR (iShares Core S&P Small Cap, Expense Ratio 0.17%) which has about $16.7 billion in assets under management.
Other notables here in terms of asset size and heft are VB (Vanguard Small Cap, Expense Ratio 0.09%, $11.7 billion in AUM), IWO (iShares Russell 2000 Growth, Expense Ratio 0.25%, $7.5 billion in AUM), IWN (iShares Russell 2000 Value, Expense Ratio 0.25%, $5.9 billion in AUM), VBR (Vanguard Small-Cap Value, Expense Ratio 0.09%, $5.7 billion in AUM), VBK (Vanguard Small-Cap Growth, Expense Ratio 0.09%, $4.7 billion in AUM), IJT (iShares S&P Small-Cap 600 Growth, Expense Ratio 0.25%, $3.5 billion in AUM), IJS (iShares S&P Small-Cap 600 Value, Expense Ratio 0.25%, $3.4 billion in AUM), and SCHA (Schwab U.S. Small-Cap, Expense Ratio 0.08%, $3 billion in AUM).
By our calculations, we see more than $89 billion in assets under management across all of the aforementioned funds and these are only the “biggest” in the U.S. Small Cap Equity space, as there are several other funds worth mentioning that are simply smaller in asset terms. Clearly, there is a substantial amount of investment interest in the U.S. Small Cap equity space via ETFs, and thus issuers have responded with different variants and ways to play the Small-Cap universe itself.