Small-caps, though, can still navigate through a slowly rising rate environment. Smaller companies, which focus on U.S. markets, are less exposed to a stronger U.S. dollar as rates rise, which would more negatively affect larger corporations with a global footprint. Additionally, periods of rising rates also coincide with expanding economies, which often benefit smaller companies.
Small-caps are also focused on the domestic economy and have less direct exposure to global geopolitical uncertainty and currency risks, as opposed to large-cap companies that have an international footprint, which may be affected by overseas risks and a strengthening U.S. dollar.
“I would definitely go with large caps at this point. The small caps had this huge run over the course of 2016. That was the beta trade in the later part of the year, after the election,” Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors, said in an interview with CNBC.
A smart beta alternative to IJR and IWM is the Guggenheim S&P Smallcap 600 Pure Value ETF (NYSEArca: RZV), which has a heavily cyclical lineup. RZV targets companies that exhibit the value characteristic but focuses on the smaller companies taken from the S&P SmallCap 600 benchmark. Industrial, consumer discretionary and materials stocks combine for 57% of that ETF’s weight.
Tom Lydon’s clients owns shares of IWM.