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Small-Cap Core ETFs: A Guide

Bargain hunters should consider VB. Although it has considerably less assets than the previous two options, with an expense ratio of 0.14%, this fund is the cheapest of all small cap ETF offerings. Comparatively, IWM charges investors 0.24% and IJR charges 0.20%.

VB's index consists of 1700 separate holdings. As of the end of March, the 10 largest constituents accounted for 2.5% of the fund. Top positions include Whiting Petroleum (WLL), Rovi (ROVI) and Ashland (ASH). Each of these positions accounts for 0.3% of the fund.

In 2010, each of these funds has seen nearly identical performance. Therefore, choosing which is best ultimately it depends on what type of investor you consider yourself.

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was not long any of the equities mentioned.

Don Dion is president and founder of Dion Money Management, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.

Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
IJR $118.03 -0.74%
JKJ $143.04 -0.75%
IWM $124.48 -1.10%
VB $122.49 -0.93%
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