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Top 10 Mid, Small-Cap ETFs

IJR (iShares S&P 600 SmallCap 600 ETF) follows the S&P SmallCap 600 Index. The fund was launched in May 2000. . The expense ratio is .20%. AUM equal nearly $6 billion and average daily trading volume is around 1.9M shares. As of mid-September 2011 the dividend is $.48 making the current yield .75% and YTD return-9.06%.

Data as of September 2011

IJR Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN): 0.98%
  2. Healthspring, Inc. (HS): 0.59%
  3. World Fuel Services Corporation (INT): 0.59%
  4. Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA): 0.58%
  5. Home Properties, Inc. (HME): 0.58%
  6. Signature Bank (SBNY): 0.56%
  7. Crocs, Inc. (CROX): 0.54%
  8. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT): 0.54%
  9. BioMed Realty Trust Inc (BMR): 0.54%
  10. Clarcor Inc. (CLC): 0.52%

VB (Vanguard Small-Cap ETF) follows the MSCI US Small Cap 1750 Index which consists of 1750 small cap stocks in U.S. markets. The fund was launched in January 2004. The expense ratio is .15% . AUM equal $4.1 billion and average daily trading volume exceeds 739K shares. As of mid-September 2011 the current dividend is $84 making the current yield 1.25% and YTD return -8.89%.

Data as of September 2011

VB Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. CMT Market Liquidity Rate: 0.36%
  2. Polycom, Inc. (PLCM): 0.33%
  3. American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC): 0.29%
  4. Tempur-Pedic International, Inc. (TPX): 0.27%
  5. Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc. (VSEA): 0.27%
  6. Wabco Holdings Incorporated (WBC): 0.27%
  7. Camden Property Trust (CPT): 0.26%
  8. Gardner Denver, Inc. (GDI): 0.25%
  9. Essex Property Trust (ESS): 0.25%
  10. Gentex Corporation (GNTX): 0.25%

IWO (iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF) follows the Russell 2000 Growth Index which includes the 2000 Small Cap growth companies in the U.S. equity market. The fund was launched in July 2000. The expense ratio is .25%. AUM exceeds $3.2 billion and average daily trading volume is over 2.3M shares. As of mid-September 2011 the dividend is $.35 making the current yield .43% and YTD return -8.9%.

Alternative choices include IJT (iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Growth ETF) which follows the S&P SmallCap 600/Citigroup Growth Index. It features an expense ratio of .25%. AUM equal $1.5 billion with average daily volume of 270K shares and YTD return -5.55%. Another choice is VBK (Vanguard Small-Cap Growth ETF) tracks the MSCI US Small Cap Growth Index. AUM exceeds $1.8 billion and average daily trading volume is only 287K shares and YTD -6.79%.

Data as of September 2011

IWO Top Ten Holdings

  1. InterDigital Inc (IDCC): 0.58%
  2. Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA): 0.48%
  3. Home Properties, Inc. (HME): 0.48%
  4. Berry Petroleum Co (BRY): 0.46%
  5. Henry Jack & Associates, Inc. (JKHY): 0.46%
  6. Clean Harbors, Inc. (CLH): 0.46%
  7. Sothebys A (BID): 0.46%
  8. CVR Energy, Inc. (CVI): 0.46%
  9. Rosetta Resources, Inc. (ROSE): 0.44%
  10. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT): 0.44%

VBR (Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF) follows the MSCI US Small Cap Value Index. The fund was launched in January 2004. The expense ratio is.15%. AUM are near $1.7 billion while average daily trading volume is only 135K shares. As of mid-September 2011 the annual dividend is $1.27 making the current yield 2.11% and YTD return -11.10%.

Alternative choices include IWN (iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF) which follows the Russell 2000 Value Index and is the oldest of the group being launched in July 2000. It also has the highest expense ratio at .41%. IJS (iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Value ETF) follows the S&P SmallCap 600/Citigroup Value Index and completes the value area selections for now. It was launched in July 2000 and has an expense ratio of .25%.  

Data as of September 2011

VBR Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC): 0.58%
  2. Camden Property Trust (CPT): 0.52%
  3. Essex Property Trust (ESS): 0.51%
  4. Corn Products International, Inc. (CPO): 0.49%
  5. BE Aerospace Inc (BEAV): 0.49%
  6. First Niagara Financial Group Inc (FNFG): 0.47%
  7. Domtar Corp (UFS): 0.45%
  8. Cooper Companies (COO): 0.43%
  9. Foot Locker Inc (FL): 0.43%
  10. BRE Properties, Inc. (BRE): 0.43%

Mid and Small Cap ETF sectors have responded well to preexisting Fed policies of ZIRP (Aero Interest Rate Policies) and especially well to QE (Quantitative Easing). Since these sectors have higher betas (volatility and risk) they can outperform on the upside when markets are moving higher abetted by Fed policies. Naturally, the opposite can and will occur when markets correct or head south. Risk adverse investors are advised to use caution in this regard.

As stated with other summaries, remember ETF sponsors must issue and their interests aren't aligned with yours. They have a business interest and wish to have a competitive presence in any popular sector.

For further information about portfolio structures using technical indicators like DeMark and other indicators see www.etfdigest.com . You may follow us on Facebook as well and join our group conversations.

You may address any feedback to: feedback@etfdigest.com   

The ETF Digest has no current position in the featured securities.

(Source for data is from ETF sponsors and various ETF data providers.)

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Dave Fry is founder and publisher of ETF Digest, Dave's Daily blog and the best-selling book author of Create Your Own ETF Hedge Fund, A DIY Strategy for Private Wealth Management, published by Wiley Finance in 2008. A detailed bio is here: Dave Fry.

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