Our goal in this profile is to help investors wade through the many competing ETF offerings available. Using our long experience as an ETF publication , we can help select those ETFs that matter and may not be repetitive. The result is a more manageable list of issues from which to choose.

The following analysis features our top selections of small and mid-cap ETFs. We believe these constitute the best index-based offerings individuals and financial advisors may utilize.

Within this category list we include the top small and mid-cap blended ETFs (growth and value) as well as individual selections based on growth or value.  

We're not ranking these ETFs so don't let the listing order mislead you. Although we may use a few of these in ETF Digest portfolios it's not our intention to recommend one over another.

These ETFs are based on indexes tied to well-known index providers including Russell, S&P, Barclays, MSCI, Dow Jones and so forth.

Uniquely, investors should remember, small and mid-cap issues usually carry higher beta (volatility or higher risk levels) than their large cap peers. This means during times of higher economic growth combined with accommodative Fed monetary policies (2009-10011) returns in these two sectors will outperform. But, the opposite situation does occur should either of these conditions.

Remaining aware of these benefits and risks should be important to every investor.

One thing you'll note with charts posted is the similarities in trends and performance. This isn't a coincidence given overall index constituent similarities. Further, the easy money policies of the Fed during the period covered have made performance results hardly distinguishable one from another.

Both ProShares and DirexionShares offer inverse and leveraged long/short ETFs for investors wishing to hedge or speculate.

MDY (SPDR S&P MidCap ETF) follows the S&P MidCap 400 Index. It was launched in April 1995. The expense ratio is .25%. AUM (Assets under Management) equal $10 billion with average daily trading volume just under 3.6M shares. As of mid-September 2011 the annual dividend is $.74 making the current yield .50% and YTD return -6.90%.

Data as of September 2011

MDY Top Ten Holdings &Weightings

  1. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR): 1.13%
  2. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX): 0.93%
  3. BorgWarner Inc (BWA): 0.76%
  4. Lubrizol Corporation (LZ): 0.75%
  5. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. (DLTR): 0.70%
  6. HollyFrontier Corp (HFC): 0.68%
  7. Cimarex Energy Company (XEC): 0.66%
  8. Perrigo Company (PRGO): 0.66%
  9. Macerich Company (MAC): 0.60%
  10. Ametek, Inc. (AME): 0.59%

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