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Should WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend ETF (DES) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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Looking for broad exposure to the Small Cap Value segment of the US equity market? You should consider the WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend ETF (DES - Free Report) , a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 06/16/2006.

The fund is sponsored by Wisdomtree. It has amassed assets over $1.77 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Value segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Value

Small cap companies have market capitalization below $2 billion. They usually have higher potential than large and mid cap companies with stocks but higher risk.

While value stocks have lower than average price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios, they also have lower than average sales and earnings growth rates. Value stocks have outperformed growth stocks in nearly all markets when you consider long-term performance, growth stocks are more likely to outpace value stocks in strong bull markets.

Costs

Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.38%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.89%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Financials sector--about 24.50% of the portfolio. Industrials and Utilities round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Cogent Communications Hldgs (CCOI - Free Report) accounts for about 1.22% of total assets, followed by South Jersey Industries Inc (SJI - Free Report) and Xerox Holdings Corp (XRX - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 9.8% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

DES seeks to match the performance of the WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend Index before fees and expenses. The WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend Index is a fundamentally weighted index measuring the performance of the small-capitalization segment of the US dividend-paying market.

The ETF has lost about -10.19% so far this year and is down about -6.24% in the last one year (as of 05/16/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $28.96 and $33.79.

The ETF has a beta of 1.10 and standard deviation of 29.68% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 677 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, DES is an outstanding option for investors seeking exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Value segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

The iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN - Free Report) and the Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF (VBR - Free Report) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF has $12.18 billion in assets, Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF has $24.33 billion. IWN has an expense ratio of 0.24% and VBR charges 0.07%.

Bottom-Line

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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