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Should Vanguard SmallCap ETF (VB) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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Launched on 01/26/2004, the Vanguard SmallCap ETF (VB - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to provide a broad exposure to the Small Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by Vanguard. It has amassed assets over $39.39 billion, making it one of the largest ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Blend

Sitting at a market capitalization below $2 billion, small cap companies tend to be high-potential stocks compared to its large and mid cap counterparts, but come with higher risk.

Blend ETFs usually hold a mix of growth and value stocks as well as stocks that exhibit both value and growth characteristics.


Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.05%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.58%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG - Free Report) accounts for about 0.44% of total assets, followed by Vici Properties Inc. (VICI - Free Report) and Nuance Communications Inc. .

Performance and Risk

VB seeks to match the performance of the CRSP US Small Cap Index before fees and expenses. The CRSP US Small Cap Index includes U.S. companies that fall between the bottom 2%-15% of the investable market capitalization. There is no lower limit in market capitalization. The index includes securities traded on NYSE, NYSE Market, NASDAQ or ARCA.

The ETF has lost about -20.81% so far this year and is down about -15.56% in the last one year (as of 07/19/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $170.70 and $239.37.

The ETF has a beta of 1.14 and standard deviation of 28.23% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 1546 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Vanguard SmallCap 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, VB is a great option for investors seeking exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Blend segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM - Free Report) and the iShares Core S&P SmallCap ETF (IJR - Free Report) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 2000 ETF has $50.13 billion in assets, iShares Core S&P SmallCap ETF has $60.66 billion. IWM has an expense ratio of 0.19% and IJR charges 0.06%.


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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