Back to top

Image: Bigstock

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

Read MoreHide Full Article

The Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF (VBR - Free Report) was launched on 01/26/2004, and is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Small Cap Value segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by Vanguard. It has amassed assets over $23.01 billion, making it the largest ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Value segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Value

There's a lot of potential to investing in small cap companies, but with market capitalization below $2 billion, that high potential comes with even higher risk.

Carrying lower than average price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios, value stocks also have lower than average sales and earnings growth rates. While 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.


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 0.07%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.01%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer a diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO - Free Report) accounts for about 0.78% of total assets, followed by Constellation Energy Corp. (CEG - Free Report) and Slcmt1142.

The top 10 holdings account for about 6.05% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

VBR seeks to match the performance of the CRSP U.S. Small Cap Value Index before fees and expenses. The CRSP U.S. Small Cap Value Index measures the investment return of small-capitalization value stocks.

The ETF has lost about -11.31% so far this year and is down about -4.20% in the last one year (as of 07/26/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $146.67 and $185.72.

The ETF has a beta of 1.15 and standard deviation of 30.15% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 926 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, VBR is an excellent 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 S&P SmallCap 600 Value ETF (IJS - Free Report) and the iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN - Free Report) track a similar index. While iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Value ETF has $7.45 billion in assets, iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF has $11.87 billion. IJS has an expense ratio of 0.18% and IWN charges 0.24%.


Passively managed ETFs are becoming increasingly popular with institutional as well as retail investors due to their low cost, transparency, flexibility and tax efficiency. They are excellent vehicles for long term investors.

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.

Published in