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Should iShares Core S&P SmallCap ETF (IJR) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Small Cap Blend segment of the US equity market, the iShares Core S&P SmallCap ETF (IJR - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 05/22/2000.

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $66.60 billion, making it the largest ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Blend

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.

Blend ETFs are aptly named, since they tend to hold a mix of growth and value stocks, as well as show characteristics of both kinds of equities.


When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.06%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.72%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Industrials sector--about 16.60% of the portfolio. Information Technology and Financials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Blk Csh Fnd Treasury Sl Agency (XTSLA) accounts for about 1.08% of total assets, followed by Southwestern Energy (SWN - Free Report) and Agree Realty Reit Corp (ADC - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 6.43% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

IJR seeks to match the performance of the S&P SmallCap 600 Index before fees and expenses. The S&P SmallCap 600 Index measures the performance of the small capitalization sector of the U.S. equity market.

The ETF has lost about -13.72% so far this year and is down about -6.65% in the last one year (as of 07/28/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $89.03 and $120.32.

The ETF has a beta of 1.14 and standard deviation of 30.36% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 670 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


IShares Core S&P 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, IJR is an excellent 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 Vanguard SmallCap ETF (VB - Free Report) and the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM - Free Report) track a similar index. While Vanguard SmallCap ETF has $41.76 billion in assets, iShares Russell 2000 ETF has $52.34 billion. VB has an expense ratio of 0.05% and IWM charges 0.19%.


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.

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