Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Should iShares Morningstar SmallCap Growth ETF (ISCG) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Read MoreHide Full Article

Looking for broad exposure to the Small Cap Growth segment of the US equity market? You should consider the iShares Morningstar SmallCap Growth ETF (ISCG - Free Report) , a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 06/28/2004.

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $370.56 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Growth

With more potential comes more risk, and small cap companies, with market capitalization below $2 billion, epitomizes this way of thinking.

Growth stocks have higher than average sales and earnings growth rates. While these are expected to grow faster than the broader market, they also have higher valuations. Something to keep in mind is the higher level of volatility that is affiliated with growth stocks. When you consider growth versus value, growth stocks are usually the clear winner in strong bull markets but tend to fall flat in nearly all other environments.


Cost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts if all other fundamentals are the same.

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

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.88%.

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 Healthcare sector--about 23.40% of the portfolio. Information Technology and Industrials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co (BHVN - Free Report) accounts for about 0.56% of total assets, followed by Wex Inc (WEX - Free Report) and Exelixis Inc (EXEL - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 4.26% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

ISCG seeks to match the performance of the MORNINGSTAR US SML CP BRD GRWTH EXTD ID before fees and expenses. The Morningstar US Small Cap Broad Growth Extended Index comprises of small-capitalization U.S. equities that exhibit growth characteristics.

The ETF has lost about -25.05% so far this year and is down about -27.44% in the last one year (as of 09/06/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $33.74 and $54.51.

The ETF has a beta of 1.09 and standard deviation of 29.72% for the trailing three-year period. With about 1212 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


IShares Morningstar SmallCap Growth ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, ISCG is a good option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Growth area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF (IWO - Free Report) and the Vanguard SmallCap Growth ETF (VBK - Free Report) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF has $9.28 billion in assets, Vanguard SmallCap Growth ETF has $12.24 billion. IWO has an expense ratio of 0.23% and VBK charges 0.07%.


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