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

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Launched on 06/28/2004, the iShares Morningstar SmallCap Growth ETF (ISCG - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to provide a broad exposure to the Small Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $358.68 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. Additionally, growth stocks have a greater level of risk associated with them. They are likely to outperform value stocks in strong bull markets but over the longer-term, value stocks have delivered better returns than growth stocks in almost all markets.


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 0.06%, making it the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.94%.

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.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Healthcare sector--about 22.20% of the portfolio. Information Technology and Industrials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Shockwave Medical Inc (SWAV - Free Report) accounts for about 0.58% of total assets, followed by Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (SRPT - Free Report) and Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co (BHVN - Free Report) .

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 -27.21% so far this year and is down about -32.60% in the last one year (as of 11/08/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $33.74 and $54.25.

The ETF has a beta of 1.08 and standard deviation of 30.47% for the trailing three-year period. With about 1201 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 reasonable 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 $9.38 billion in assets, Vanguard SmallCap Growth ETF has $11.75 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.

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