Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Is Nuveen ESG Mid-Cap Growth ETF (NUMG) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Read MoreHide Full Article

Launched on 12/13/2016, the Nuveen ESG Mid-Cap Growth ETF (NUMG - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Style Box - Mid Cap Growth category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.

Investors who believe in market efficiency should consider market cap indexes, as they replicate market returns in a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way.

On the other hand, some investors who believe that it is possible to beat the market by superior stock selection opt to invest in another class of funds that track non-cap weighted strategies--popularly known as smart beta.

Based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such, these indexes attempt to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance.

The smart beta space gives investors many different choices, from equal-weighting, one of the simplest strategies, to more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting. However, not all of these methodologies have been able to deliver remarkable returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by Nuveen, and has been able to amass over $337.08 million, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Style Box - Mid Cap Growth. This particular fund seeks to match the performance of the TIAA ESG USA Mid-Cap Growth Index before fees and expenses.

The TIAA ESG USA Mid-Cap Growth Index comprises of equity securities issued by mid- capitalization companies listed on US exchanges. It uses a rules-based methodology that provides investment exposure that generally replicates that of mid-cap growth benchmarks through a portfolio of securities that adhere to predetermined ESG, controversial business involvement and low-carbon screening criteria.

Cost & Other Expenses

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long-term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins, other things remaining the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.31% for NUMG, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.18%.

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 in the Information Technology sector - about 24.30% of the portfolio. Industrials and Healthcare round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Quanta Services Inc (PWR - Free Report) accounts for about 3.01% of the fund's total assets, followed by West Pharmaceutical Services (WST - Free Report) and Cbre Group Inc - A (CBRE - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 24.98% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, NUMG has added roughly 1.88%, and was up about 7.88% in the last one year (as of 11/07/2023). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $33.11 and $40.81.

The ETF has a beta of 1.09 and standard deviation of 24.35% for the trailing three-year period. With about 63 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Nuveen ESG Mid-Cap Growth ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Mid Cap Growth segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

IShares ESG Aware MSCI EAFE ETF (ESGD - Free Report) tracks MSCI EAFE ESG Focus Index and the iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU - Free Report) tracks MSCI USA ESG Focus Index. IShares ESG Aware MSCI EAFE ETF has $6.92 billion in assets, iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF has $12.09 billion. ESGD has an expense ratio of 0.20% and ESGU charges 0.15%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Style Box - Mid Cap Growth.

Bottom Line

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