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Should iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM - Free Report) was launched on 05/22/2000, and is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Small Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $62.27 billion, making it one of 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.

Typically holding a combination of both growth and value stocks, blend ETFs also demonstrate qualities seen in value and growth investments.


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 counterparts, other things remaining the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.19%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.33%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Industrials sector--about 17.40% of the portfolio. Healthcare and Financials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Super Micro Computer Inc (SMCI - Free Report) accounts for about 1.46% of total assets, followed by Elf Beauty Inc (ELF - Free Report) and Comfort Systems Usa Inc (FIX - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 4.42% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

IWM seeks to match the performance of the Russell 2000 Index before fees and expenses. The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the small capitalization sector of the U.S. equity market.

The ETF return is roughly 1.50% so far this year and is up about 9.70% in the last one year (as of 03/01/2024). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $162.21 and $204.82.

The ETF has a beta of 1.15 and standard deviation of 23.40% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 1964 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


IShares Russell 2000 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, IWM is an outstanding 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 Small-Cap ETF (VB - Free Report) and the iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR - Free Report) track a similar index. While Vanguard Small-Cap ETF has $52.44 billion in assets, iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF has $77.38 billion. VB has an expense ratio of 0.05% and IJR charges 0.06%.


Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also 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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