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

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

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

Products that are based on market cap weighted indexes, which are strategies designed to reflect a specific market segment or the market as a whole, have traditionally dominated the ETF industry.

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

However, some investors believe in the possibility of beating the market through exceptional stock selection, and choose a different type of fund that tracks non-cap weighted strategies: smart beta.

Non-cap weighted indexes try to choose stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, which is based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a mix of other such characteristics.

Even though this space provides many choices to investors--think one of the simplest methodologies like equal-weighting and more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting--not all have been able to deliver first-rate results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

Managed by Nuveen, NUMG has amassed assets over $397.39 million, making 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

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.

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

NUMG's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 0.17%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure which minimizes single stock risk, it is still important to look into a fund's holdings before investing. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Representing 34.40% of the portfolio, the fund has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector; Industrials and Healthcare round out the top three.

When you look at individual holdings, Ww Grainger Inc (GWW - Free Report) accounts for about 3.11% of the fund's total assets, followed by Gartner Inc (IT - Free Report) and Quanta Services Inc (PWR - Free Report) .

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 27.84% of NUMG's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, NUMG has added roughly 3.73%, and was up about 14.90% in the last one year (as of 03/11/2024). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $33.95 and $44.30.

The fund has a beta of 1.10 and standard deviation of 23.99% for the trailing three-year period. With about 58 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.

JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF (JEPQ - Free Report) tracks ---------------------------------------- and the iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU - Free Report) tracks MSCI USA ESG Focus Index. JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF has $10.96 billion in assets, iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF has $13.59 billion. JEPQ has an expense ratio of 0.35% 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.

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