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Should IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF (CSML) Be on Your Investing Radar?

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The IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF (CSML - Free Report) was launched on 05/16/2017, 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 Indexiq. It has amassed assets over $336.42 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Blend segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Blend

There's a lot of potential to investing in small cap companies, but with market capitalization below $2 billion, that high potential comes with even higher risk.

Blend ETFs are aptly named, since they tend to hold a mix of growth and value stocks, as well as show characteristics of both kinds of equities.

Costs

Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.35%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.17%.

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 Industrials sector--about 26.70% of the portfolio. Financials and Information Technology round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Sinclair Broadcast Group -A (SBGI - Free Report) accounts for about 0.71% of total assets, followed by Vectrus Inc (VEC - Free Report) and Meta Financial Group Inc (CASH - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 6.08% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

CSML seeks to match the performance of the NASDAQ Chaikin Power US Small Cap Index before fees and expenses. The NASDAQ Chaikin Power US Small Cap Index is a rules-based, quantitative index designed to enhance the NASDAQ US 1500 Index, by selecting stocks with the highest Chaikin Power Gauge rating.

The ETF has added about 12.16% so far this year and is down about -10.15% in the last one year (as of 05/17/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $21.19 and $29.80.

The ETF has a beta of 1.22 and standard deviation of 16.29% for the trailing three-year period. With about 216 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap 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, CSML is a reasonable option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Blend area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM - Free Report) and the iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR - Free Report) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 2000 ETF has $41.74 B in assets, iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF has $43.99 B. IWM has an expense ratio of 0.19% and IJR charges 0.07%.

Bottom-Line

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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