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Looking for broad exposure to the Small Cap Blend segment of the US equity market? You should consider the IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF (CSML), a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 05/16/2017.

The fund is sponsored by Indexiq. It has amassed assets over $360.48 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

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.

Blend ETFs usually hold a mix of growth and value stocks as well as stocks that exhibit both value and growth characteristics.

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 0.95%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer a diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Financials sector--about 32.10% of the portfolio. Industrials and Consumer Discretionary round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Renewable Energy Group Inc (REGI) accounts for about 1.17% of total assets, followed by Liberty Tripadvisor Hdg-A (LTRPA) and First Bancorp/puerto Rico (FBP).

The top 10 holdings account for about 8.15% 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 return is roughly 0.94% so far this year and is down about -19.52% in the last one year (as of 01/03/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $21.19 and $29.80.

The ETF has a beta of 1.13 and standard deviation of 16.06% for the trailing three-year period. With about 210 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 sufficient 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 Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR) and the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) track a similar index. While iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF has $37.42 B in assets, iShares Russell 2000 ETF has $41.08 B. IJR has an expense ratio of 0.07% and IWM charges 0.19%.

Bottom-Line

An increasingly popular option among retail and institutional investors, passively managed ETFs offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; they 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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IQ-CHKN US SC (CSML): ETF Research Reports

First BanCorp. (FBP): Free Stock Analysis Report

ISHARS-R 2000 (IWM): ETF Research Reports

ISHARS-SP SC600 (IJR): ETF Research Reports

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REGI): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.

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