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Should WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend ETF (DES) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Small Cap Value segment of the US equity market, the WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend ETF (DES) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 06/16/2006.

The fund is sponsored by Wisdomtree. It has amassed assets over $1.84 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Value segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Value

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.

Value stocks are known for their lower than average price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios, but investors should also note their lower than average sales and earnings growth rates. Considering long-term performance, value stocks have outperformed growth stocks in almost all markets; however, they are more likely to underperform growth stocks in strong bull markets.

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Costs

Cost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts if all other fundamentals are the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.38%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.83%.

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 25.10% of the portfolio. Industrials and Consumer Discretionary round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Organon & Co (OGN) accounts for about 1.33% of total assets, followed by Cvr Energy Inc (CVI) and Kohl's Corp (KSS).

The top 10 holdings account for about 8.22% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

DES seeks to match the performance of the WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend Index before fees and expenses. The WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend Index is a fundamentally weighted index measuring the performance of the small-capitalization segment of the US dividend-paying market.

The ETF has lost about -3.40% so far this year and is up about 9.60% in the last one year (as of 06/18/2024). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $26.55 and $32.72.

The ETF has a beta of 1.10 and standard deviation of 19.55% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 602 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend 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, DES is a sufficient option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Value area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN) and the Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF (VBR) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF has $11.17 billion in assets, Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF has $27.68 billion. IWN has an expense ratio of 0.24% and VBR 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.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

WisdomTree U.S. SmallCap Dividend ETF (DES): ETF Research Reports

Kohl's Corporation (KSS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

CVR Energy Inc. (CVI) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF (VBR): ETF Research Reports

iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN): ETF Research Reports

Organon & Co. (OGN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research