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Should Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF (VBR) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Looking for broad exposure to the Small Cap Value segment of the US equity market? You should consider the Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF (VBR), a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 01/26/2004.

The fund is sponsored by Vanguard. It has amassed assets over $21.37 billion, making it the largest ETFs attempting to match the Small Cap Value segment of the US equity market.

Why Small Cap Value

Sitting at a market capitalization below $2 billion, small cap companies tend to be high-potential stocks compared to its large and mid cap counterparts, but come with 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. While value stocks have outperformed growth stocks in nearly all markets when you consider long-term performance, growth stocks are more likely to outpace value stocks in strong bull markets.


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 0.07%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.23%.

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.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Financials sector--about 23.10% of the portfolio. Industrials and Consumer Discretionary round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Slcmt1142 accounts for about 0.82% of total assets, followed by Quanta Services Inc. (PWR) and Molina Healthcare Inc. (MOH).

The top 10 holdings account for about 5.97% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

VBR seeks to match the performance of the CRSP U.S. Small Cap Value Index before fees and expenses. The CRSP U.S. Small Cap Value Index measures the investment return of small-capitalization value stocks.

The ETF has lost about -17.02% so far this year and is down about -12.38% in the last one year (as of 09/29/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $143.76 and $185.72.

The ETF has a beta of 1.14 and standard deviation of 30.26% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 892 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, VBR is an outstanding option for investors seeking exposure to the Style Box - Small Cap Value segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

The iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Value ETF (IJS) and the iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN) track a similar index. While iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Value ETF has $6.21 billion in assets, iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF has $11.21 billion. IJS has an expense ratio of 0.18% and IWN charges 0.23%.


While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

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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Vanguard SmallCap Value ETF (VBR): ETF Research Reports
Quanta Services, Inc. (PWR): Free Stock Analysis Report
Molina Healthcare, Inc (MOH): Free Stock Analysis Report
iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN): ETF Research Reports
iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Value ETF (IJS): ETF Research Reports
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