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Michael Michaud is the founder of Invest2Success.com (http://www.invest2success.com/) and the Invest2Success Blog (http://invest2success.blogspot.com/). He has been investing and trading in the financial markets since 1989. He founded Invest2Success.com to empower individual institutional... More
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  • Mid Cap ETFs Leading The Market In 2013 0 comments
    Jan 14, 2013 6:22 PM | about stocks: IJH, MDY, IWR, VO, IWS, IJJ, VOE, IWP, IJK, VOT, DON, FNX, EZM

    Mid Cap ETFs Leading the Market in 2013 by Zacks Investment Research

    Many investors overlook mid-caps when it comes to their investing decisions. These securities are considered too big and safe for those seeking volatile small cap exposure, while they are often considered too risky and uncertain for those who want the stability of mega caps.

    Thanks to being in this no man's land, mid cap ETFs are often less popular than their small or large cap cousins which have managed to establish a stronger asset base. However, this has clearly been to investors' detriment as of late, as mid cap ETFs have been soaring higher, and are arguably leading the market in 2013 (see Mid Cap ETF Investing 101).

    These middle of road securities, as represented by the benchmark S&P 400 Midcap Index, are now at all-time highs, something that cannot be said for other, more popular indexes like the DJIA, Nasdaq-100, or even the S&P 500. While it is true that small caps have also been soaring and are approaching their all-time highs as well, mid caps could arguably be a better play in today's environment, as they are safer and could be better positioned if more political issues creep into the picture.

    With this trend in mind, investors may want to consider cycling into mid caps at this time, in order to obtain a nice momentum play as we go further into 2013. Fortunately for those who want some broad exposure to this segment, there are a host of quality ETF options available, a few of which we have highlighted below for those who want to take a closer look at this often overlooked, but surging, corner of the market:

    Broad Mid Cap ETFs

    Most of the ETFs fall into this category and account for the vast amount of assets in the space. These including the following ETFs, among others:

    iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (NYSEARCA:IJH)

    SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF (NYSEARCA:MDY)

    iShares Russell Midcap Index Fund (NYSEARCA:IWR)

    Vanguard Midcap Index Fund (NYSEARCA:VO)

    Style ETFs in the Mid Cap Space

    Mid caps also offer up options in the 'style' world, giving access to value and growth stocks in this market cap level (read Focus on Earnings with These ETFs). Growth stocks are generally higher beta stocks that have better growth prospects, while value are less volatile and usually have higher yields on average. Some options in this space include:

    iShares Russell Midcap Value Index Fund (NYSEARCA:IWS)

    iShares S&P MidCap Value ETF 400 Value (NYSEARCA:IJJ)

    Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF (NYSEARCA:VOE)

    iShares Russell Midcap Growth Index Fund (IWP - ETF report)

    iShares S&P MidCap 400 Growth (IJK - ETF report)

    Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth (VOT - ETF report)

    More Exotic Mid Cap ETFs

    If bifurcating mid caps into growth and value doesn't appeal to you, there are still other options that can provide excellent exposure to the mid cap space with a potentially more unique approach (see 11 Great Dividend ETFs). These ETFs tend to cost a bit more than their more 'traditional' cousins, but they can potentially offer up a better exposure profile:

    WisdomTree MidCap Dividend ETF (NYSEARCA:DON)

    First Trust MidCap Core AlphaDEX Fund (NASDAQ:FNX)

    WisdomTree MidCap Earnings ETF (NYSEARCA:EZM)

    This list above only begins to scratch the surface of all the mid cap ETF options that are available to investors. No matter though, as any of these picks should be able to play off the market cap level's solid momentum and could make for interesting picks for investors who have more or less forgotten about the space until now.

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    What Is An Exchange Traded Fund?

    An exchange-traded fund or ETF is an investment vehicle traded on stock exchanges, much like stocks or bonds. An ETF holds assets such as stocks, bonds, or futures. Institutional investors can redeem large blocks of shares of the ETF (known as "creation units") for a "basket" of the underlying assets or, alternately, exchange the underlying assets for creation units. This creation and redemption of shares enables institutions to engage in arbitrage and causes the value of the ETF to approximate the net asset value of the underlying assets. Most ETFs track an index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500.

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    An ETF is Like a Mutual Fund and a Closed End Fund

    An ETF combines the valuation feature of a mutual fund or unit investment trust, which can be purchased or redeemed at the end of each trading day for its net asset value, with the tradability feature of a closed-end fund, which trades throughout the trading day at prices that may be substantially more or less than its net asset value. Closed-end funds are not considered to be exchange-traded funds, even though they are funds and are traded on an exchange. ETFs have been available in the US since 1993 and in Europe since 1999. ETFs traditionally have been index funds, but in 2008 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began to authorize the creation of actively-managed ETFs.

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    Stocks: IJH, MDY, IWR, VO, IWS, IJJ, VOE, IWP, IJK, VOT, DON, FNX, EZM
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