"It's hard to find a bargain out there," says Fidelity fund manager John Roth, as - even with two sharp small-cap selloffs this year - the Russell 2000 (IWM) is down only 3.5%, and still trades at a lofty 19.1x earnings. At the start of 2013, the index's P/E was 15.1, and the average since 1994 is 16.9. After trimming positions in Q1, Roth's New Millenium Fund holds just 12% of assets in small caps vs. an average of 19% from 2008-2013.
Manager of the $240M Wasatch Small Cap Value Fund, Jim Larkings is keeping cash towards the higher end of his typical 2-8% of AUM. He's finding some value in those small caps reeling due to the broader selloff in high-growth tech, but "The real darlings aren't even close to value territory."
Individual investors, however, continue to be believers, pouring $3.1B into small cap mutual funds to add to $16.4B in inflows last year.
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