Bridge over ocean
1 January 1990 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 46, Issue 1

Considerations in Selecting a Small-Capitalization Benchmark

  1. Bruce M. Collins
  2. Frank J. Fabozzi, CFA

Small-capitalization stocks have historically outperformed the S&P 500 over extended intervals and, naturally, a diversified equity portfolio including small-cap issues would have outperformed as well. For investors interested in diversifying their equity investment, small-cap stocks deserve serious attention. Once the decision is made to invest in these stocks, however, an appropriate small-cap benchmark must be found.

An analysis of the potential candidates should consider their diversification across industry sectors, capitalization levels and listing exchanges; their method of construction (especially if this biases performance); and their historical performances relative to one another and to the large-capitalization universe. In addition, the investor must take into account the transaction and administrative costs that would be involved in replicating a benchmark portfolio, data accessibility and the availability of derivative products.

A comparison of four potential benchmarks—the Ibbotson index, the Russell 2000, the Wilshire 4500 and the NASDAQ composite—suggests that the Wilshire 4500 and Russell 2000 may be most suitable. Of these two, the Wilshire 4500, because of its larger capitalization content and lower turnover, may have the advantage in terms of administrative and transaction costs.

Read the Complete Article in Financial Analysts Journal Financial Analysts Journal CFA Institute Member Content

We’re using cookies, but you can turn them off in Privacy Settings.  Otherwise, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.  Accepting cookies does not mean that we are collecting personal data. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.