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Small Caps

edited January 2021 in Fund Discussions
From another thread...

January 17 Flag
@Benwp and @MikeW ... I 'd love for you to start the thread on Small Cap and EM Asia .
I am very interested in thorough analysis!

Not either of those posters, and not sure I can provide thorough analysis, but...

First, for EM, see a good discussion at

Small Caps: IMO, the rotation is REAL and has been happening now for several months. Getting frothy perhaps but appears there is still a LONG way to go and it's not too late to participate. To wit, SCs are set to Rock the Casbah again this AM.

First entry into the cat in a BIG way was on the value side, selected FCPVX (UP 7.3% YTD), then a smaller play with Foreign SCB/MCB FISMX (and its arguably unique splatter).

More recently bot MSSMX (UP 11.3% YTD, UP 150% in 2020), Morgan Stanley's gem of a SCG fund.

Others considered:

Foreign, EM and SC (all cats that generally require a bit of bravery/insanity for retirees at least) are providing some REAL energy to otherwise (temporarily?) lackluster, US LC-laden ports these days, and I expect that to continue this year and possibly beyond. Suggest DCA'ing at this point as an interim pullback seems likely. YMMV.


  • Thanks for starting this thread, @stillers. SCV is definitely volatile as a glance at the charts of the three ETFs I reviewed: CSB, DES, and VRB. The first two pay dividends monthly while VRB pays quarterly. I bought CSB for its compact portfolio and apparent good recovery from the pandemic-induced lows. The Vanguard fund did much better in 2019 than the others, but it does not have the overall performance advantage. I currently do not have any SCV MFs, but I did have some success at Walthausen in the past.

    For SCG, I own BCSIX (closed), DVSMX and DSMDX. Lots of tech and healthcare in these offerings. They go like H when the going is good. And we know how that can end...
  • Here are a couple that you can put in your pipe. I've invested in IJR which has done very well over the past year. Through my 401k I'm invested in the Dow Jones Total completion index which is a very nice small-mid cap index blend and has done well over the long term. I also recommend taking a look at BDSIX which is a Great owl small blend fund, NUSC which is a strong performer small blend ESG (I believe Lynn likes it), and RWJ which is small cap value. On the small cap growth side I really like WAMCX but I wouldn't add to it here. It's had a big move already.
  • edited January 2021
    IJR tracks the S&P 600 index. VTMSX is an actively managed fund which tracks the same index while attempting to minimize taxable gains.

    VSMAX tracks the CRSP U.S. Small Cap Index.
    It has more holdings and a higher median market cap than S&P 600 index funds.

    FSMAX tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market Index and VEXAX tracks the S&P Completion Index. Both of these extended market funds are designed to complement an S&P 500 index fund.
    These mid-cap funds have more holdings and higher median market caps compared to VSMAX.

    I would avoid funds which track the Russell 2000 index due to this index's inferior design.
  • Thanks @Observant1 for noting FSMAX. Wasn't aware of it. It will make it easier for me to track the performance of that index.
  • My PRDSX (domestic small-caps, but closed to new investors) did indeed have a great year in 2020, but compared to its category, it stunk. (+23.84%.) That ought to serve as yet another indicator. It just very well might be a fine time to pile into small-caps.
  • Related Article:

  • @Crash,

    I think you mean PRIDX is closed to new investors. PRDSX is still open according to T Rowe Price.
  • Both are closed via Schwab
  • edited January 2021
    @TheShadow I was looking at the (often erroneous) Morningstar "quote" page for PRDSX. If TRP says it's been re-opened, then that's just fine! At Morningstar, it's listed as "Limited." That's their term for a soft-close. But if M* is wrong, then they're wrong--- and they often are.:)
  • Here is the fund page from T. Rowe Price with fund availability:
  • edited January 2021
    Yes, I looked at that very thing, too.
  • edited January 2021
    I’m currently in WACMX (closed) but I had such a hard time choosing between it and MSSMX that I decided to add MS it to my mix. Hope the long term success continues. (edit: sorry mean't MSSMX) but I do own MGGPX and it's good too.
  • @observant1 - please elaborate "I would avoid funds which track the Russell 2000 index due to this index's inferior design"
  • You Can Do Better Than the Russell 2000
  • That's why I pick IWM.
  • IWM is a worthy ETF index option for this cat, as are VTWO and SCHA.

    Actively managed MSSMX, with nearly identical MC/SC splits as IWM, absolutely blows it away from a TR perspective over all time periods.

    Not sure if I posted it here or on another forum(s), but investors are really missing the boat in several cats if you don't own a MS fund. Do some screenings yourselves and see if MS doesn't show up as a top TR performer in LC, MC, SC, Foreign, World... for all/most time periods.
  • @stillers and Fido is offering many of them no load or fee... and I am gobbling them up.:-) I'm in 3 now... but not for short term... long term.
  • Looking at MSSMX Eye watering YTD + 136.75% 1 year + 127.18% it holds ++607.77% 1 year.. .too late ? The Wasatch small caps look greta also - alas... closed . It looks like best open option is ARTSX

  • edited January 2021
    One can buy Wasatch Funds directly with them and transfer them out to a brokerage.

    Also, LCGRX is a good option.
  • THANKS @The shadow - so even the closed funds on Schwab are open at Wasatch?
  • edited January 2021
    newgirl said:

    Looking at MSSMX Eye watering YTD + 136.75% 1 year + 127.18% it holds ++607.77% 1 year.. .too late ? The Wasatch small caps look greta also - alas... closed . It looks like best open option is ARTSX

    Yeah, you could have said something similar to that on 12/31/20:
    "WOW! MSSMX is UP 150% in 2020. I can't buy that now. I'm too late."

    Or, you could have bought it on 12/31/20 and be UP 16.5% YTD heading into today. Or have bought ARTSX on 12/31/20 and be UP 5.4% YTD.

    ARTSX is a great SCG fund and made my above-posted original scoping list. But MSSMX was my SCG choice because it has consistently outperformed virtually every other SCG fund over all time periods. And I see no reason to expect anything different than that going forward.

    Granted, MSSMX's SD is notably higher than most other SCG funds. one legendary forum poster always used to say, "Volatility is the price you pay for growth."

    YMMV, and I think it does. I think you posted elsewhere that you are risk adverse and I replied that feast/famine EMs are therefore NOT the place for you to be. I would echo that same comment on SCG. SCV and FCPVX might be a better option for you in SCs.

    EDIT: WMICX is OPEN/NTF at Fido.
  • edited January 2021

    @stillers and Fido is offering many of them no load or fee... and I am gobbling them up.:-) I'm in 3 now... but not for short term... long term.

    JG: I've been seeing your posts here and elsewhere. I think you're making a lot of great LT moves. That said, markets are likely gonna get rocky here sometime in Q1 but for LT investors, that only provides better opportunities. RE: MS funds, I'm at 3 myself, with MACGX, MSSMX and MIGPX on board. MSEGX may be coming on board sometime soon. Without question, the most underappreciated and under-discussed family of funds on the planet.
  • edited February 2021

    Just because a fund is closed with a brokerage, but is available to be purchased directly from the fund's transfer agent does not mean it cannot be purchased. You can purchase a couple of the Wasatch funds directly from Wasatch then transfer them to your brokerage. Only aggravations are time involved and the related paperwork.

    I remember someone purchased GPMCX when it re-opened directly from Grandeur Peak only to transfer it to Fido. Once the fund was transferred over, you can possibly buy it through the brokerage; problem is not all brokerages do what they are supposed to do (some may not allow additional purchases). You need to check with your brokerage prior to transferring the fund as to whether they will allow additional purchases.
  • There are 14 NTF Wasatch funds OPEN at Fido.
  • WMICX may close at any time as AUM have grown significantly and its performance over the past several years have drawn investors' attention and money.
  • Thanks @stillers - Yes , I amirs averse - and I understand that EM and SC are inherently more risky- I look for less Maxx DD and recovery within the category. I have almost no exposure to either at the moment - Heavy Domestic Large Cap and cash - so looking to diversify with a small position in SC and even smaller in EM . I appreciate the comments! - but what is YMMV?
  • edited January 2021
    YMMV = your mileage may vary.

    Also, you can get the standard amount of SC exposure (floats between ~6%-~10%) through the use of a Total Market Index fund. VTSAX, e.g., currently had about 8% SC.

    FWIW...Reasonably sure the rotation from LCG to SCG will continue for some time. SCs showing impressive resiliency during today's market action. That, and about $10, gets you a Starbucks.

    EDIT: With 1/2 hour to go, SCs are asking investors, "When are you finally going to believe this rotation is real?"
  • SCG MSSMX UP 5.01% today.

    Just sayin'.
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