Should iShares Russell MidCap Value ETF (IWS) Be on Your Investing Radar?

If you’re interested in broad exposure to the Mid Cap Value segment of the US equity market, look no further than the iShares Russell MidCap Value ETF (IWS), a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 07/17/2001.

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $11.82 billion, making it one of the largest ETFs attempting to match the Mid Cap Value segment of the US equity market.

Why Mid Cap Value

Mid cap companies, with market capitalization in the range of $2 billion and $10 billion, offer investors many things that small and large companies don’t, including less risk and higher growth opportunities. These types of companies, then, have a good balance of stability and growth potential.

While value stocks have lower than average price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios, they also have lower than average sales and earnings growth rates. 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.


When considering an ETF’s total return, expense ratios are an important factor, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.23%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. 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 18.50% of the portfolio. Industrials and Real Estate round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Realty Income Reit Corp (O) accounts for about 0.67% of total assets, followed by Corteva Inc (CTVA) and Phillips 66 (PSX).

Performance and Risk

IWS seeks to match the performance of the Russell MidCap Value Index before fees and expenses. The Russell Midcap Value Index measures the performance of the mid-capitalization value sector of the U.S. equity market.

The ETF has lost about -20.30% so far this year and is down about -13.45% in the last one year (as of 10/03/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $96.05 and $123.59.

The ETF has a beta of 1.08 and standard deviation of 27.32% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 709 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


IShares Russell MidCap 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, IWS is a great option for investors seeking exposure to the Style Box – Mid Cap Value segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

The iShares S&P MidCap 400 Value ETF (IJJ) and the Vanguard MidCap Value ETF (VOE) track a similar index. While iShares S&P MidCap 400 Value ETF has $6.43 billion in assets, Vanguard MidCap Value ETF has $14.09 billion. IJJ has an expense ratio of 0.18% and VOE charges 0.07%.


Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

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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