Russell 2000 Index

Russell 2000 Index Definition

Russell 2000 index is a performance indicator of two thousand plus small-cap companies. The same companies are featured as the smallest entries of the Russell 3000 index as well. The list mainly comprises US stocks. It serves as a benchmark for the small-cap US mutual funds.

The Frank Russell Company introduced the Russell 2000 index in the year 1984. It is regulated by the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) Group, London. The index contains two thousand forty best small-cap stocksSmall-cap StocksSmall-cap stocks are stocks of relatively small companies with market capitalizations ranging from $300 million to $2 billion, and they are popular among investors who want a high return with a high risk.read more of the US. Therefore, the growth potential is considerably high compared to large-cap stocksLarge-cap StocksLarge-cap stocks refer to stocks of large companies with value, also known as the market capitalization of 10 billion dollars or more, and these stocks are less risky than others and are stable. They also pay a good dividend and return, and it is the safest option to invest.read more.

Key Takeaways
  • The Russell 2000 index is a stock market capitalization-weighted indicator that tracks the performance of two thousand forty US small-cap domestic companies.
  • It was initiated by the Frank Russell Company in the year 1984 and is controlled under the regulations of the FTSE Group, London.
  • The Russell 2000 has been adopted as a benchmark for evaluating all the other small-cap mutual funds’ performance.
  • It comprises the lowest two thousand forty small-cap stocks listed under the Russell 3000 index.

Russell 2000 Explained

The Russell 2000 index is a stock market capitalization-weighted indicator. When we think of high income from shares, the first thing that strikes our mind is small-cap stock investments. Russell 2000 is a blend of more than two thousand such stocks. This index updates quarterly to include new competent small-cap stocks. Also, the non-competent ones are removed from the list every year. The key features of Russell 2000 are as follows.

  • Small-cap stocks refer to stocks of relatively small companies that have value. They are valued between three hundred million US dollars and two billion US dollars. Investors who look for a high return-high risk choose small-cap stocks.  These stocks are the riskiest during an economic downturn. They are more likely to fail during the recession as they do not have a large business to survive.
  • The index comprises companies like 1-800 Flowers Com, 1st Source Corp, AH Belo Corp, and AAON Inc. The Russell 2000 represents US companies predominantly involved in domestic trade activities. However, it eliminates below $1 stocks, limited partnership entities, non-US companies, and royalty trusts. 

To understand the different components of Russell 2000, take a look at the following pie diagram.  It depicts the GICS Sector weightings of the Russell 2000 index as of 31st December 2020.

Russell 2000 Index

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Source: Russell 2000 Index (wallstreetmojo.com)

The following Bloomberg graph shows Russell’s peaks and valleys from 2017 to 2021.

Russel’s peaks and valleys

The graph shows Russell hitting the highest in the first quarter of 2021. Also, at the end of 2020, there was a sharp fall. The reason behind fluctuations is the changing composition of this index. Since 2020, Russell has been concentrating more on the healthcare sector. Post-Covid outbreak, the health sector is on the rise.

Does the Russell 2000 Index Include S&P 500?

No, both these groups of stocks belong to different categories. The Russell list purely tracks the small-cap stocks, whereas the S&P 500 index tracks the performance of large-cap stocks.

Russell 2000 and S&P 500 are drastically different despite being market capitalization-weighted lists.

The Russell 2000 index is seen as a subgroup of the two thousand forty small-cap stocks from the bottom of the Russell 3000 index list. In contrast, the S&P 500 has no sequence; it blends five hundred different equities belonging to the best large-cap companies.

The Russell 2000 is a small-cap benchmark; in contrast, the S&P 500 is a large-cap benchmark. Russell has invested in the health sector significantly (i.e., 21.11%), whereas S&P 500 concentrates on information technology and financial industries.

In the bull marketBull MarketA bull market occurs when many stock prices rise 20% from a recent low, with the price climb spanning for an extended period.read more, the Russell 2000 is always a better option over S&P 500. Its growth potential is higher. But when it comes to volatile market conditions or bear markets, S&P 500 is considered more reliable. S&P 500 is reliable because it comprises stocks belonging to the top corporate brands.

Investors looking for high returns with a moderate risk prefer Russell. Those looking for low risk and reasonable returns prefer S&P 500.

Russell 2000 Index ETF

An exchange-traded fund is the best method to invest in Russell.  An ETF is a publicly traded fund that tracks the performance of commodities, indexes, sectors, or assets. Thus, the Russell ETF is an indicator of Russell’s performance in the open market. Given below are the two popular ETFsETFsAn exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a security that contains many types of securities such as bonds, stocks, commodities, and so on, and that trades on the exchange like a stock, with the price fluctuating many times throughout the day when the exchange-traded fund is bought and sold on the exchange.read more of this group:

It is important to note that an investor usually has to pay high fees for investing in any Russell 2000 ETFs. However, the expense ratioExpense RatioMutual Fund Expense Ratio is the percentage amount charged by the fund manager in exchange of the services provided. The charges include management expense, advisory fees, travel cost, consultancy charges, however, brokerage cost for trading in excluded.read more is comparatively more for the IWM since it has better liquidity.

According to Morningstar’s report, a couple of other small-cap funds promise higher returns than Russell. The CRSP US Small Cap provided 12.21 %, MSCI US Small Cap yielded 12.15%, and S&P SmallCap 600 gave 11.86% returns. In comparison, Russell 2000 managed only an average of 11.13 % returns in the last ten years.

The Russell 2000 index fund is comparatively more volatile than the other members of the Russell index family.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Russell 2000 made up of?

Russell is a blend of more than two thousand high-income shares. It comprises small-cap stock investments. The index comprises companies like 1-800 Flowers Com, 1st Source Corp, AH Belo Corp, and AAON Inc. Russell represents US companies predominantly involved in domestic trade activities.

What is the difference between S&P 500 and Russell 2000?

The Russell 2000 index is seen as a subgroup of the two thousand forty small-cap stocks from the bottom of the Russell 3000 index list. The S&P 500 has no sequence; it blends five hundred different equities belonging to the best large-cap companies.

Russell is a small-cap benchmark; in contrast, the S&P 500 is a large-cap benchmark. Russell has invested in the health sector significantly (i.e., 21.11%), whereas S&P 500 concentrates on information technology and financial industries.

Is the Russell 2000 a good investment?

Investing in the Russell is the perfect introduction to small-cap investing without putting too much weight on a single company’s success.

This has been a Guide to Russell 2000 Index and its Definition. Here we discuss does Russell works along with its key differences from S&P 500. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

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