For the last year or so the small cap part of the Australian share market (defined as stocks outside of the ASX 100 index) has been steadily outperforming their large cap brethren. The chart shows the relative performance of the Small Ordinaries price index against the ASX 20 price index, the latter being the market-weighted average of the 20 largest companies listed in Australia. The ASX 20 has actually provided a slightly negative total return over the past 12 months (see table below), which reflects some problems concentrated at the big end of town. Financials make up nearly 60% of the ASX 20 index and Consumer Staples make up another 9%. Read on for further discussion of mid and small-caps.