AGG vs. MINT: What’s The Difference?

The iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) and the PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund (MINT) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. AGG is a iShares Intermediate-Term Bond fund and MINT is a PIMCO Ultrashort Bond fund. So, what’s the difference between AGG and MINT? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of AGG is 0.32 percentage points lower than MINT’s (0.04% vs. 0.36%). AGG is mostly comprised of AAA bonds and MINT has a high exposure to Others bond. Overall, AGG has provided higher returns than MINT over the past ten years.

In this article, we’ll compare AGG vs. MINT. We’ll look at annual returns and risk metrics, as well as at their performance and holdings. Moreover, I’ll also discuss AGG’s and MINT’s portfolio growth, industry exposure, and fund composition and examine how these affect their overall returns.

Summary

AGG MINT
Name iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund
Category Intermediate-Term Bond Ultrashort Bond
Issuer iShares PIMCO
AUM 88.8B 14.02B
Avg. Return 4.04% 1.52%
Div. Yield 1.95% 0.56%
Expense Ratio 0.04% 0.36%

The iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) is a Intermediate-Term Bond fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 88.8B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 4.04% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.95% with an expense ratio of 0.04%.

The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund (MINT) is a Ultrashort Bond fund that is issued by PIMCO. It currently has 14.02B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 1.52% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.56% with an expense ratio of 0.36%.

AGG’s dividend yield is 1.39% higher than that of MINT (1.95% vs. 0.56%). Also, AGG yielded on average 2.52% more per year over the past decade (4.04% vs. 1.52%). The expense ratio of AGG is 0.32 percentage points lower than MINT’s (0.04% vs. 0.36%).

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Fund Composition

Holdings

AGG - Holdings

AGG Bond Sectors Weight
AAA 68.92%
BBB 15.38%
A 11.16%
AA 2.92%
Others 1.63%
Below B 0.0%
B 0.0%
BB 0.0%
US Government 0.0%

AGG’s Top Bond Sectors are ratings of AAA, BBB, A, AA, and Others at 68.92%, 15.38%, 11.16%, 2.92%, and 1.63%. The fund is less weighted towards Below B (0.0%), B (0.0%), and BB (0.0%) rated bonds.

MINT - Holdings

MINT Bond Sectors Weight
Others 0.0%
Below B 0.0%
B 0.0%
BB 0.0%
BBB 0.0%
A 0.0%
AA 0.0%
AAA 0.0%
US Government 0.0%

MINT’s Top Bond Sectors are ratings of Others, Below B, B, BB, and BBB at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%. The fund is less weighted towards A (0.0%), AA (0.0%), and AAA (0.0%) rated bonds.

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Risk Analysis

AGG MINT
Mean Return 0.28 0.12
R-squared 99.96 4.7
Std. Deviation 3.03 1.08
Alpha -0.08 0.62
Beta 1.01 0.08
Sharpe Ratio 0.9 0.78
Treynor Ratio 2.7 10.8

The iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) has a Standard Deviation of 3.03 with a Beta of 1.01 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.9. Its Alpha is -0.08 while AGG’s R-squared is 99.96. Furthermore, the fund has a Treynor Ratio of 2.7 and a Mean Return of 0.28.

The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund (MINT) has a R-squared of 4.7 with a Mean Return of 0.12 and a Beta of 0.08. Its Alpha is 0.62 while MINT’s Standard Deviation is 1.08. Furthermore, the fund has a Treynor Ratio of 10.8 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.78.

AGG’s Mean Return is 0.16 points higher than that of MINT and its R-squared is 95.26 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 3.03, AGG is slightly more volatile than MINT. The Alpha and Beta of AGG are 0.70 points lower and 0.93 points higher than MINT’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

AGG vs. MINT - Annual Returns

Year AGG MINT
2020 7.42% 1.63%
2019 8.68% 3.3%
2018 -0.05% 1.72%
2017 3.53% 1.9%
2016 2.56% 1.99%
2015 0.48% 0.52%
2014 6.04% 0.53%
2013 -2.15% 0.72%
2012 4.04% 2.48%
2011 7.58% 0.42%
2010 6.3% 1.72%

AGG had its best year in 2019 with an annual return of 8.68%. AGG’s worst year over the past decade yielded -2.15% and occurred in 2013. In most years the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2017, 2012, and 2014 where annual returns amounted to 3.53%, 4.04%, and 6.04% respectively.

The year 2019 was the strongest year for MINT, returning 3.3% on an annual basis. The poorest year for MINT in the last ten years was 2011, with a yield of 0.42%. Most years the PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund has given investors modest returns, such as in 2020, 2018, and 2010, when gains were 1.63%, 1.72%, and 1.72% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

AGG vs. MINT - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
AGG $10,000 $14,457 4.04%
MINT $10,000 $11,624 1.52%

A $10,000 investment in AGG would have resulted in a final balance of $14,457. This is a profit of $4,457 over 10 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.04%.

With a $10,000 investment in MINT, the end total would have been $11,624. This equates to a $1,624 profit over 10 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.52%.

AGG’s CAGR is 2.52 percentage points higher than that of MINT and as a result, would have yielded $2,833 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, AGG outperformed MINT by 2.52% annually.


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