EFA vs. MINT: What’s The Difference?

The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) and the PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund (MINT) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. EFA is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and MINT is a PIMCO Ultrashort Bond fund. So, what’s the difference between EFA and MINT? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of EFA is 0.04 percentage points lower than MINT’s (0.32% vs. 0.36%). EFA also has a high exposure to the financial services sector while MINT is mostly comprised of Others bonds. Overall, EFA has provided higher returns than MINT over the past ten years.

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

Summary

EFA MINT
Name iShares MSCI EAFE ETF PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund
Category Foreign Large Blend Ultrashort Bond
Issuer iShares PIMCO
AUM 56.77B 14.02B
Avg. Return 6.47% 1.52%
Div. Yield 2.28% 0.56%
Expense Ratio 0.32% 0.36%

The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 56.77B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 6.47% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.28% with an expense ratio of 0.32%.

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%.

EFA’s dividend yield is 1.72% higher than that of MINT (2.28% vs. 0.56%). Also, EFA yielded on average 4.95% more per year over the past decade (6.47% vs. 1.52%). The expense ratio of EFA is 0.04 percentage points lower than MINT’s (0.32% vs. 0.36%).

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Fund Composition

Holdings

EFA - Holdings

EFA Holdings Weight
Nestle SA 2.11%
ASML Holding NV 1.69%
Roche Holding AG 1.55%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE 1.28%
Novartis AG 1.19%
Toyota Motor Corp 1.09%
AstraZeneca PLC 0.92%
Unilever PLC 0.9%
AIA Group Ltd 0.88%
SAP SE 0.86%

EFA’s Top Holdings are Nestle SA, ASML Holding NV, Roche Holding AG, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, and Novartis AG at 2.11%, 1.69%, 1.55%, 1.28%, and 1.19%.

Toyota Motor Corp (1.09%), AstraZeneca PLC (0.92%), and Unilever PLC (0.9%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. AIA Group Ltd and SAP SE are also represented in the EFA’s holdings at 0.88% and 0.86%.

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

EFA MINT
Mean Return 0.57 0.12
R-squared 96.78 4.7
Std. Deviation 15.01 1.08
Alpha 0.47 0.62
Beta 0.98 0.08
Sharpe Ratio 0.41 0.78
Treynor Ratio 5.33 10.8

The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) has a Mean Return of 0.57 with a R-squared of 96.78 and a Alpha of 0.47. Its Sharpe Ratio is 0.41 while EFA’s Beta is 0.98. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 15.01 and a Treynor Ratio of 5.33.

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

EFA’s Mean Return is 0.45 points higher than that of MINT and its R-squared is 92.08 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 15.01, EFA is slightly more volatile than MINT. The Alpha and Beta of EFA are 0.15 points lower and 0.90 points higher than MINT’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

EFA vs. MINT - Annual Returns

Year EFA MINT
2020 7.92% 1.63%
2019 21.94% 3.3%
2018 -13.83% 1.72%
2017 24.94% 1.9%
2016 0.96% 1.99%
2015 -0.9% 0.52%
2014 -5.04% 0.53%
2013 22.62% 0.72%
2012 17.22% 2.48%
2011 -12.18% 0.42%
2010 7.52% 1.72%

EFA had its best year in 2017 with an annual return of 24.94%. EFA’s worst year over the past decade yielded -13.83% and occurred in 2018. In most years the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2016, 2010, and 2020 where annual returns amounted to 0.96%, 7.52%, and 7.92% 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

EFA vs. MINT - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
EFA $10,000 $16,991 6.47%
MINT $10,000 $11,624 1.52%

A $10,000 investment in EFA would have resulted in a final balance of $16,991. This is a profit of $6,991 over 10 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.47%.

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%.

EFA’s CAGR is 4.95 percentage points higher than that of MINT and as a result, would have yielded $5,367 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, EFA outperformed MINT by 4.95% annually.


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