The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) and the Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. EFA is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and SCHF is a Schwab ETFs Foreign Large Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between EFA and SCHF? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of EFA is 0.26 percentage points higher than SCHF’s (0.32% vs. 0.06%). EFA also has a lower exposure to the financial services sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, EFA has provided higher returns than SCHF over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare EFA vs. SCHF. We’ll look at risk metrics and holdings, as well as at their industry exposure and fund composition. Moreover, I’ll also discuss EFA’s and SCHF’s annual returns, portfolio growth, and performance and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||iShares MSCI EAFE ETF||Schwab International Equity ETF|
|Category||Foreign Large Blend||Foreign Large Blend|
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 Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by Schwab ETFs. It currently has 26.99B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 6.43% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.16% with an expense ratio of 0.06%.
EFA’s dividend yield is 0.12% higher than that of SCHF (2.28% vs. 2.16%). Also, EFA yielded on average 0.04% more per year over the past decade (6.47% vs. 6.43%). The expense ratio of EFA is 0.26 percentage points higher than SCHF’s (0.32% vs. 0.06%).
The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 16.88%. This is followed by Industrials and Healthcare at 15.01% and 12.8% respectively. Utilities (3.35%), Energy (3.51%), and Communication Services (5.68%) only make up 12.54% of the fund’s total assets.
EFA’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Basic Materials, Technology, Consumer Defensive, Consumer Cyclical, and Healthcare stocks at 7.91%, 9.68%, 10.56%, 11.62%, and 12.8%.
The Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 17.85%. This is followed by Industrials and Technology at 14.86% and 11.55% respectively. Real Estate (3.17%), Energy (4.23%), and Communication Services (5.65%) only make up 13.05% of the fund’s total assets.
SCHF’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Basic Materials, Consumer Defensive, Consumer Cyclical, Healthcare, and Technology stocks at 8.26%, 9.41%, 10.87%, 11.05%, and 11.55%.
EFA is 0.97% less exposed to the Financial Services sector than SCHF (16.88% vs 17.85%). EFA’s exposure to Industrials and Healthcare stocks is 0.15% higher and 1.75% higher respectively (15.01% vs. 14.86% and 12.8% vs. 11.05%). In total, Utilities, Energy, and Communication Services also make up 0.43% less of the fund’s holdings compared to SCHF (12.54% vs. 12.97%).
|ASML Holding NV||1.69%|
|Roche Holding AG||1.55%|
|LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE||1.28%|
|Toyota Motor Corp||1.09%|
|AIA Group Ltd||0.88%|
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%.
|Samsung Electronics Co Ltd||1.6%|
|ASML Holding NV||1.29%|
|Roche Holding AG||1.24%|
|Toyota Motor Corp||1.02%|
|LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE||0.93%|
|Shopify Inc A||0.78%|
SCHF’s Top Holdings are Nestle SA, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, ASML Holding NV, Roche Holding AG, and Toyota Motor Corp at 1.66%, 1.6%, 1.29%, 1.24%, and 1.02%.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (0.93%), Novartis AG (0.92%), and Shopify Inc A (0.78%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. AstraZeneca PLC and SAP SE are also represented in the SCHF’s holdings at 0.75% and 0.74%.
The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) has a Mean Return of 0.57 with a R-squared of 96.78 and a Standard Deviation of 15.01. Its Beta is 0.98 while EFA’s Alpha is 0.47. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.41 and a Treynor Ratio of 5.33.
The Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF) has a Alpha of 0.53 with a Treynor Ratio of 5.39 and a Mean Return of 0.58. Its Standard Deviation is 15.08 while SCHF’s R-squared is 98.16. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.42 and a Beta of 0.99.
EFA’s Mean Return is 0.01 points lower than that of SCHF and its R-squared is 1.38 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 15.01, EFA is slightly less volatile than SCHF. The Alpha and Beta of EFA are 0.06 points lower and 0.01 points lower than SCHF’s Alpha and Beta.
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 2017 was the strongest year for SCHF, returning 25.83% on an annual basis. The poorest year for SCHF in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -14.39%. Most years the Schwab International Equity ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2010, and 2020, when gains were 2.88%, 8.6%, and 9.86% respectively.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
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 SCHF, the end total would have been $17,089. This equates to a $7,089 profit over 10 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.43%.
EFA’s CAGR is 0.04 percentage points higher than that of SCHF and as a result, would have yielded $98 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, EFA outperformed SCHF by 0.04% annually.
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