The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) and the Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. EFA is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and VGT is a Vanguard Technology fund. So, what’s the difference between EFA and VGT? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of EFA is 0.22 percentage points higher than VGT’s (0.32% vs. 0.1%). EFA also has a higher exposure to the financial services sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, EFA has provided lower returns than VGT over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare EFA vs. VGT. We’ll look at annual returns and performance, as well as at their risk metrics and holdings. Moreover, I’ll also discuss EFA’s and VGT’s fund composition, industry exposure, and portfolio growth and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||iShares MSCI EAFE ETF||Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares|
|Category||Foreign Large Blend||Technology|
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 Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) is a Technology fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 54.13B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 20.84% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.66% with an expense ratio of 0.1%.
EFA’s dividend yield is 1.62% higher than that of VGT (2.28% vs. 0.66%). Also, EFA yielded on average 14.37% less per year over the past decade (6.47% vs. 20.84%). The expense ratio of EFA is 0.22 percentage points higher than VGT’s (0.32% vs. 0.1%).
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 Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 88.89%. This is followed by Financial Services and Industrials at 8.83% and 1.67% respectively. Consumer Cyclical (0.0%), Real Estate (0.0%), and Consumer Defensive (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.
VGT’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Healthcare, Utilities, Energy, Communication Services, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.61%, and 1.67%.
EFA is 8.05% more exposed to the Financial Services sector than VGT (16.88% vs 8.83%). EFA’s exposure to Industrials and Healthcare stocks is 13.34% higher and 12.80% higher respectively (15.01% vs. 1.67% and 12.8% vs. 0.0%). In total, Utilities, Energy, and Communication Services also make up 11.93% more of the fund’s holdings compared to VGT (12.54% vs. 0.61%).
|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%.
|Visa Inc Class A||3.16%|
|PayPal Holdings Inc||2.76%|
|Mastercard Inc Class A||2.76%|
|Cisco Systems Inc||1.9%|
VGT’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, NVIDIA Corp, Visa Inc Class A, and PayPal Holdings Inc at 19.58%, 16.53%, 4.22%, 3.16%, and 2.76%.
Mastercard Inc Class A (2.76%), Adobe Inc (2.39%), and Intel Corp (1.94%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Salesforce.com Inc and Cisco Systems Inc are also represented in the VGT’s holdings at 1.91% and 1.9%.
The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) has a Mean Return of 0.57 with a Alpha of 0.47 and a Beta of 0.98. Its Standard Deviation is 15.01 while EFA’s Treynor Ratio is 5.33. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.41 and a R-squared of 96.78.
The Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) has a Beta of 1.02 with a Alpha of 10.41 and a Mean Return of 1.76. Its Standard Deviation is 16.61 while VGT’s R-squared is 74.84. Furthermore, the fund has a Treynor Ratio of 20.55 and a Sharpe Ratio of 1.23.
EFA’s Mean Return is 1.19 points lower than that of VGT and its R-squared is 21.94 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 15.01, EFA is slightly less volatile than VGT. The Alpha and Beta of EFA are 9.94 points lower and 0.04 points lower than VGT’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 2019 was the strongest year for VGT, returning 48.68% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VGT in the last ten years was 2011, with a yield of 0.52%. Most years the Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2012, and 2014, when gains were 13.73%, 14.05%, and 18.01% respectively.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in EFA would have resulted in a final balance of $18,269. This is a profit of $8,269 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.47%.
With a $10,000 investment in VGT, the end total would have been $72,718. This equates to a $62,718 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.84%.
EFA’s CAGR is 14.37 percentage points lower than that of VGT and as a result, would have yielded $54,449 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, EFA performed worse than VGT by 14.37% annually.
Over the past years, I have discovered several tools and products that have helped me tremendously on my path to financial freedom:
P.S.: The links below are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you sign up for one of the services. Thank you for your support!
1)Personal Capital is simply the best tool out there to track your net worth and plan for financial freedom. Just their retirement planner alone has become an invaluable tool to keep myself on track financially. Try it out, it's free!
2) Take a look at M1 Finance, my favorite broker. I love how easy it is to invest and maintain my portfolio with them. I can set up automatic transfers, rebalance my portfolio with one click and even borrow up to 35% of my assets at super low interest rates!
3) Fundrise is by far the best way I've found to invest in Real Estate. You can diversify your portfolio by investing in their eREITs or even allocate capital to individual properties (without the hassle of managing tenants!).
4) Groundfloor is another great way to get exposure to the real estate sector by investing in short-term, high-yield real estate debt. Current returns are >10% and you can get started with just $10.
5) If you are interested in startup investing, check out Mainvest. I've started allocating a small amount of assets to invest in and support small businesses. Return targets are between 10-25% and you can start with just $100!
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out the Recommended Tools section.