GLD vs. BSV: What’s The Difference?

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and the Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares (BSV) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. GLD is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors N/A fund and BSV is a Vanguard Short-Term Bond fund. So, what’s the difference between GLD and BSV? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of GLD is 0.35 percentage points higher than BSV’s (0.4% vs. 0.05%). GLD also has a high exposure to the technology sector while BSV is mostly comprised of AAA bonds. Overall, GLD has provided higher returns than BSV over the past ten years.

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

Summary

GLD BSV
Name SPDR Gold Shares Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares
Category N/A Short-Term Bond
Issuer SPDR State Street Global Advisors Vanguard
AUM 59.26B 67.71B
Avg. Return 5.81% 2.27%
Div. Yield 0.0% 1.48%
Expense Ratio 0.4% 0.05%

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) is a N/A fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 59.26B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 5.81% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.0% with an expense ratio of 0.4%.

The Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares (BSV) is a Short-Term Bond fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 67.71B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 2.27% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.48% with an expense ratio of 0.05%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 1.48% lower than that of BSV (0.0% vs. 1.48%). Also, GLD yielded on average 3.53% more per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 2.27%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.35 percentage points higher than BSV’s (0.4% vs. 0.05%).

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Fund Composition

Holdings

GLD - Holdings

GLD Holdings Weight
Gold Trust 100.0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%

GLD’s Top Holdings are Gold Trust, N/A, N/A, N/A, and N/A at 100.0%, 0%, 0%, 0%, and 0%.

N/A (0%), N/A (0%), and N/A (0%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. N/A and N/A are also represented in the GLD’s holdings at 0% and 0%.

BSV - Holdings

BSV Bond Sectors Weight
AAA 71.65%
BBB 13.08%
A 11.95%
AA 3.28%
Others 0.03%
Below B 0.01%
B 0.0%
BB 0.0%
US Government 0.0%

BSV’s Top Bond Sectors are ratings of AAA, BBB, A, AA, and Others at 71.65%, 13.08%, 11.95%, 3.28%, and 0.03%. The fund is less weighted towards Below B (0.01%), B (0.0%), and BB (0.0%) rated bonds.

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Risk Analysis

GLD BSV
Mean Return 0.21 0.16
R-squared 16.21 78.38
Std. Deviation 16.58 1.33
Alpha 3.91 0.21
Beta 0.48 0.38
Sharpe Ratio 0.12 0.98
Treynor Ratio 1.21 3.33

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) has a Alpha of 3.91 with a Mean Return of 0.21 and a Beta of 0.48. Its Standard Deviation is 16.58 while GLD’s R-squared is 16.21. Furthermore, the fund has a Treynor Ratio of 1.21 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.12.

The Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares (BSV) has a Alpha of 0.21 with a Sharpe Ratio of 0.98 and a R-squared of 78.38. Its Treynor Ratio is 3.33 while BSV’s Mean Return is 0.16. Furthermore, the fund has a Beta of 0.38 and a Standard Deviation of 1.33.

GLD’s Mean Return is 0.05 points higher than that of BSV and its R-squared is 62.17 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly more volatile than BSV. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 3.70 points higher and 0.10 points higher than BSV’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. BSV - Annual Returns

Year GLD BSV
2020 23.68% 4.67%
2019 18.36% 4.92%
2018 -1.54% 1.34%
2017 11.41% 1.2%
2016 8.69% 1.42%
2015 -11.78% 0.92%
2014 -0.58% 1.32%
2013 -28.09% 0.17%
2012 5.26% 1.98%
2011 11.2% 3.04%
2010 27.25% 4.0%

GLD had its best year in 2010 with an annual return of 27.25%. GLD’s worst year over the past decade yielded -28.09% and occurred in 2013. In most years the SPDR Gold Shares provided moderate returns such as in 2012, 2016, and 2011 where annual returns amounted to 5.26%, 8.69%, and 11.2% respectively.

The year 2019 was the strongest year for BSV, returning 4.92% on an annual basis. The poorest year for BSV in the last ten years was 2013, with a yield of 0.17%. Most years the Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2018, 2016, and 2012, when gains were 1.34%, 1.42%, and 1.98% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. BSV - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
GLD $10,000 $16,395 5.81%
BSV $10,000 $12,785 2.27%

A $10,000 investment in GLD would have resulted in a final balance of $16,395. This is a profit of $6,395 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.81%.

With a $10,000 investment in BSV, the end total would have been $12,785. This equates to a $2,785 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.27%.

GLD’s CAGR is 3.53 percentage points higher than that of BSV and as a result, would have yielded $3,610 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD outperformed BSV by 3.53% annually.


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