Skip to content

GLD vs. IWR: What’s The Difference?

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and the iShares Russell Mid-Cap ETF (IWR) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. GLD is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors N/A fund and IWR is a iShares Mid-Cap Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between GLD and IWR? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of GLD is 0.21 percentage points higher than IWR’s (0.4% vs. 0.19%). GLD also has a lower exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, GLD has provided lower returns than IWR over the past ten years.

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

TIP: Keep track of all your investments with Personal Capital. I use this amazing tool to aggregate all investments in one place and make sure I'm on track to financial freedom. Oh, and did I mention it's free? Try it out here (link to Personal Capital).

Summary

GLDIWR
NameSPDR Gold SharesiShares Russell Mid-Cap ETF
CategoryN/AMid-Cap Blend
IssuerSPDR State Street Global AdvisorsiShares
AUM59.26B29.84B
Avg. Return5.81%14.15%
Div. Yield0.0%0.99%
Expense Ratio0.4%0.19%

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 iShares Russell Mid-Cap ETF (IWR) is a Mid-Cap Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 29.84B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 14.15% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.99% with an expense ratio of 0.19%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 0.99% lower than that of IWR (0.0% vs. 0.99%). Also, GLD yielded on average 8.35% less per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 14.15%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.21 percentage points higher than IWR’s (0.4% vs. 0.19%).

FYI: The best way I've found to invest in ETFs is through M1 Finance. It's free and you even get an instant line of credit! Have a look here (link to M1 Finance).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

GLD vs. IWR - Industry Exposure

GLDIWR
Technology0.0%19.67%
Industrials0.0%14.54%
Energy0.0%3.48%
Communication Services0.0%4.64%
Utilities0.0%4.46%
Healthcare0.0%11.76%
Consumer Defensive0.0%3.82%
Real Estate0.0%8.31%
Financial Services0.0%11.64%
Consumer Cyclical0.0%13.59%
Basic Materials0.0%4.1%

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 0.0%. This is followed by Industrials and Energy at 0.0% and 0.0% respectively. Consumer Cyclical (0.0%), Financial Services (0.0%), and Real Estate (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.

GLD’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Healthcare, Utilities, Communication Services, and Energy stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%.

The iShares Russell Mid-Cap ETF (IWR) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 19.67%. This is followed by Industrials and Consumer Cyclical at 14.54% and 13.59% respectively. Consumer Defensive (3.82%), Basic Materials (4.1%), and Utilities (4.46%) only make up 12.38% of the fund’s total assets.

IWR’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Communication Services, Real Estate, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Consumer Cyclical stocks at 4.64%, 8.31%, 11.64%, 11.76%, and 13.59%.

GLD is 19.67% less exposed to the Technology sector than IWR (0.0% vs 19.67%). GLD’s exposure to Industrials and Energy stocks is 14.54% lower and 3.48% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 14.54% and 0.0% vs. 3.48%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 33.54% less of the fund’s holdings compared to IWR (0.00% vs. 33.54%).

Holdings

GLD - Holdings

GLD HoldingsWeight
Gold Trust100.0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%

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%.

IWR - Holdings

IWR HoldingsWeight
IDEXX Laboratories Inc0.51%
DocuSign Inc0.51%
Twitter Inc0.48%
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc0.47%
Roku Inc Class A0.44%
Marvell Technology Inc0.44%
DexCom Inc0.44%
Trane Technologies PLC0.43%
MSCI Inc0.43%
Carrier Global Corp Ordinary Shares0.43%

IWR’s Top Holdings are IDEXX Laboratories Inc, DocuSign Inc, Twitter Inc, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc, and Roku Inc Class A at 0.51%, 0.51%, 0.48%, 0.47%, and 0.44%.

Marvell Technology Inc (0.44%), DexCom Inc (0.44%), and Trane Technologies PLC (0.43%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. MSCI Inc and Carrier Global Corp Ordinary Shares are also represented in the IWR’s holdings at 0.43% and 0.43%.

NOTE: The easiest way to add diversification to your portfolio is to invest in real estate through Fundrise. You can become private real estate investor without the burden of property management! Check it out here (link to Fundrise).

Risk Analysis

GLDIWR
Mean Return0.211.17
R-squared16.2191.52
Std. Deviation16.5815.66
Alpha3.91-2.8
Beta0.481.11
Sharpe Ratio0.120.86
Treynor Ratio1.2111.72

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

The iShares Russell Mid-Cap ETF (IWR) has a Mean Return of 1.17 with a Alpha of -2.8 and a Beta of 1.11. Its Standard Deviation is 15.66 while IWR’s Treynor Ratio is 11.72. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 91.52 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.86.

GLD’s Mean Return is 0.96 points lower than that of IWR and its R-squared is 75.31 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly more volatile than IWR. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 6.71 points higher and 0.63 points lower than IWR’s Alpha and Beta.

FYI: Another great way to get exposure to the real estate sector is by investing in real estate debt. Groundfloor offers fantastic short-term, high-yield bonds that can add diversification to your portfolio!

Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. IWR - Annual Returns

YearGLDIWR
202023.68%16.91%
201918.36%30.31%
2018-1.54%-9.13%
201711.41%18.32%
20168.69%13.58%
2015-11.78%-2.57%
2014-0.58%13.03%
2013-28.09%34.5%
20125.26%17.13%
201111.2%-1.67%
201027.25%25.25%

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 2013 was the strongest year for IWR, returning 34.5% on an annual basis. The poorest year for IWR in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -9.13%. Most years the iShares Russell Mid-Cap ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2020, and 2012, when gains were 13.58%, 16.91%, and 17.13% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. IWR - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
GLD$10,000$16,3955.81%
IWR$10,000$39,75114.15%

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 IWR, the end total would have been $39,751. This equates to a $29,751 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.15%.

GLD’s CAGR is 8.35 percentage points lower than that of IWR and as a result, would have yielded $23,356 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD performed worse than IWR by 8.35% annually.


Current recommendations:

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.