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GLD vs. IXUS: What’s The Difference?

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and the iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. GLD is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors N/A fund and IXUS is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between GLD and IXUS? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of GLD is 0.31 percentage points higher than IXUS’s (0.4% vs. 0.09%). GLD also has a lower exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, GLD has provided lower returns than IXUS over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

GLDIXUS
NameSPDR Gold SharesiShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF
CategoryN/AForeign Large Blend
IssuerSPDR State Street Global AdvisorsiShares
AUM59.26B29.54B
Avg. Return5.81%6.09%
Div. Yield0.0%2.13%
Expense Ratio0.4%0.09%

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 Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 29.54B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 6.09% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.13% with an expense ratio of 0.09%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 2.13% lower than that of IXUS (0.0% vs. 2.13%). Also, GLD yielded on average 0.28% less per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 6.09%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.31 percentage points higher than IXUS’s (0.4% vs. 0.09%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

GLD vs. IXUS - Industry Exposure

GLDIXUS
Technology0.0%13.24%
Industrials0.0%12.78%
Energy0.0%4.39%
Communication Services0.0%7.09%
Utilities0.0%2.95%
Healthcare0.0%9.29%
Consumer Defensive0.0%8.19%
Real Estate0.0%3.66%
Financial Services0.0%17.34%
Consumer Cyclical0.0%12.57%
Basic Materials0.0%8.5%

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 Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 17.34%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials at 13.24% and 12.78% respectively. Real Estate (3.66%), Energy (4.39%), and Communication Services (7.09%) only make up 15.14% of the fund’s total assets.

IXUS’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Basic Materials, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, and Industrials stocks at 8.19%, 8.5%, 9.29%, 12.57%, and 12.78%.

GLD is 13.24% less exposed to the Technology sector than IXUS (0.0% vs 13.24%). GLD’s exposure to Industrials and Energy stocks is 12.78% lower and 4.39% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 12.78% and 0.0% vs. 4.39%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 33.57% less of the fund’s holdings compared to IXUS (0.00% vs. 33.57%).

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%.

IXUS - Holdings

IXUS HoldingsWeight
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd1.64%
Tencent Holdings Ltd1.35%
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares1.34%
Nestle SA1.1%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd1.06%
ASML Holding NV0.9%
Roche Holding AG0.81%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE0.67%
Novartis AG0.62%
Toyota Motor Corp0.59%

IXUS’s Top Holdings are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares, Nestle SA, and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd at 1.64%, 1.35%, 1.34%, 1.1%, and 1.06%.

ASML Holding NV (0.9%), Roche Holding AG (0.81%), and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (0.67%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Novartis AG and Toyota Motor Corp are also represented in the IXUS’s holdings at 0.62% and 0.59%.

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Risk Analysis

GLDIXUS
Mean Return0.210
R-squared16.210
Std. Deviation16.580
Alpha3.910
Beta0.480
Sharpe Ratio0.120
Treynor Ratio1.210

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

The iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) has a R-squared of 0 with a Treynor Ratio of 0 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0. Its Standard Deviation is 0 while IXUS’s Beta is 0. Furthermore, the fund has a Alpha of 0 and a Mean Return of 0.

GLD’s Mean Return is 0.21 points higher than that of IXUS and its R-squared is 16.21 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly more volatile than IXUS. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 3.91 points higher and 0.48 points higher than IXUS’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. IXUS - Annual Returns

YearGLDIXUS
202023.68%11.14%
201918.36%21.85%
2018-1.54%-14.55%
201711.41%28.08%
20168.69%4.66%
2015-11.78%-4.62%
2014-0.58%-3.96%
2013-28.09%15.85%
20125.26%0.0%
201111.2%0.0%
201027.25%0.0%

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 2017 was the strongest year for IXUS, returning 28.08% on an annual basis. The poorest year for IXUS in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -14.55%. Most years the iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2011, 2010, and 2016, when gains were 0.0%, 0.0%, and 4.66% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. IXUS - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
GLD$10,000$15,3085.81%
IXUS$10,000$14,2096.09%

A $10,000 investment in GLD would have resulted in a final balance of $15,308. This is a profit of $5,308 over 7 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.81%.

With a $10,000 investment in IXUS, the end total would have been $14,209. This equates to a $4,209 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.09%.

GLD’s CAGR is 0.28 percentage points lower than that of IXUS and as a result, would have yielded $1,099 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD performed worse than IXUS by 0.28% annually.


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