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GLD vs. SCHF: What’s The Difference?

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

The expense ratio of GLD is 0.34 percentage points higher than SCHF’s (0.4% vs. 0.06%). GLD also has a lower exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, GLD has provided lower returns than SCHF over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

GLDSCHF
NameSPDR Gold SharesSchwab International Equity ETF
CategoryN/AForeign Large Blend
IssuerSPDR State Street Global AdvisorsSchwab ETFs
AUM59.26B26.99B
Avg. Return5.81%6.43%
Div. Yield0.0%2.16%
Expense Ratio0.4%0.06%

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 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%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 2.16% lower than that of SCHF (0.0% vs. 2.16%). Also, GLD yielded on average 0.62% less per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 6.43%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.34 percentage points higher than SCHF’s (0.4% vs. 0.06%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

GLD vs. SCHF - Industry Exposure

GLDSCHF
Technology0.0%11.55%
Industrials0.0%14.86%
Energy0.0%4.23%
Communication Services0.0%5.65%
Utilities0.0%3.09%
Healthcare0.0%11.05%
Consumer Defensive0.0%9.41%
Real Estate0.0%3.17%
Financial Services0.0%17.85%
Consumer Cyclical0.0%10.87%
Basic Materials0.0%8.26%

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 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%.

GLD is 11.55% less exposed to the Technology sector than SCHF (0.0% vs 11.55%). GLD’s exposure to Industrials and Energy stocks is 14.86% lower and 4.23% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 14.86% and 0.0% vs. 4.23%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 31.89% less of the fund’s holdings compared to SCHF (0.00% vs. 31.89%).

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%.

SCHF - Holdings

SCHF HoldingsWeight
Nestle SA1.66%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd1.6%
ASML Holding NV1.29%
Roche Holding AG1.24%
Toyota Motor Corp1.02%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE0.93%
Novartis AG0.92%
Shopify Inc A0.78%
AstraZeneca PLC0.75%
SAP SE0.74%

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%.

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Risk Analysis

GLDSCHF
Mean Return0.210.58
R-squared16.2198.16
Std. Deviation16.5815.08
Alpha3.910.53
Beta0.480.99
Sharpe Ratio0.120.42
Treynor Ratio1.215.39

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

The Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF) has a Treynor Ratio of 5.39 with a Standard Deviation of 15.08 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.42. Its R-squared is 98.16 while SCHF’s Mean Return is 0.58. Furthermore, the fund has a Beta of 0.99 and a Alpha of 0.53.

GLD’s Mean Return is 0.37 points lower than that of SCHF and its R-squared is 81.95 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly more volatile than SCHF. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 3.38 points higher and 0.51 points lower than SCHF’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. SCHF - Annual Returns

YearGLDSCHF
202023.68%9.86%
201918.36%22.15%
2018-1.54%-14.39%
201711.41%25.83%
20168.69%2.88%
2015-11.78%-2.44%
2014-0.58%-4.44%
2013-28.09%20.03%
20125.26%17.12%
201111.2%-12.32%
201027.25%8.6%

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 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.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. SCHF - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
GLD$10,000$12,8845.81%
SCHF$10,000$17,0896.43%

A $10,000 investment in GLD would have resulted in a final balance of $12,884. This is a profit of $2,884 over 10 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.81%.

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%.

GLD’s CAGR is 0.62 percentage points lower than that of SCHF and as a result, would have yielded $4,205 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD performed worse than SCHF by 0.62% annually.


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