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GLD vs. SDY: What’s The Difference?

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. GLD is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors N/A fund and SDY is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Large Value fund. So, what’s the difference between GLD and SDY? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of GLD is 0.05 percentage points higher than SDY’s (0.4% vs. 0.35%). GLD also has a lower exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, GLD has provided lower returns than SDY over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

GLDSDY
NameSPDR Gold SharesSPDR S&P Dividend ETF
CategoryN/ALarge Value
IssuerSPDR State Street Global AdvisorsSPDR State Street Global Advisors
AUM59.26B19.67B
Avg. Return5.81%12.44%
Div. Yield0.0%2.65%
Expense Ratio0.4%0.35%

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 SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) is a Large Value fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 19.67B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 12.44% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.65% with an expense ratio of 0.35%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 2.65% lower than that of SDY (0.0% vs. 2.65%). Also, GLD yielded on average 6.63% less per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 12.44%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.05 percentage points higher than SDY’s (0.4% vs. 0.35%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

GLD vs. SDY - Industry Exposure

GLDSDY
Technology0.0%2.0%
Industrials0.0%15.89%
Energy0.0%5.95%
Communication Services0.0%4.64%
Utilities0.0%12.14%
Healthcare0.0%7.35%
Consumer Defensive0.0%14.01%
Real Estate0.0%6.57%
Financial Services0.0%16.32%
Consumer Cyclical0.0%8.68%
Basic Materials0.0%6.45%

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 SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 16.32%. This is followed by Industrials and Consumer Defensive at 15.89% and 14.01% respectively. Communication Services (4.64%), Energy (5.95%), and Basic Materials (6.45%) only make up 17.04% of the fund’s total assets.

SDY’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Real Estate, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, Utilities, and Consumer Defensive stocks at 6.57%, 7.35%, 8.68%, 12.14%, and 14.01%.

GLD is 2.00% less exposed to the Technology sector than SDY (0.0% vs 2.0%). GLD’s exposure to Industrials and Energy stocks is 15.89% lower and 5.95% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 15.89% and 0.0% vs. 5.95%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 31.57% less of the fund’s holdings compared to SDY (0.00% vs. 31.57%).

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%.

SDY - Holdings

SDY HoldingsWeight
Exxon Mobil Corp2.81%
AT&T Inc2.5%
South Jersey Industries Inc2.22%
Chevron Corp2.02%
International Business Machines Corp2.0%
AbbVie Inc1.93%
National Retail Properties Inc1.86%
Federal Realty Investment Trust1.77%
Realty Income Corp1.7%
Old Republic International Corp1.65%

SDY’s Top Holdings are Exxon Mobil Corp, AT&T Inc, South Jersey Industries Inc, Chevron Corp, and International Business Machines Corp at 2.81%, 2.5%, 2.22%, 2.02%, and 2.0%.

AbbVie Inc (1.93%), National Retail Properties Inc (1.86%), and Federal Realty Investment Trust (1.77%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Realty Income Corp and Old Republic International Corp are also represented in the SDY’s holdings at 1.7% and 1.65%.

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Risk Analysis

GLDSDY
Mean Return0.211.07
R-squared16.2183.62
Std. Deviation16.5812.9
Alpha3.91-0.1
Beta0.480.87
Sharpe Ratio0.120.95
Treynor Ratio1.2113.94

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

The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) has a Treynor Ratio of 13.94 with a Alpha of -0.1 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.95. Its Standard Deviation is 12.9 while SDY’s Beta is 0.87. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 83.62 and a Mean Return of 1.07.

GLD’s Mean Return is 0.86 points lower than that of SDY and its R-squared is 67.41 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly more volatile than SDY. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 4.01 points higher and 0.39 points lower than SDY’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. SDY - Annual Returns

YearGLDSDY
202023.68%1.78%
201918.36%23.37%
2018-1.54%-2.73%
201711.41%15.84%
20168.69%20.17%
2015-11.78%-0.7%
2014-0.58%13.8%
2013-28.09%30.09%
20125.26%11.51%
201111.2%7.28%
201027.25%16.41%

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 SDY, returning 30.09% on an annual basis. The poorest year for SDY in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -2.73%. Most years the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2012, 2014, and 2017, when gains were 11.51%, 13.8%, and 15.84% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. SDY - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
GLD$10,000$16,3955.81%
SDY$10,000$34,80612.44%

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 SDY, the end total would have been $34,806. This equates to a $24,806 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.44%.

GLD’s CAGR is 6.63 percentage points lower than that of SDY and as a result, would have yielded $18,411 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD performed worse than SDY by 6.63% annually.


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