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GLD vs. VBR: What’s The Difference?

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

The expense ratio of GLD is 0.33 percentage points higher than VBR’s (0.4% vs. 0.07%). GLD also has a lower exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, GLD has provided lower returns than VBR over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

GLDVBR
NameSPDR Gold SharesVanguard Small-Cap Value Index Fund ETF Shares
CategoryN/ASmall Value
IssuerSPDR State Street Global AdvisorsVanguard
AUM59.26B48.08B
Avg. Return5.81%12.28%
Div. Yield0.0%1.6%
Expense Ratio0.4%0.07%

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 Small-Cap Value Index Fund ETF Shares (VBR) is a Small Value fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 48.08B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 12.28% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.6% with an expense ratio of 0.07%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 1.60% lower than that of VBR (0.0% vs. 1.6%). Also, GLD yielded on average 6.48% less per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 12.28%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.33 percentage points higher than VBR’s (0.4% vs. 0.07%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

GLD vs. VBR - Industry Exposure

GLDVBR
Technology0.0%8.39%
Industrials0.0%18.44%
Energy0.0%5.15%
Communication Services0.0%1.77%
Utilities0.0%3.65%
Healthcare0.0%7.16%
Consumer Defensive0.0%4.36%
Real Estate0.0%10.92%
Financial Services0.0%20.04%
Consumer Cyclical0.0%13.82%
Basic Materials0.0%6.31%

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 Vanguard Small-Cap Value Index Fund ETF Shares (VBR) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 20.04%. This is followed by Industrials and Consumer Cyclical at 18.44% and 13.82% respectively. Utilities (3.65%), Consumer Defensive (4.36%), and Energy (5.15%) only make up 13.16% of the fund’s total assets.

VBR’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Basic Materials, Healthcare, Technology, Real Estate, and Consumer Cyclical stocks at 6.31%, 7.16%, 8.39%, 10.92%, and 13.82%.

GLD is 8.39% less exposed to the Technology sector than VBR (0.0% vs 8.39%). GLD’s exposure to Industrials and Energy stocks is 18.44% lower and 5.15% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 18.44% and 0.0% vs. 5.15%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 44.78% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VBR (0.00% vs. 44.78%).

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%.

VBR - Holdings

VBR HoldingsWeight
Diamondback Energy Inc0.55%
VICI Properties Inc Ordinary Shares0.54%
IDEX Corp0.54%
Nuance Communications Inc0.5%
Molina Healthcare Inc0.48%
Signature Bank0.46%
Novavax Inc0.44%
Howmet Aerospace Inc0.44%
Apollo Global Management Inc Class A0.42%
Brown & Brown Inc0.41%

VBR’s Top Holdings are Diamondback Energy Inc, VICI Properties Inc Ordinary Shares, IDEX Corp, Nuance Communications Inc, and Molina Healthcare Inc at 0.55%, 0.54%, 0.54%, 0.5%, and 0.48%.

Signature Bank (0.46%), Novavax Inc (0.44%), and Howmet Aerospace Inc (0.44%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Apollo Global Management Inc Class A and Brown & Brown Inc are also represented in the VBR’s holdings at 0.42% and 0.41%.

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Risk Analysis

GLDVBR
Mean Return0.211.08
R-squared16.2182.2
Std. Deviation16.5818.37
Alpha3.91-5.09
Beta0.481.23
Sharpe Ratio0.120.67
Treynor Ratio1.219.15

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

The Vanguard Small-Cap Value Index Fund ETF Shares (VBR) has a Beta of 1.23 with a Sharpe Ratio of 0.67 and a R-squared of 82.2. Its Standard Deviation is 18.37 while VBR’s Alpha is -5.09. Furthermore, the fund has a Treynor Ratio of 9.15 and a Mean Return of 1.08.

GLD’s Mean Return is 0.87 points lower than that of VBR and its R-squared is 65.99 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly less volatile than VBR. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 9.00 points higher and 0.75 points lower than VBR’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. VBR - Annual Returns

YearGLDVBR
202023.68%5.82%
201918.36%22.76%
2018-1.54%-12.22%
201711.41%11.79%
20168.69%24.8%
2015-11.78%-4.67%
2014-0.58%10.55%
2013-28.09%36.57%
20125.26%18.78%
201111.2%-4.05%
201027.25%24.97%

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 VBR, returning 36.57% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VBR in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -12.22%. Most years the Vanguard Small-Cap Value Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2014, 2017, and 2012, when gains were 10.55%, 11.79%, and 18.78% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. VBR - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
GLD$10,000$16,3955.81%
VBR$10,000$32,61112.28%

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 VBR, the end total would have been $32,611. This equates to a $22,611 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.28%.

GLD’s CAGR is 6.48 percentage points lower than that of VBR and as a result, would have yielded $16,216 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD performed worse than VBR by 6.48% annually.


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