GLD vs. VGT: What’s The Difference?

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

The expense ratio of GLD is 0.30 percentage points higher than VGT’s (0.4% vs. 0.1%). GLD also has a lower exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, GLD has provided lower returns than VGT over the past ten years.

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

Summary

GLD VGT
Name SPDR Gold Shares Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares
Category N/A Technology
Issuer SPDR State Street Global Advisors Vanguard
AUM 59.26B 54.13B
Avg. Return 5.81% 20.84%
Div. Yield 0.0% 0.66%
Expense Ratio 0.4% 0.1%

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 Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) is a Technology fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 54.13B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 20.84% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.66% with an expense ratio of 0.1%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 0.66% lower than that of VGT (0.0% vs. 0.66%). Also, GLD yielded on average 15.03% less per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 20.84%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.30 percentage points higher than VGT’s (0.4% vs. 0.1%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

GLD vs. VGT - Industry Exposure

GLD VGT
Technology 0.0% 88.89%
Industrials 0.0% 1.67%
Energy 0.0% 0.0%
Communication Services 0.0% 0.61%
Utilities 0.0% 0.0%
Healthcare 0.0% 0.0%
Consumer Defensive 0.0% 0.0%
Real Estate 0.0% 0.0%
Financial Services 0.0% 8.83%
Consumer Cyclical 0.0% 0.0%
Basic Materials 0.0% 0.0%

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 Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 88.89%. This is followed by Financial Services and Industrials at 8.83% and 1.67% respectively. Consumer Cyclical (0.0%), Real Estate (0.0%), and Consumer Defensive (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.

VGT’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Healthcare, Utilities, Energy, Communication Services, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.61%, and 1.67%.

GLD is 88.89% less exposed to the Technology sector than VGT (0.0% vs 88.89%). GLD’s exposure to Industrials and Energy stocks is 1.67% lower and 0.00% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 1.67% and 0.0% vs. 0.0%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 8.83% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VGT (0.00% vs. 8.83%).

Holdings

GLD - Holdings

GLD Holdings Weight
Gold Trust 100.0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%
N/A 0%

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%.

VGT - Holdings

VGT Holdings Weight
Apple Inc 19.58%
Microsoft Corp 16.53%
NVIDIA Corp 4.22%
Visa Inc Class A 3.16%
PayPal Holdings Inc 2.76%
Mastercard Inc Class A 2.76%
Adobe Inc 2.39%
Intel Corp 1.94%
Salesforce.com Inc 1.91%
Cisco Systems Inc 1.9%

VGT’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, NVIDIA Corp, Visa Inc Class A, and PayPal Holdings Inc at 19.58%, 16.53%, 4.22%, 3.16%, and 2.76%.

Mastercard Inc Class A (2.76%), Adobe Inc (2.39%), and Intel Corp (1.94%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Salesforce.com Inc and Cisco Systems Inc are also represented in the VGT’s holdings at 1.91% and 1.9%.

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Risk Analysis

GLD VGT
Mean Return 0.21 1.76
R-squared 16.21 74.84
Std. Deviation 16.58 16.61
Alpha 3.91 10.41
Beta 0.48 1.02
Sharpe Ratio 0.12 1.23
Treynor Ratio 1.21 20.55

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

The Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) has a Standard Deviation of 16.61 with a R-squared of 74.84 and a Beta of 1.02. Its Mean Return is 1.76 while VGT’s Treynor Ratio is 20.55. Furthermore, the fund has a Alpha of 10.41 and a Sharpe Ratio of 1.23.

GLD’s Mean Return is 1.55 points lower than that of VGT and its R-squared is 58.63 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly less volatile than VGT. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 6.50 points lower and 0.54 points lower than VGT’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. VGT - Annual Returns

Year GLD VGT
2020 23.68% 45.94%
2019 18.36% 48.68%
2018 -1.54% 2.52%
2017 11.41% 37.07%
2016 8.69% 13.73%
2015 -11.78% 5.02%
2014 -0.58% 18.01%
2013 -28.09% 30.91%
2012 5.26% 14.05%
2011 11.2% 0.52%
2010 27.25% 12.74%

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 2019 was the strongest year for VGT, returning 48.68% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VGT in the last ten years was 2011, with a yield of 0.52%. Most years the Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2012, and 2014, when gains were 13.73%, 14.05%, and 18.01% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. VGT - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
GLD $10,000 $16,395 5.81%
VGT $10,000 $72,718 20.84%

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 VGT, the end total would have been $72,718. This equates to a $62,718 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.84%.

GLD’s CAGR is 15.03 percentage points lower than that of VGT and as a result, would have yielded $56,323 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD performed worse than VGT by 15.03% annually.


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