GLD vs. VT: What’s The Difference?

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

The expense ratio of GLD is 0.32 percentage points higher than VT’s (0.4% vs. 0.08%). GLD also has a lower exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, GLD has provided lower returns than VT over the past ten years.

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

Summary

GLD VT
Name SPDR Gold Shares Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund ETF Shares
Category N/A N/A
Issuer SPDR State Street Global Advisors Vanguard
AUM 59.26B 30.44B
Avg. Return 5.81% 10.42%
Div. Yield 0.0% 1.65%
Expense Ratio 0.4% 0.08%

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 Total World Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VT) is a N/A fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 30.44B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 10.42% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.65% with an expense ratio of 0.08%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 1.65% lower than that of VT (0.0% vs. 1.65%). Also, GLD yielded on average 4.61% less per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 10.42%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.32 percentage points higher than VT’s (0.4% vs. 0.08%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

GLD vs. VT - Industry Exposure

GLD VT
Technology 0.0% 19.63%
Industrials 0.0% 10.7%
Energy 0.0% 3.48%
Communication Services 0.0% 9.02%
Utilities 0.0% 2.6%
Healthcare 0.0% 11.58%
Consumer Defensive 0.0% 6.71%
Real Estate 0.0% 3.64%
Financial Services 0.0% 15.36%
Consumer Cyclical 0.0% 12.32%
Basic Materials 0.0% 4.97%

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 Total World Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VT) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 19.63%. This is followed by Financial Services and Consumer Cyclical at 15.36% and 12.32% respectively. Energy (3.48%), Real Estate (3.64%), and Basic Materials (4.97%) only make up 12.09% of the fund’s total assets.

VT’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Communication Services, Industrials, Healthcare, and Consumer Cyclical stocks at 6.71%, 9.02%, 10.7%, 11.58%, and 12.32%.

GLD is 19.63% less exposed to the Technology sector than VT (0.0% vs 19.63%). GLD’s exposure to Industrials and Energy stocks is 10.70% lower and 3.48% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 10.7% and 0.0% vs. 3.48%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 31.32% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VT (0.00% vs. 31.32%).

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%.

VT - Holdings

VT Holdings Weight
Apple Inc 2.85%
Microsoft Corp 2.71%
Amazon.com Inc 1.98%
Facebook Inc Class A 1.1%
Alphabet Inc Class A 0.97%
Alphabet Inc Class C 0.95%
Tesla Inc 0.7%
NVIDIA Corp 0.64%
JPMorgan Chase & Co 0.62%
Tencent Holdings Ltd 0.6%

VT’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc Class A, and Alphabet Inc Class A at 2.85%, 2.71%, 1.98%, 1.1%, and 0.97%.

Alphabet Inc Class C (0.95%), Tesla Inc (0.7%), and NVIDIA Corp (0.64%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Tencent Holdings Ltd are also represented in the VT’s holdings at 0.62% and 0.6%.

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Risk Analysis

GLD VT
Mean Return 0.21 0.9
R-squared 16.21 99.35
Std. Deviation 16.58 14.19
Alpha 3.91 0.2
Beta 0.48 1.01
Sharpe Ratio 0.12 0.71
Treynor Ratio 1.21 9.5

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

The Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VT) has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.71 with a Standard Deviation of 14.19 and a Mean Return of 0.9. Its Treynor Ratio is 9.5 while VT’s Beta is 1.01. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 99.35 and a Alpha of 0.2.

GLD’s Mean Return is 0.69 points lower than that of VT and its R-squared is 83.14 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly more volatile than VT. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 3.71 points higher and 0.53 points lower than VT’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. VT - Annual Returns

Year GLD VT
2020 23.68% 16.74%
2019 18.36% 26.8%
2018 -1.54% -9.67%
2017 11.41% 24.19%
2016 8.69% 8.77%
2015 -11.78% -1.88%
2014 -0.58% 3.97%
2013 -28.09% 22.98%
2012 5.26% 17.33%
2011 11.2% -7.71%
2010 27.25% 13.05%

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 VT, returning 26.8% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VT in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -9.67%. Most years the Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2010, and 2020, when gains were 8.77%, 13.05%, and 16.74% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. VT - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
GLD $10,000 $16,395 5.81%
VT $10,000 $27,739 10.42%

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 VT, the end total would have been $27,739. This equates to a $17,739 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.42%.

GLD’s CAGR is 4.61 percentage points lower than that of VT and as a result, would have yielded $11,344 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD performed worse than VT by 4.61% annually.


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