GLD vs. VXF: What’s The Difference?

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

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

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

Summary

GLD VXF
Name SPDR Gold Shares Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund ETF Shares
Category N/A Mid-Cap Growth
Issuer SPDR State Street Global Advisors Vanguard
AUM 59.26B 114.53B
Avg. Return 5.81% 15.47%
Div. Yield 0.0% 1.19%
Expense Ratio 0.4% 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 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund ETF Shares (VXF) is a Mid-Cap Growth fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 114.53B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 15.47% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.19% with an expense ratio of 0.06%.

GLD’s dividend yield is 1.19% lower than that of VXF (0.0% vs. 1.19%). Also, GLD yielded on average 9.67% less per year over the past decade (5.81% vs. 15.47%). The expense ratio of GLD is 0.34 percentage points higher than VXF’s (0.4% vs. 0.06%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

GLD vs. VXF - Industry Exposure

GLD VXF
Technology 0.0% 23.61%
Industrials 0.0% 11.31%
Energy 0.0% 2.46%
Communication Services 0.0% 7.29%
Utilities 0.0% 1.65%
Healthcare 0.0% 15.25%
Consumer Defensive 0.0% 3.09%
Real Estate 0.0% 8.16%
Financial Services 0.0% 12.56%
Consumer Cyclical 0.0% 11.35%
Basic Materials 0.0% 3.26%

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 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund ETF Shares (VXF) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 23.61%. This is followed by Healthcare and Financial Services at 15.25% and 12.56% respectively. Energy (2.46%), Consumer Defensive (3.09%), and Basic Materials (3.26%) only make up 8.81% of the fund’s total assets.

VXF’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Communication Services, Real Estate, Industrials, Consumer Cyclical, and Financial Services stocks at 7.29%, 8.16%, 11.31%, 11.35%, and 12.56%.

GLD is 23.61% less exposed to the Technology sector than VXF (0.0% vs 23.61%). GLD’s exposure to Industrials and Energy stocks is 11.31% lower and 2.46% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 11.31% and 0.0% vs. 2.46%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 32.07% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VXF (0.00% vs. 32.07%).

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%.

VXF - Holdings

VXF Holdings Weight
Square Inc A 1.2%
Zoom Video Communications Inc 1.04%
Uber Technologies Inc 0.93%
Moderna Inc 0.9%
Blackstone Group Inc 0.83%
Snap Inc Class A 0.8%
Twilio Inc A 0.73%
DocuSign Inc 0.68%
CrowdStrike Holdings Inc Class A 0.63%
Marvell Technology Inc 0.6%

VXF’s Top Holdings are Square Inc A, Zoom Video Communications Inc, Uber Technologies Inc, Moderna Inc, and Blackstone Group Inc at 1.2%, 1.04%, 0.93%, 0.9%, and 0.83%.

Snap Inc Class A (0.8%), Twilio Inc A (0.73%), and DocuSign Inc (0.68%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. CrowdStrike Holdings Inc Class A and Marvell Technology Inc are also represented in the VXF’s holdings at 0.63% and 0.6%.

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Risk Analysis

GLD VXF
Mean Return 0.21 1.24
R-squared 16.21 85.73
Std. Deviation 16.58 18.04
Alpha 3.91 -3.26
Beta 0.48 1.23
Sharpe Ratio 0.12 0.79
Treynor Ratio 1.21 10.92

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

The Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund ETF Shares (VXF) has a Alpha of -3.26 with a Standard Deviation of 18.04 and a Mean Return of 1.24. Its Sharpe Ratio is 0.79 while VXF’s Beta is 1.23. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 85.73 and a Treynor Ratio of 10.92.

GLD’s Mean Return is 1.03 points lower than that of VXF and its R-squared is 69.52 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.58, GLD is slightly less volatile than VXF. The Alpha and Beta of GLD are 7.17 points higher and 0.75 points lower than VXF’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

GLD vs. VXF - Annual Returns

Year GLD VXF
2020 23.68% 32.19%
2019 18.36% 28.04%
2018 -1.54% -9.37%
2017 11.41% 18.1%
2016 8.69% 16.16%
2015 -11.78% -3.26%
2014 -0.58% 7.55%
2013 -28.09% 38.37%
2012 5.26% 18.48%
2011 11.2% -3.61%
2010 27.25% 27.55%

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 VXF, returning 38.37% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VXF in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -9.37%. Most years the Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2017, and 2012, when gains were 16.16%, 18.1%, and 18.48% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

GLD vs. VXF - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
GLD $10,000 $16,395 5.81%
VXF $10,000 $44,130 15.47%

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 VXF, the end total would have been $44,130. This equates to a $34,130 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.47%.

GLD’s CAGR is 9.67 percentage points lower than that of VXF and as a result, would have yielded $27,735 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, GLD performed worse than VXF by 9.67% annually.


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