The iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) and the iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IEFA is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and IXUS is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between IEFA and IXUS? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of IEFA is 0.02 percentage points lower than IXUS’s (0.07% vs. 0.09%). IEFA also has a higher exposure to the industrials sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, IEFA has provided lower returns than IXUS over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare IEFA vs. IXUS. We’ll look at fund composition and performance, as well as at their annual returns and industry exposure. Moreover, I’ll also discuss IEFA’s and IXUS’s risk metrics, portfolio growth, and holdings and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF||iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF|
|Category||Foreign Large Blend||Foreign Large Blend|
The iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 95.78B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 5.79% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.28% with an expense ratio of 0.07%.
The iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 29.54B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 6.09% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.13% with an expense ratio of 0.09%.
IEFA’s dividend yield is 0.15% higher than that of IXUS (2.28% vs. 2.13%). Also, IEFA yielded on average 0.30% less per year over the past decade (5.79% vs. 6.09%). The expense ratio of IEFA is 0.02 percentage points lower than IXUS’s (0.07% vs. 0.09%).
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The iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) has the most exposure to the Industrials sector at 16.32%. This is followed by Financial Services and Healthcare at 15.91% and 12.01% respectively. Utilities (3.25%), Real Estate (4.31%), and Communication Services (5.53%) only make up 13.09% of the fund’s total assets.
IEFA’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Basic Materials, Consumer Defensive, Technology, Consumer Cyclical, and Healthcare stocks at 7.93%, 9.78%, 9.81%, 11.96%, and 12.01%.
The iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 17.34%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials at 13.24% and 12.78% respectively. Real Estate (3.66%), Energy (4.39%), and Communication Services (7.09%) only make up 15.14% of the fund’s total assets.
IXUS’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Basic Materials, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, and Industrials stocks at 8.19%, 8.5%, 9.29%, 12.57%, and 12.78%.
IEFA is 3.54% more exposed to the Industrials sector than IXUS (16.32% vs 12.78%). IEFA’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 1.43% lower and 2.72% higher respectively (15.91% vs. 17.34% and 12.01% vs. 9.29%). In total, Utilities, Real Estate, and Communication Services also make up 0.61% less of the fund’s holdings compared to IXUS (13.09% vs. 13.70%).
|ASML Holding NV||1.43%|
|Roche Holding AG||1.31%|
|LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE||1.08%|
|Toyota Motor Corp||0.92%|
|AIA Group Ltd||0.74%|
IEFA’s Top Holdings are Nestle SA, ASML Holding NV, Roche Holding AG, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, and Novartis AG at 1.77%, 1.43%, 1.31%, 1.08%, and 1.0%.
Toyota Motor Corp (0.92%), AstraZeneca PLC (0.78%), and Unilever PLC (0.76%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. AIA Group Ltd and SAP SE are also represented in the IEFA’s holdings at 0.74% and 0.73%.
|Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd||1.64%|
|Tencent Holdings Ltd||1.35%|
|Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares||1.34%|
|Samsung Electronics Co Ltd||1.06%|
|ASML Holding NV||0.9%|
|Roche Holding AG||0.81%|
|LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE||0.67%|
|Toyota Motor Corp||0.59%|
IXUS’s Top Holdings are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares, Nestle SA, and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd at 1.64%, 1.35%, 1.34%, 1.1%, and 1.06%.
ASML Holding NV (0.9%), Roche Holding AG (0.81%), and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (0.67%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Novartis AG and Toyota Motor Corp are also represented in the IXUS’s holdings at 0.62% and 0.59%.
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IEFA had its best year in 2017 with an annual return of 26.42%. IEFA’s worst year over the past decade yielded -14.2% and occurred in 2018. In most years the iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2010, 2015, and 2016 where annual returns amounted to 0.0%, 0.53%, and 1.36% respectively.
The year 2017 was the strongest year for IXUS, returning 28.08% on an annual basis. The poorest year for IXUS in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -14.55%. Most years the iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2011, 2010, and 2016, when gains were 0.0%, 0.0%, and 4.66% respectively.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in IEFA would have resulted in a final balance of $14,008. This is a profit of $4,008 over 7 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.79%.
With a $10,000 investment in IXUS, the end total would have been $14,209. This equates to a $4,209 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.09%.
IEFA’s CAGR is 0.30 percentage points lower than that of IXUS and as a result, would have yielded $201 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IEFA performed worse than IXUS by 0.30% annually.
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