The iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) and the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IEFA is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and SDY is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Large Value fund. So, what’s the difference between IEFA and SDY? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of IEFA is 0.28 percentage points lower than SDY’s (0.07% vs. 0.35%). IEFA also has a higher exposure to the industrials sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, IEFA has provided lower returns than SDY over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare IEFA vs. SDY. We’ll look at risk metrics and performance, as well as at their portfolio growth and holdings. Moreover, I’ll also discuss IEFA’s and SDY’s fund composition, annual returns, and industry exposure and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF||SPDR S&P Dividend ETF|
|Category||Foreign Large Blend||Large Value|
|Issuer||iShares||SPDR State Street Global Advisors|
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 SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) is a Large Value fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 19.67B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 12.44% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.65% with an expense ratio of 0.35%.
IEFA’s dividend yield is 0.37% lower than that of SDY (2.28% vs. 2.65%). Also, IEFA yielded on average 6.65% less per year over the past decade (5.79% vs. 12.44%). The expense ratio of IEFA is 0.28 percentage points lower than SDY’s (0.07% vs. 0.35%).
FYI: The best way I've found to invest in ETFs is through M1 Finance. It's free and you even get an instant line of credit! Have a look here (link to M1 Finance).
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 SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 16.32%. This is followed by Industrials and Consumer Defensive at 15.89% and 14.01% respectively. Communication Services (4.64%), Energy (5.95%), and Basic Materials (6.45%) only make up 17.04% of the fund’s total assets.
SDY’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Real Estate, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, Utilities, and Consumer Defensive stocks at 6.57%, 7.35%, 8.68%, 12.14%, and 14.01%.
IEFA is 0.43% more exposed to the Industrials sector than SDY (16.32% vs 15.89%). IEFA’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 0.41% lower and 4.66% higher respectively (15.91% vs. 16.32% and 12.01% vs. 7.35%). In total, Utilities, Real Estate, and Communication Services also make up 10.26% less of the fund’s holdings compared to SDY (13.09% vs. 23.35%).
|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%.
|Exxon Mobil Corp||2.81%|
|South Jersey Industries Inc||2.22%|
|International Business Machines Corp||2.0%|
|National Retail Properties Inc||1.86%|
|Federal Realty Investment Trust||1.77%|
|Realty Income Corp||1.7%|
|Old Republic International Corp||1.65%|
SDY’s Top Holdings are Exxon Mobil Corp, AT&T Inc, South Jersey Industries Inc, Chevron Corp, and International Business Machines Corp at 2.81%, 2.5%, 2.22%, 2.02%, and 2.0%.
AbbVie Inc (1.93%), National Retail Properties Inc (1.86%), and Federal Realty Investment Trust (1.77%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Realty Income Corp and Old Republic International Corp are also represented in the SDY’s holdings at 1.7% and 1.65%.
NOTE: The easiest way to add diversification to your portfolio is to invest in real estate through Fundrise. You can become private real estate investor without the burden of property management! Check it out here (link to Fundrise).
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 2013 was the strongest year for SDY, returning 30.09% on an annual basis. The poorest year for SDY in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -2.73%. Most years the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2012, 2014, and 2017, when gains were 11.51%, 13.8%, and 15.84% 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 SDY, the end total would have been $19,213. This equates to a $9,213 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.44%.
IEFA’s CAGR is 6.65 percentage points lower than that of SDY and as a result, would have yielded $5,205 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IEFA performed worse than SDY by 6.65% annually.
Over the past years, I have discovered several tools and products that have helped me tremendously on my path to financial freedom:
P.S.: The links below are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you sign up for one of the services. Thank you for your support!
1) Take a look at M1 Finance, my favorite broker. I love how easy it is to invest and maintain my portfolio with them. I can set up automatic transfers, rebalance my portfolio with one click and even borrow up to 35% of my assets at super low interest rates!
2) Fundrise is by far the best way I've found to invest in Real Estate. You can diversify your portfolio by investing in their eREITs or even allocate capital to individual properties (without the hassle of managing tenants!).
3) If you are interested in crypto, check out Gemini. I've started allocating a small amount of assets to the growing crypto space and Gemini has just been a breeze to use. Once you register, make sure to also open an Active Trader account to buy crypto at the lowest fees on the market (just 0.03%!).
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out the Recommended Tools section.