The iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) and the Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund ETF Shares (VCSH) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IEFA is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and VCSH is a Vanguard Short-Term Bond fund. So, what’s the difference between IEFA and VCSH? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of IEFA is 0.02 percentage points higher than VCSH’s (0.07% vs. 0.05%). IEFA also has a high exposure to the industrials sector while VCSH is mostly comprised of BBB bonds. Overall, IEFA has provided higher returns than VCSH over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare IEFA vs. VCSH. We’ll look at holdings and fund composition, as well as at their risk metrics and portfolio growth. Moreover, I’ll also discuss IEFA’s and VCSH’s performance, industry exposure, and annual returns and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF||Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund ETF Shares|
|Category||Foreign Large Blend||Short-Term Bond|
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 Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund ETF Shares (VCSH) is a Short-Term Bond fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 47.88B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 3.12% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.89% with an expense ratio of 0.05%.
IEFA’s dividend yield is 0.39% higher than that of VCSH (2.28% vs. 1.89%). Also, IEFA yielded on average 2.67% more per year over the past decade (5.79% vs. 3.12%). The expense ratio of IEFA is 0.02 percentage points higher than VCSH’s (0.07% vs. 0.05%).
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).
|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%.
|VCSH Bond Sectors||Weight|
VCSH’s Top Bond Sectors are ratings of BBB, A, AA, AAA, and Below B at 47.49%, 43.06%, 8.45%, 0.95%, and 0.03%. The fund is less weighted towards Others (0.02%), B (0.0%), and BB (0.0%) rated bonds.
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 2019 was the strongest year for VCSH, returning 6.85% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VCSH in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of 0.91%. Most years the Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2017, 2016, and 2011, when gains were 2.45%, 2.63%, and 2.94% 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 VCSH, the end total would have been $12,298. This equates to a $2,298 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.12%.
IEFA’s CAGR is 2.67 percentage points higher than that of VCSH and as a result, would have yielded $1,710 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IEFA outperformed VCSH by 2.67% 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.