The iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) and the Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares (VNQ) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IEFA is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and VNQ is a Vanguard Real Estate fund. So, what’s the difference between IEFA and VNQ? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of IEFA is 0.05 percentage points lower than VNQ’s (0.07% vs. 0.12%). IEFA also has a higher exposure to the industrials sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, IEFA has provided lower returns than VNQ over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare IEFA vs. VNQ. We’ll look at fund composition and industry exposure, as well as at their holdings and risk metrics. Moreover, I’ll also discuss IEFA’s and VNQ’s performance, annual returns, and portfolio growth and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF||Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares|
|Category||Foreign Large Blend||Real Estate|
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 Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares (VNQ) is a Real Estate fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 77.34B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 11.05% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.34% with an expense ratio of 0.12%.
IEFA’s dividend yield is 0.06% lower than that of VNQ (2.28% vs. 2.34%). Also, IEFA yielded on average 5.26% less per year over the past decade (5.79% vs. 11.05%). The expense ratio of IEFA is 0.05 percentage points lower than VNQ’s (0.07% vs. 0.12%).
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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 Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares (VNQ) has the most exposure to the Real Estate sector at 100.0%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials at 0.0% and 0.0% respectively. Consumer Cyclical (0.0%), Financial Services (0.0%), and Consumer Defensive (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.
VNQ’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Healthcare, Utilities, Communication Services, Energy, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%.
IEFA is 16.32% more exposed to the Industrials sector than VNQ (16.32% vs 0.0%). IEFA’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 15.91% higher and 12.01% higher respectively (15.91% vs. 0.0% and 12.01% vs. 0.0%). In total, Utilities, Real Estate, and Communication Services also make up 86.91% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VNQ (13.09% vs. 100.00%).
|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%.
|Vanguard Real Estate II Index||11.62%|
|American Tower Corp||7.24%|
|Crown Castle International Corp||5.01%|
|Simon Property Group Inc||2.52%|
|Digital Realty Trust Inc||2.49%|
|SBA Communications Corp||2.1%|
VNQ’s Top Holdings are Vanguard Real Estate II Index, American Tower Corp, Prologis Inc, Crown Castle International Corp, and Equinix Inc at 11.62%, 7.24%, 5.33%, 5.01%, and 4.3%.
Public Storage (2.85%), Simon Property Group Inc (2.52%), and Digital Realty Trust Inc (2.49%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. SBA Communications Corp and Welltower Inc are also represented in the VNQ’s holdings at 2.1% and 2.09%.
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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 2014 was the strongest year for VNQ, returning 30.29% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VNQ in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -5.95%. Most years the Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2017, 2016, and 2011, when gains were 4.95%, 8.53%, and 8.62% 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 VNQ, the end total would have been $17,549. This equates to a $7,549 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.05%.
IEFA’s CAGR is 5.26 percentage points lower than that of VNQ and as a result, would have yielded $3,541 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IEFA performed worse than VNQ by 5.26% annually.
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