The iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR) and the iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IJR is a iShares Small Blend fund and IXUS is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between IJR and IXUS? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IJR is 0.03 percentage points lower than IXUS’s (0.06% vs. 0.09%). IJR also has a higher exposure to the industrials sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, IJR has provided higher returns than IXUS over the past ten years.

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

Summary

IJRIXUS
NameiShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETFiShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF
CategorySmall BlendForeign Large Blend
IssueriSharesiShares
AUM68.64B29.54B
Avg. Return13.97%6.09%
Div. Yield0.96%2.13%
Expense Ratio0.06%0.09%

The iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR) is a Small Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 68.64B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 13.97% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.96% with an expense ratio of 0.06%.

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%.

IJR’s dividend yield is 1.17% lower than that of IXUS (0.96% vs. 2.13%). Also, IJR yielded on average 7.88% more per year over the past decade (13.97% vs. 6.09%). The expense ratio of IJR is 0.03 percentage points lower than IXUS’s (0.06% vs. 0.09%).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IJR vs. IXUS - Industry Exposure

IJRIXUS
Technology14.32%13.24%
Industrials17.31%12.78%
Energy4.0%4.39%
Communication Services2.59%7.09%
Utilities1.8%2.95%
Healthcare11.55%9.29%
Consumer Defensive4.01%8.19%
Real Estate9.55%3.66%
Financial Services15.91%17.34%
Consumer Cyclical13.61%12.57%
Basic Materials5.34%8.5%

The iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR) has the most exposure to the Industrials sector at 17.31%. This is followed by Financial Services and Technology at 15.91% and 14.32% respectively. Communication Services (2.59%), Energy (4.0%), and Consumer Defensive (4.01%) only make up 10.60% of the fund’s total assets.

IJR’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Basic Materials, Real Estate, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, and Technology stocks at 5.34%, 9.55%, 11.55%, 13.61%, and 14.32%.

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%.

IJR is 4.53% more exposed to the Industrials sector than IXUS (17.31% vs 12.78%). IJR’s exposure to Financial Services and Technology stocks is 1.43% lower and 1.08% higher respectively (15.91% vs. 17.34% and 14.32% vs. 13.24%). In total, Communication Services, Energy, and Consumer Defensive also make up 9.07% less of the fund’s holdings compared to IXUS (10.60% vs. 19.67%).

Holdings

IJR - Holdings

IJR HoldingsWeight
BlackRock Cash Funds Treasury SL Agency1.08%
GameStop Corp Class A0.86%
Omnicell Inc0.61%
Stamps.com Inc0.58%
Saia Inc0.57%
Power Integrations Inc0.57%
Exponent Inc0.54%
NeoGenomics Inc0.53%
Chart Industries Inc0.53%
Macy’s Inc0.51%

IJR’s Top Holdings are BlackRock Cash Funds Treasury SL Agency, GameStop Corp Class A, Omnicell Inc, Stamps.com Inc, and Saia Inc at 1.08%, 0.86%, 0.61%, 0.58%, and 0.57%.

Power Integrations Inc (0.57%), Exponent Inc (0.54%), and NeoGenomics Inc (0.53%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Chart Industries Inc and Macy’s Inc are also represented in the IJR’s holdings at 0.53% and 0.51%.

IXUS - Holdings

IXUS HoldingsWeight
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd1.64%
Tencent Holdings Ltd1.35%
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares1.34%
Nestle SA1.1%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd1.06%
ASML Holding NV0.9%
Roche Holding AG0.81%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE0.67%
Novartis AG0.62%
Toyota Motor Corp0.59%

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%.

Risk Analysis

IJRIXUS
Mean Return1.210
R-squared76.030
Std. Deviation18.680
Alpha-3.70
Beta1.20
Sharpe Ratio0.740
Treynor Ratio10.770

The iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR) has a Treynor Ratio of 10.77 with a Standard Deviation of 18.68 and a Mean Return of 1.21. Its Sharpe Ratio is 0.74 while IJR’s Alpha is -3.7. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 76.03 and a Beta of 1.2.

The iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) has a Treynor Ratio of 0 with a R-squared of 0 and a Mean Return of 0. Its Alpha is 0 while IXUS’s Sharpe Ratio is 0. Furthermore, the fund has a Beta of 0 and a Standard Deviation of 0.

IJR’s Mean Return is 1.21 points higher than that of IXUS and its R-squared is 76.03 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 18.68, IJR is slightly more volatile than IXUS. The Alpha and Beta of IJR are 3.70 points lower and 1.20 points higher than IXUS’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

IJR vs. IXUS - Annual Returns

YearIJRIXUS
202011.24%11.14%
201922.79%21.85%
2018-8.43%-14.55%
201713.2%28.08%
201626.49%4.66%
2015-2.0%-4.62%
20145.67%-3.96%
201341.36%15.85%
201216.28%0.0%
20110.9%0.0%
201026.14%0.0%

IJR had its best year in 2013 with an annual return of 41.36%. IJR’s worst year over the past decade yielded -8.43% and occurred in 2018. In most years the iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2020, 2017, and 2012 where annual returns amounted to 11.24%, 13.2%, and 16.28% 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.

Portfolio Growth

IJR vs. IXUS - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
IJR$10,000$18,54613.97%
IXUS$10,000$14,2096.09%

A $10,000 investment in IJR would have resulted in a final balance of $18,546. This is a profit of $8,546 over 7 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.97%.

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%.

IJR’s CAGR is 7.88 percentage points higher than that of IXUS and as a result, would have yielded $4,337 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IJR outperformed IXUS by 7.88% annually.

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