IJR vs. JPST: What’s The Difference?

The iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR) and the JPMorgan Ultra-Short Income ETF (JPST) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IJR is a iShares Small Blend fund and JPST is a JPMorgan Ultrashort Bond fund. So, what’s the difference between IJR and JPST? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IJR is 0.12 percentage points lower than JPST’s (0.06% vs. 0.18%). IJR also has a high exposure to the industrials sector while JPST is mostly comprised of A bonds. Overall, IJR has provided higher returns than JPST over the past ten years.

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

Summary

IJR JPST
Name iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF JPMorgan Ultra-Short Income ETF
Category Small Blend Ultrashort Bond
Issuer iShares JPMorgan
AUM 68.64B 17.32B
Avg. Return 13.97% 2.57%
Div. Yield 0.96% 0.94%
Expense Ratio 0.06% 0.18%

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 JPMorgan Ultra-Short Income ETF (JPST) is a Ultrashort Bond fund that is issued by JPMorgan. It currently has 17.32B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 2.57% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.94% with an expense ratio of 0.18%.

IJR’s dividend yield is 0.02% higher than that of JPST (0.96% vs. 0.94%). Also, IJR yielded on average 11.39% more per year over the past decade (13.97% vs. 2.57%). The expense ratio of IJR is 0.12 percentage points lower than JPST’s (0.06% vs. 0.18%).

Fund Composition

Holdings

IJR - Holdings

IJR Holdings Weight
BlackRock Cash Funds Treasury SL Agency 1.08%
GameStop Corp Class A 0.86%
Omnicell Inc 0.61%
Stamps.com Inc 0.58%
Saia Inc 0.57%
Power Integrations Inc 0.57%
Exponent Inc 0.54%
NeoGenomics Inc 0.53%
Chart Industries Inc 0.53%
Macy’s Inc 0.51%

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%.

JPST - Holdings

JPST Bond Sectors Weight
A 39.21%
BBB 36.75%
AAA 14.9%
AA 9.14%
Others 0.0%
Below B 0.0%
B 0.0%
BB 0.0%
US Government 0.0%

JPST’s Top Bond Sectors are ratings of A, BBB, AAA, AA, and Others at 39.21%, 36.75%, 14.9%, 9.14%, and 0.0%. The fund is less weighted towards Below B (0.0%), B (0.0%), and BB (0.0%) rated bonds.

Risk Analysis

IJR JPST
Mean Return 1.21 0
R-squared 76.03 0
Std. Deviation 18.68 0
Alpha -3.7 0
Beta 1.2 0
Sharpe Ratio 0.74 0
Treynor Ratio 10.77 0

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

The JPMorgan Ultra-Short Income ETF (JPST) has a Mean Return of 0 with a Beta of 0 and a Alpha of 0. Its R-squared is 0 while JPST’s Treynor Ratio is 0. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 0 and a Standard Deviation of 0.

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

Performance

Annual Returns

IJR vs. JPST - Annual Returns

Year IJR JPST
2020 11.24% 2.17%
2019 22.79% 3.36%
2018 -8.43% 2.19%
2017 13.2% 0.0%
2016 26.49% 0.0%
2015 -2.0% 0.0%
2014 5.67% 0.0%
2013 41.36% 0.0%
2012 16.28% 0.0%
2011 0.9% 0.0%
2010 26.14% 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 2019 was the strongest year for JPST, returning 3.36% on an annual basis. The poorest year for JPST in the last ten years was 2017, with a yield of 0.0%. Most years the JPMorgan Ultra-Short Income ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2013, 2012, and 2011, when gains were 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IJR vs. JPST - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
IJR $10,000 $12,507 13.97%
JPST $10,000 $10,791 2.57%

A $10,000 investment in IJR would have resulted in a final balance of $12,507. This is a profit of $2,507 over 3 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.97%.

With a $10,000 investment in JPST, the end total would have been $10,791. This equates to a $791 profit over 3 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.57%.

IJR’s CAGR is 11.39 percentage points higher than that of JPST and as a result, would have yielded $1,716 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IJR outperformed JPST by 11.39% annually.


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