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IVW vs. IAU: What’s The Difference?

The iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW) and the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IVW is a iShares Large Growth fund and IAU is a iShares N/A fund. So, what’s the difference between IVW and IAU? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IVW is 0.07 percentage points lower than IAU’s (0.18% vs. 0.25%). IVW also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, IVW has provided higher returns than IAU over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

IVWIAU
NameiShares S&P 500 Growth ETFiShares Gold Trust
CategoryLarge GrowthN/A
IssueriSharesiShares
AUM35.72B28.61B
Avg. Return16.74%6.03%
Div. Yield0.61%0.0%
Expense Ratio0.18%0.25%

The iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW) is a Large Growth fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 35.72B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 16.74% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.61% with an expense ratio of 0.18%.

The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) is a N/A fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 28.61B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 6.03% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.0% with an expense ratio of 0.25%.

IVW’s dividend yield is 0.61% higher than that of IAU (0.61% vs. 0.0%). Also, IVW yielded on average 10.70% more per year over the past decade (16.74% vs. 6.03%). The expense ratio of IVW is 0.07 percentage points lower than IAU’s (0.18% vs. 0.25%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IVW vs. IAU - Industry Exposure

IVWIAU
Technology37.8%0.0%
Industrials5.72%0.0%
Energy0.06%0.0%
Communication Services15.44%0.0%
Utilities0.47%0.0%
Healthcare11.88%0.0%
Consumer Defensive3.84%0.0%
Real Estate1.11%0.0%
Financial Services6.78%0.0%
Consumer Cyclical15.25%0.0%
Basic Materials1.65%0.0%

The iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 37.8%. This is followed by Communication Services and Consumer Cyclical at 15.44% and 15.25% respectively. Utilities (0.47%), Real Estate (1.11%), and Basic Materials (1.65%) only make up 3.23% of the fund’s total assets.

IVW’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Consumer Cyclical stocks at 3.84%, 5.72%, 6.78%, 11.88%, and 15.25%.

The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 0.0%. This is followed by Industrials and Energy at 0.0% and 0.0% respectively. Consumer Cyclical (0.0%), Financial Services (0.0%), and Real Estate (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.

IAU’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Healthcare, Utilities, Communication Services, and Energy stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%.

IVW is 37.80% more exposed to the Technology sector than IAU (37.8% vs 0.0%). IVW’s exposure to Communication Services and Consumer Cyclical stocks is 15.44% higher and 15.25% higher respectively (15.44% vs. 0.0% and 15.25% vs. 0.0%). In total, Utilities, Real Estate, and Basic Materials also make up 3.23% more of the fund’s holdings compared to IAU (3.23% vs. 0.00%).

Holdings

IVW - Holdings

IVW HoldingsWeight
Apple Inc11.46%
Microsoft Corp10.75%
Amazon.com Inc7.14%
Facebook Inc Class A4.28%
Alphabet Inc Class A4.06%
Alphabet Inc Class C3.86%
Tesla Inc2.65%
NVIDIA Corp2.43%
PayPal Holdings Inc1.62%
Adobe Inc1.49%

IVW’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc Class A, and Alphabet Inc Class A at 11.46%, 10.75%, 7.14%, 4.28%, and 4.06%.

Alphabet Inc Class C (3.86%), Tesla Inc (2.65%), and NVIDIA Corp (2.43%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. PayPal Holdings Inc and Adobe Inc are also represented in the IVW’s holdings at 1.62% and 1.49%.

IAU - Holdings

IAU HoldingsWeight
Gold100.0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%

IAU’s Top Holdings are Gold, N/A, N/A, N/A, and N/A at 100.0%, 0%, 0%, 0%, and 0%.

N/A (0%), N/A (0%), and N/A (0%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. N/A and N/A are also represented in the IAU’s holdings at 0% and 0%.

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Risk Analysis

IVWIAU
Mean Return1.440.23
R-squared93.8216.03
Std. Deviation13.7716.97
Alpha2.194.16
Beta0.980.48
Sharpe Ratio1.210.13
Treynor Ratio17.241.5

The iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW) has a Beta of 0.98 with a Mean Return of 1.44 and a R-squared of 93.82. Its Treynor Ratio is 17.24 while IVW’s Sharpe Ratio is 1.21. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 13.77 and a Alpha of 2.19.

The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) has a Standard Deviation of 16.97 with a Alpha of 4.16 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.13. Its Treynor Ratio is 1.5 while IAU’s R-squared is 16.03. Furthermore, the fund has a Mean Return of 0.23 and a Beta of 0.48.

IVW’s Mean Return is 1.21 points higher than that of IAU and its R-squared is 77.79 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 13.77, IVW is slightly less volatile than IAU. The Alpha and Beta of IVW are 1.97 points lower and 0.50 points higher than IAU’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

IVW vs. IAU - Annual Returns

YearIVWIAU
202033.21%23.86%
201930.91%18.54%
2018-0.17%-1.39%
201727.2%11.58%
20166.74%8.85%
20155.33%-11.65%
201414.67%-0.44%
201332.48%-27.96%
201214.39%8.37%
20114.49%8.66%
201014.84%27.93%

IVW had its best year in 2020 with an annual return of 33.21%. IVW’s worst year over the past decade yielded -0.17% and occurred in 2018. In most years the iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2012, 2014, and 2010 where annual returns amounted to 14.39%, 14.67%, and 14.84% respectively.

The year 2010 was the strongest year for IAU, returning 27.93% on an annual basis. The poorest year for IAU in the last ten years was 2013, with a yield of -27.96%. Most years the iShares Gold Trust has given investors modest returns, such as in 2012, 2011, and 2016, when gains were 8.37%, 8.66%, and 8.85% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IVW vs. IAU - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
IVW$10,000$51,91516.74%
IAU$10,000$16,7866.03%

A $10,000 investment in IVW would have resulted in a final balance of $51,915. This is a profit of $41,915 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.74%.

With a $10,000 investment in IAU, the end total would have been $16,786. This equates to a $6,786 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.03%.

IVW’s CAGR is 10.70 percentage points higher than that of IAU and as a result, would have yielded $35,129 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IVW outperformed IAU by 10.70% annually.


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