The iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) and the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IWB is a iShares Large Blend fund and IAU is a iShares N/A fund. So, what’s the difference between IWB and IAU? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of IWB is 0.10 percentage points lower than IAU’s (0.15% vs. 0.25%). IWB also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, IWB has provided higher returns than IAU over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare IWB vs. IAU. We’ll look at holdings and annual returns, as well as at their performance and portfolio growth. Moreover, I’ll also discuss IWB’s and IAU’s fund composition, industry exposure, and risk metrics and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||iShares Russell 1000 ETF||iShares Gold Trust|
The iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) is a Large Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 30.54B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 14.64% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.14% with an expense ratio of 0.15%.
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%.
IWB’s dividend yield is 1.14% higher than that of IAU (1.14% vs. 0.0%). Also, IWB yielded on average 8.60% more per year over the past decade (14.64% vs. 6.03%). The expense ratio of IWB is 0.10 percentage points lower than IAU’s (0.15% vs. 0.25%).
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).
The iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 25.33%. This is followed by Financial Services and Healthcare at 13.64% and 13.35% respectively. Utilities (2.36%), Energy (2.44%), and Real Estate (3.34%) only make up 8.14% of the fund’s total assets.
IWB’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Communication Services, Consumer Cyclical, and Healthcare stocks at 5.97%, 8.88%, 10.83%, 11.85%, and 13.35%.
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%.
IWB is 25.33% more exposed to the Technology sector than IAU (25.33% vs 0.0%). IWB’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 13.64% higher and 13.35% higher respectively (13.64% vs. 0.0% and 13.35% vs. 0.0%). In total, Utilities, Energy, and Real Estate also make up 8.14% more of the fund’s holdings compared to IAU (8.14% vs. 0.00%).
|Facebook Inc Class A||2.03%|
|Alphabet Inc Class A||1.93%|
|Alphabet Inc Class C||1.82%|
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B||1.24%|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co||1.09%|
IWB’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc Class A, and Alphabet Inc Class A at 5.45%, 5.11%, 3.43%, 2.03%, and 1.93%.
Alphabet Inc Class C (1.82%), Tesla Inc (1.27%), and Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (1.24%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. NVIDIA Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are also represented in the IWB’s holdings at 1.11% and 1.09%.
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%.
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).
The iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) has a Beta of 1.02 with a R-squared of 99.73 and a Treynor Ratio of 14.31. Its Standard Deviation is 13.87 while IWB’s Alpha is -0.38. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 1.05 and a Mean Return of 1.27.
The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) has a Alpha of 4.16 with a R-squared of 16.03 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.13. Its Beta is 0.48 while IAU’s Treynor Ratio is 1.5. Furthermore, the fund has a Mean Return of 0.23 and a Standard Deviation of 16.97.
IWB’s Mean Return is 1.04 points higher than that of IAU and its R-squared is 83.70 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 13.87, IWB is slightly less volatile than IAU. The Alpha and Beta of IWB are 4.54 points lower and 0.54 points higher than IAU’s Alpha and Beta.
FYI: Another great way to get exposure to the real estate sector is by investing in real estate debt. Groundfloor offers fantastic short-term, high-yield bonds that can add diversification to your portfolio!
IWB had its best year in 2013 with an annual return of 32.93%. IWB’s worst year over the past decade yielded -4.91% and occurred in 2018. In most years the iShares Russell 1000 ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2014, 2010, and 2012 where annual returns amounted to 13.08%, 15.94%, and 16.27% 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.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in IWB would have resulted in a final balance of $42,462. This is a profit of $32,462 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.64%.
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%.
IWB’s CAGR is 8.60 percentage points higher than that of IAU and as a result, would have yielded $25,676 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IWB outperformed IAU by 8.60% 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)Personal Capital is simply the best tool out there to track your net worth and plan for financial freedom. Just their retirement planner alone has become an invaluable tool to keep myself on track financially. Try it out, it's free!
2) 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!
3) 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!).
4) Groundfloor is another great way to get exposure to the real estate sector by investing in short-term, high-yield real estate debt. Current returns are >10% and you can get started with just $10.
5) If you are interested in startup investing, check out Mainvest. I've started allocating a small amount of assets to invest in and support small businesses. Return targets are between 10-25% and you can start with just $100!
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out the Recommended Tools section.