IWB vs. VBK: What’s The Difference?

The iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) and the Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IWB is a iShares Large Blend fund and VBK is a Vanguard Small Growth fund. So, what’s the difference between IWB and VBK? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IWB is 0.08 percentage points higher than VBK’s (0.15% vs. 0.07%). IWB also has a lower exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, IWB has provided lower returns than VBK over the past ten years.

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

Summary

IWB VBK
Name iShares Russell 1000 ETF Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares
Category Large Blend Small Growth
Issuer iShares Vanguard
AUM 30.54B 37.89B
Avg. Return 14.64% 16.53%
Div. Yield 1.14% 0.45%
Expense Ratio 0.15% 0.07%

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 Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) is a Small Growth fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 37.89B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 16.53% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.45% with an expense ratio of 0.07%.

IWB’s dividend yield is 0.69% higher than that of VBK (1.14% vs. 0.45%). Also, IWB yielded on average 1.89% less per year over the past decade (14.64% vs. 16.53%). The expense ratio of IWB is 0.08 percentage points higher than VBK’s (0.15% vs. 0.07%).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IWB vs. VBK - Industry Exposure

IWB VBK
Technology 25.33% 27.87%
Industrials 8.88% 13.19%
Energy 2.44% 1.77%
Communication Services 10.83% 3.24%
Utilities 2.36% 0.32%
Healthcare 13.35% 23.24%
Consumer Defensive 5.97% 3.83%
Real Estate 3.34% 7.87%
Financial Services 13.64% 4.05%
Consumer Cyclical 11.85% 12.13%
Basic Materials 2.02% 2.49%

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 Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 27.87%. This is followed by Healthcare and Industrials at 23.24% and 13.19% respectively. Energy (1.77%), Basic Materials (2.49%), and Communication Services (3.24%) only make up 7.50% of the fund’s total assets.

VBK’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Financial Services, Real Estate, Consumer Cyclical, and Industrials stocks at 3.83%, 4.05%, 7.87%, 12.13%, and 13.19%.

IWB is 2.54% less exposed to the Technology sector than VBK (25.33% vs 27.87%). IWB’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 9.59% higher and 9.89% lower respectively (13.64% vs. 4.05% and 13.35% vs. 23.24%). In total, Utilities, Energy, and Real Estate also make up 1.82% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VBK (8.14% vs. 9.96%).

Holdings

IWB - Holdings

IWB Holdings Weight
Apple Inc 5.45%
Microsoft Corp 5.11%
Amazon.com Inc 3.43%
Facebook Inc Class A 2.03%
Alphabet Inc Class A 1.93%
Alphabet Inc Class C 1.82%
Tesla Inc 1.27%
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B 1.24%
NVIDIA Corp 1.11%
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%.

VBK - Holdings

VBK Holdings Weight
Charles River Laboratories International Inc 0.78%
Pool Corp 0.73%
Bio-Techne Corp 0.73%
Avantor Inc 0.73%
PerkinElmer Inc 0.72%
Entegris Inc 0.7%
PTC Inc 0.62%
Fair Isaac Corp 0.57%
Bill.com Holdings Inc Ordinary Shares 0.56%
Avalara Inc 0.55%

VBK’s Top Holdings are Charles River Laboratories International Inc, Pool Corp, Bio-Techne Corp, Avantor Inc, and PerkinElmer Inc at 0.78%, 0.73%, 0.73%, 0.73%, and 0.72%.

Entegris Inc (0.7%), PTC Inc (0.62%), and Fair Isaac Corp (0.57%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Bill.com Holdings Inc Ordinary Shares and Avalara Inc are also represented in the VBK’s holdings at 0.56% and 0.55%.

Risk Analysis

IWB VBK
Mean Return 1.27 1.22
R-squared 99.73 80.56
Std. Deviation 13.87 17.95
Alpha -0.38 -2.81
Beta 1.02 1.18
Sharpe Ratio 1.05 0.78
Treynor Ratio 14.31 11.18

The iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) has a Treynor Ratio of 14.31 with a Mean Return of 1.27 and a Sharpe Ratio of 1.05. Its R-squared is 99.73 while IWB’s Beta is 1.02. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 13.87 and a Alpha of -0.38.

The Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) has a Mean Return of 1.22 with a Beta of 1.18 and a R-squared of 80.56. Its Standard Deviation is 17.95 while VBK’s Treynor Ratio is 11.18. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.78 and a Alpha of -2.81.

IWB’s Mean Return is 0.05 points higher than that of VBK and its R-squared is 19.17 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 13.87, IWB is slightly less volatile than VBK. The Alpha and Beta of IWB are 2.43 points higher and 0.16 points lower than VBK’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

IWB vs. VBK - Annual Returns

Year IWB VBK
2020 20.8% 35.29%
2019 31.26% 32.75%
2018 -4.91% -5.68%
2017 21.53% 21.9%
2016 11.91% 10.74%
2015 0.82% -2.51%
2014 13.08% 4.02%
2013 32.93% 38.18%
2012 16.27% 17.67%
2011 1.36% -1.43%
2010 15.94% 30.87%

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 2013 was the strongest year for VBK, returning 38.18% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VBK in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -5.68%. Most years the Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2012, and 2017, when gains were 10.74%, 17.67%, and 21.9% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IWB vs. VBK - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
IWB $10,000 $42,462 14.64%
VBK $10,000 $48,639 16.53%

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 VBK, the end total would have been $48,639. This equates to a $38,639 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.53%.

IWB’s CAGR is 1.89 percentage points lower than that of VBK and as a result, would have yielded $6,177 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IWB performed worse than VBK by 1.89% annually.


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