IWB vs. VHT: What’s The Difference?

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

The expense ratio of IWB is 0.05 percentage points higher than VHT’s (0.15% vs. 0.1%). IWB also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, IWB has provided lower returns than VHT over the past ten years.

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

Summary

IWB VHT
Name iShares Russell 1000 ETF Vanguard Health Care Index Fund ETF Shares
Category Large Blend Health
Issuer iShares Vanguard
AUM 30.54B 17.94B
Avg. Return 14.64% 16.04%
Div. Yield 1.14% 1.15%
Expense Ratio 0.15% 0.1%

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 Health Care Index Fund ETF Shares (VHT) is a Health fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 17.94B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 16.04% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.15% with an expense ratio of 0.1%.

IWB’s dividend yield is 0.01% lower than that of VHT (1.14% vs. 1.15%). Also, IWB yielded on average 1.40% less per year over the past decade (14.64% vs. 16.04%). The expense ratio of IWB is 0.05 percentage points higher than VHT’s (0.15% vs. 0.1%).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IWB vs. VHT - Industry Exposure

IWB VHT
Technology 25.33% 0.05%
Industrials 8.88% 0.05%
Energy 2.44% 0.0%
Communication Services 10.83% 0.0%
Utilities 2.36% 0.0%
Healthcare 13.35% 99.57%
Consumer Defensive 5.97% 0.0%
Real Estate 3.34% 0.0%
Financial Services 13.64% 0.02%
Consumer Cyclical 11.85% 0.0%
Basic Materials 2.02% 0.31%

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 Health Care Index Fund ETF Shares (VHT) has the most exposure to the Healthcare sector at 99.57%. This is followed by Basic Materials and Technology at 0.31% and 0.05% respectively. Real Estate (0.0%), Consumer Defensive (0.0%), and Utilities (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.

VHT’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Communication Services, Energy, Financial Services, Industrials, and Technology stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.02%, 0.05%, and 0.05%.

IWB is 25.28% more exposed to the Technology sector than VHT (25.33% vs 0.05%). IWB’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 13.62% higher and 86.22% lower respectively (13.64% vs. 0.02% and 13.35% vs. 99.57%). In total, Utilities, Energy, and Real Estate also make up 8.14% more of the fund’s holdings compared to VHT (8.14% vs. 0.00%).

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%.

VHT - Holdings

VHT Holdings Weight
Johnson & Johnson 7.34%
UnitedHealth Group Inc 6.44%
Pfizer Inc 3.7%
Abbott Laboratories 3.48%
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc 3.37%
AbbVie Inc 3.37%
Merck & Co Inc 3.33%
Eli Lilly and Co 3.17%
Danaher Corp 2.91%
Medtronic PLC 2.83%

VHT’s Top Holdings are Johnson & Johnson, UnitedHealth Group Inc, Pfizer Inc, Abbott Laboratories, and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc at 7.34%, 6.44%, 3.7%, 3.48%, and 3.37%.

AbbVie Inc (3.37%), Merck & Co Inc (3.33%), and Eli Lilly and Co (3.17%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Danaher Corp and Medtronic PLC are also represented in the VHT’s holdings at 2.91% and 2.83%.

Risk Analysis

IWB VHT
Mean Return 1.27 1.33
R-squared 99.73 59.86
Std. Deviation 13.87 13.58
Alpha -0.38 7.99
Beta 1.02 0.75
Sharpe Ratio 1.05 1.13
Treynor Ratio 14.31 20.74

The iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) has a R-squared of 99.73 with a Mean Return of 1.27 and a Treynor Ratio of 14.31. Its Sharpe Ratio is 1.05 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 Health Care Index Fund ETF Shares (VHT) has a Treynor Ratio of 20.74 with a Standard Deviation of 13.58 and a R-squared of 59.86. Its Sharpe Ratio is 1.13 while VHT’s Alpha is 7.99. Furthermore, the fund has a Mean Return of 1.33 and a Beta of 0.75.

IWB’s Mean Return is 0.06 points lower than that of VHT and its R-squared is 39.87 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 13.87, IWB is slightly more volatile than VHT. The Alpha and Beta of IWB are 8.37 points lower and 0.27 points higher than VHT’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

IWB vs. VHT - Annual Returns

Year IWB VHT
2020 20.8% 18.21%
2019 31.26% 21.97%
2018 -4.91% 5.55%
2017 21.53% 23.34%
2016 11.91% -3.33%
2015 0.82% 7.22%
2014 13.08% 25.38%
2013 32.93% 42.67%
2012 16.27% 19.1%
2011 1.36% 10.57%
2010 15.94% 5.75%

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 VHT, returning 42.67% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VHT in the last ten years was 2016, with a yield of -3.33%. Most years the Vanguard Health Care Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2011, 2020, and 2012, when gains were 10.57%, 18.21%, and 19.1% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IWB vs. VHT - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
IWB $10,000 $42,462 14.64%
VHT $10,000 $48,464 16.04%

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 VHT, the end total would have been $48,464. This equates to a $38,464 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.04%.

IWB’s CAGR is 1.40 percentage points lower than that of VHT and as a result, would have yielded $6,002 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IWB performed worse than VHT by 1.40% annually.


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