IWF vs. ACWI: What’s The Difference?

The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) and the iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IWF is a iShares Large Growth fund and ACWI is a iShares N/A fund. So, what’s the difference between IWF and ACWI? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IWF is 0.13 percentage points lower than ACWI’s (0.19% vs. 0.32%). IWF also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, IWF has provided higher returns than ACWI over the past ten years.

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

Summary

IWF ACWI
Name iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF iShares MSCI ACWI ETF
Category Large Growth N/A
Issuer iShares iShares
AUM 72.16B 16.85B
Avg. Return 17.72% 10.21%
Div. Yield 0.52% 1.39%
Expense Ratio 0.19% 0.32%

The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) is a Large Growth fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 72.16B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 17.72% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.52% with an expense ratio of 0.19%.

The iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) is a N/A fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 16.85B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 10.21% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.39% with an expense ratio of 0.32%.

IWF’s dividend yield is 0.87% lower than that of ACWI (0.52% vs. 1.39%). Also, IWF yielded on average 7.51% more per year over the past decade (17.72% vs. 10.21%). The expense ratio of IWF is 0.13 percentage points lower than ACWI’s (0.19% vs. 0.32%).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IWF vs. ACWI - Industry Exposure

IWF ACWI
Technology 39.29% 20.41%
Industrials 6.19% 9.65%
Energy 0.28% 3.48%
Communication Services 12.82% 9.87%
Utilities 0.03% 2.61%
Healthcare 9.23% 11.74%
Consumer Defensive 4.31% 7.15%
Real Estate 1.85% 2.75%
Financial Services 7.36% 15.58%
Consumer Cyclical 17.62% 12.01%
Basic Materials 1.01% 4.73%

The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 39.29%. This is followed by Consumer Cyclical and Communication Services at 17.62% and 12.82% respectively. Energy (0.28%), Basic Materials (1.01%), and Real Estate (1.85%) only make up 3.14% of the fund’s total assets.

IWF’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Communication Services stocks at 4.31%, 6.19%, 7.36%, 9.23%, and 12.82%.

The iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 20.41%. This is followed by Financial Services and Consumer Cyclical at 15.58% and 12.01% respectively. Real Estate (2.75%), Energy (3.48%), and Basic Materials (4.73%) only make up 10.96% of the fund’s total assets.

ACWI’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Communication Services, Healthcare, and Consumer Cyclical stocks at 7.15%, 9.65%, 9.87%, 11.74%, and 12.01%.

IWF is 18.88% more exposed to the Technology sector than ACWI (39.29% vs 20.41%). IWF’s exposure to Consumer Cyclical and Communication Services stocks is 5.61% higher and 2.95% higher respectively (17.62% vs. 12.01% and 12.82% vs. 9.87%). In total, Energy, Basic Materials, and Real Estate also make up 7.82% less of the fund’s holdings compared to ACWI (3.14% vs. 10.96%).

Holdings

IWF - Holdings

IWF Holdings Weight
Apple Inc 10.51%
Microsoft Corp 9.85%
Amazon.com Inc 6.63%
Facebook Inc Class A 3.91%
Alphabet Inc Class A 3.2%
Alphabet Inc Class C 3.03%
Tesla Inc 2.45%
NVIDIA Corp 2.14%
Visa Inc Class A 1.91%
The Home Depot Inc 1.62%

IWF’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc Class A, and Alphabet Inc Class A at 10.51%, 9.85%, 6.63%, 3.91%, and 3.2%.

Alphabet Inc Class C (3.03%), Tesla Inc (2.45%), and NVIDIA Corp (2.14%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Visa Inc Class A and The Home Depot Inc are also represented in the IWF’s holdings at 1.91% and 1.62%.

ACWI - Holdings

ACWI Holdings Weight
Apple Inc 3.44%
Microsoft Corp 2.91%
Amazon.com Inc 2.21%
Facebook Inc A 1.25%
Alphabet Inc Class C 1.12%
Alphabet Inc A 1.09%
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd 0.79%
Tesla Inc 0.78%
NVIDIA Corp 0.74%
JPMorgan Chase & Co 0.71%

ACWI’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc A, and Alphabet Inc Class C at 3.44%, 2.91%, 2.21%, 1.25%, and 1.12%.

Alphabet Inc A (1.09%), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (0.79%), and Tesla Inc (0.78%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. NVIDIA Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are also represented in the ACWI’s holdings at 0.74% and 0.71%.

Risk Analysis

IWF ACWI
Mean Return 1.48 0.89
R-squared 92.93 99.96
Std. Deviation 14.42 14.05
Alpha 2.16 0.15
Beta 1.03 1
Sharpe Ratio 1.19 0.71
Treynor Ratio 17.1 9.45

The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) has a Alpha of 2.16 with a R-squared of 92.93 and a Beta of 1.03. Its Treynor Ratio is 17.1 while IWF’s Sharpe Ratio is 1.19. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 14.42 and a Mean Return of 1.48.

The iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) has a Mean Return of 0.89 with a Treynor Ratio of 9.45 and a R-squared of 99.96. Its Alpha is 0.15 while ACWI’s Standard Deviation is 14.05. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.71 and a Beta of 1.

IWF’s Mean Return is 0.59 points higher than that of ACWI and its R-squared is 7.03 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 14.42, IWF is slightly more volatile than ACWI. The Alpha and Beta of IWF are 2.01 points higher and 0.03 points higher than ACWI’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

IWF vs. ACWI - Annual Returns

Year IWF ACWI
2020 38.21% 16.38%
2019 36.08% 26.7%
2018 -1.68% -9.15%
2017 29.96% 24.35%
2016 6.92% 8.22%
2015 5.48% -2.39%
2014 12.84% 4.64%
2013 33.19% 22.91%
2012 15.03% 15.99%
2011 2.47% -7.6%
2010 16.47% 12.31%

IWF had its best year in 2020 with an annual return of 38.21%. IWF’s worst year over the past decade yielded -1.68% and occurred in 2018. In most years the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2014, 2012, and 2010 where annual returns amounted to 12.84%, 15.03%, and 16.47% respectively.

The year 2019 was the strongest year for ACWI, returning 26.7% on an annual basis. The poorest year for ACWI in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -9.15%. Most years the iShares MSCI ACWI ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2010, and 2012, when gains were 8.22%, 12.31%, and 15.99% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IWF vs. ACWI - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
IWF $10,000 $55,920 17.72%
ACWI $10,000 $27,241 10.21%

A $10,000 investment in IWF would have resulted in a final balance of $55,920. This is a profit of $45,920 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.72%.

With a $10,000 investment in ACWI, the end total would have been $27,241. This equates to a $17,241 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.21%.

IWF’s CAGR is 7.51 percentage points higher than that of ACWI and as a result, would have yielded $28,679 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IWF outperformed ACWI by 7.51% annually.


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