The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) and the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IWF is a iShares Large Growth fund and GLD is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors N/A fund. So, what’s the difference between IWF and GLD? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IWF is 0.21 percentage points lower than GLD’s (0.19% vs. 0.4%). IWF also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, IWF has provided higher returns than GLD over the past ten years.

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

Summary

IWFGLD
NameiShares Russell 1000 Growth ETFSPDR Gold Shares
CategoryLarge GrowthN/A
IssueriSharesSPDR State Street Global Advisors
AUM72.16B59.26B
Avg. Return17.72%5.81%
Div. Yield0.52%0.0%
Expense Ratio0.19%0.4%

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 SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) is a N/A fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 59.26B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 5.81% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.0% with an expense ratio of 0.4%.

IWF’s dividend yield is 0.52% higher than that of GLD (0.52% vs. 0.0%). Also, IWF yielded on average 11.92% more per year over the past decade (17.72% vs. 5.81%). The expense ratio of IWF is 0.21 percentage points lower than GLD’s (0.19% vs. 0.4%).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IWF vs. GLD - Industry Exposure

IWFGLD
Technology39.29%0.0%
Industrials6.19%0.0%
Energy0.28%0.0%
Communication Services12.82%0.0%
Utilities0.03%0.0%
Healthcare9.23%0.0%
Consumer Defensive4.31%0.0%
Real Estate1.85%0.0%
Financial Services7.36%0.0%
Consumer Cyclical17.62%0.0%
Basic Materials1.01%0.0%

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 SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) 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.

GLD’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%.

IWF is 39.29% more exposed to the Technology sector than GLD (39.29% vs 0.0%). IWF’s exposure to Consumer Cyclical and Communication Services stocks is 17.62% higher and 12.82% higher respectively (17.62% vs. 0.0% and 12.82% vs. 0.0%). In total, Energy, Basic Materials, and Real Estate also make up 3.14% more of the fund’s holdings compared to GLD (3.14% vs. 0.00%).

Holdings

IWF - Holdings

IWF HoldingsWeight
Apple Inc10.51%
Microsoft Corp9.85%
Amazon.com Inc6.63%
Facebook Inc Class A3.91%
Alphabet Inc Class A3.2%
Alphabet Inc Class C3.03%
Tesla Inc2.45%
NVIDIA Corp2.14%
Visa Inc Class A1.91%
The Home Depot Inc1.62%

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%.

GLD - Holdings

GLD HoldingsWeight
Gold Trust100.0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%
N/A0%

GLD’s Top Holdings are Gold Trust, 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 GLD’s holdings at 0% and 0%.

Risk Analysis

IWFGLD
Mean Return1.480.21
R-squared92.9316.21
Std. Deviation14.4216.58
Alpha2.163.91
Beta1.030.48
Sharpe Ratio1.190.12
Treynor Ratio17.11.21

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

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) has a Alpha of 3.91 with a Treynor Ratio of 1.21 and a Beta of 0.48. Its R-squared is 16.21 while GLD’s Mean Return is 0.21. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.12 and a Standard Deviation of 16.58.

IWF’s Mean Return is 1.27 points higher than that of GLD and its R-squared is 76.72 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 14.42, IWF is slightly less volatile than GLD. The Alpha and Beta of IWF are 1.75 points lower and 0.55 points higher than GLD’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

IWF vs. GLD - Annual Returns

YearIWFGLD
202038.21%23.68%
201936.08%18.36%
2018-1.68%-1.54%
201729.96%11.41%
20166.92%8.69%
20155.48%-11.78%
201412.84%-0.58%
201333.19%-28.09%
201215.03%5.26%
20112.47%11.2%
201016.47%27.25%

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 2010 was the strongest year for GLD, returning 27.25% on an annual basis. The poorest year for GLD in the last ten years was 2013, with a yield of -28.09%. Most years the SPDR Gold Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2012, 2016, and 2011, when gains were 5.26%, 8.69%, and 11.2% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IWF vs. GLD - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
IWF$10,000$55,92017.72%
GLD$10,000$16,3955.81%

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 GLD, the end total would have been $16,395. This equates to a $6,395 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.81%.

IWF’s CAGR is 11.92 percentage points higher than that of GLD and as a result, would have yielded $39,525 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IWF outperformed GLD by 11.92% annually.

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