IWF vs. IXUS: What’s The Difference?

The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) and the iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IWF is a iShares Large Growth fund and IXUS is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between IWF and IXUS? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IWF is 0.10 percentage points higher than IXUS’s (0.19% vs. 0.09%). IWF also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, IWF has provided higher returns than IXUS over the past ten years.

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

Summary

IWF IXUS
Name iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF
Category Large Growth Foreign Large Blend
Issuer iShares iShares
AUM 72.16B 29.54B
Avg. Return 17.72% 6.09%
Div. Yield 0.52% 2.13%
Expense Ratio 0.19% 0.09%

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 Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 29.54B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 6.09% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.13% with an expense ratio of 0.09%.

IWF’s dividend yield is 1.61% lower than that of IXUS (0.52% vs. 2.13%). Also, IWF yielded on average 11.64% more per year over the past decade (17.72% vs. 6.09%). The expense ratio of IWF is 0.10 percentage points higher than IXUS’s (0.19% vs. 0.09%).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IWF vs. IXUS - Industry Exposure

IWF IXUS
Technology 39.29% 13.24%
Industrials 6.19% 12.78%
Energy 0.28% 4.39%
Communication Services 12.82% 7.09%
Utilities 0.03% 2.95%
Healthcare 9.23% 9.29%
Consumer Defensive 4.31% 8.19%
Real Estate 1.85% 3.66%
Financial Services 7.36% 17.34%
Consumer Cyclical 17.62% 12.57%
Basic Materials 1.01% 8.5%

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 Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 17.34%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials at 13.24% and 12.78% respectively. Real Estate (3.66%), Energy (4.39%), and Communication Services (7.09%) only make up 15.14% of the fund’s total assets.

IXUS’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Basic Materials, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, and Industrials stocks at 8.19%, 8.5%, 9.29%, 12.57%, and 12.78%.

IWF is 26.05% more exposed to the Technology sector than IXUS (39.29% vs 13.24%). IWF’s exposure to Consumer Cyclical and Communication Services stocks is 5.05% higher and 5.73% higher respectively (17.62% vs. 12.57% and 12.82% vs. 7.09%). In total, Energy, Basic Materials, and Real Estate also make up 13.41% less of the fund’s holdings compared to IXUS (3.14% vs. 16.55%).

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%.

IXUS - Holdings

IXUS Holdings Weight
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd 1.64%
Tencent Holdings Ltd 1.35%
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares 1.34%
Nestle SA 1.1%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 1.06%
ASML Holding NV 0.9%
Roche Holding AG 0.81%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE 0.67%
Novartis AG 0.62%
Toyota Motor Corp 0.59%

IXUS’s Top Holdings are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares, Nestle SA, and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd at 1.64%, 1.35%, 1.34%, 1.1%, and 1.06%.

ASML Holding NV (0.9%), Roche Holding AG (0.81%), and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (0.67%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Novartis AG and Toyota Motor Corp are also represented in the IXUS’s holdings at 0.62% and 0.59%.

Risk Analysis

IWF IXUS
Mean Return 1.48 0
R-squared 92.93 0
Std. Deviation 14.42 0
Alpha 2.16 0
Beta 1.03 0
Sharpe Ratio 1.19 0
Treynor Ratio 17.1 0

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

The iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) has a Alpha of 0 with a Standard Deviation of 0 and a Treynor Ratio of 0. Its Sharpe Ratio is 0 while IXUS’s R-squared is 0. Furthermore, the fund has a Beta of 0 and a Mean Return of 0.

IWF’s Mean Return is 1.48 points higher than that of IXUS and its R-squared is 92.93 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 14.42, IWF is slightly more volatile than IXUS. The Alpha and Beta of IWF are 2.16 points higher and 1.03 points higher than IXUS’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

IWF vs. IXUS - Annual Returns

Year IWF IXUS
2020 38.21% 11.14%
2019 36.08% 21.85%
2018 -1.68% -14.55%
2017 29.96% 28.08%
2016 6.92% 4.66%
2015 5.48% -4.62%
2014 12.84% -3.96%
2013 33.19% 15.85%
2012 15.03% 0.0%
2011 2.47% 0.0%
2010 16.47% 0.0%

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 2017 was the strongest year for IXUS, returning 28.08% on an annual basis. The poorest year for IXUS in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -14.55%. Most years the iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2011, 2010, and 2016, when gains were 0.0%, 0.0%, and 4.66% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IWF vs. IXUS - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
IWF $10,000 $30,582 17.72%
IXUS $10,000 $14,209 6.09%

A $10,000 investment in IWF would have resulted in a final balance of $30,582. This is a profit of $20,582 over 7 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.72%.

With a $10,000 investment in IXUS, the end total would have been $14,209. This equates to a $4,209 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.09%.

IWF’s CAGR is 11.64 percentage points higher than that of IXUS and as a result, would have yielded $16,373 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IWF outperformed IXUS by 11.64% annually.


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