IXUS vs. BIV: What’s The Difference?

The iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) and the Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares (BIV) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IXUS is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and BIV is a Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond fund. So, what’s the difference between IXUS and BIV? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IXUS is 0.04 percentage points higher than BIV’s (0.09% vs. 0.05%). IXUS also has a high exposure to the financial services sector while BIV is mostly comprised of AAA bonds. Overall, IXUS has provided higher returns than BIV over the past ten years.

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

Summary

IXUS BIV
Name iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares
Category Foreign Large Blend Intermediate-Term Bond
Issuer iShares Vanguard
AUM 29.54B 39.05B
Avg. Return 6.09% 5.31%
Div. Yield 2.13% 2.06%
Expense Ratio 0.09% 0.05%

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%.

The Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares (BIV) is a Intermediate-Term Bond fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 39.05B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 5.31% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.06% with an expense ratio of 0.05%.

IXUS’s dividend yield is 0.07% higher than that of BIV (2.13% vs. 2.06%). Also, IXUS yielded on average 0.77% more per year over the past decade (6.09% vs. 5.31%). The expense ratio of IXUS is 0.04 percentage points higher than BIV’s (0.09% vs. 0.05%).

Fund Composition

Holdings

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%.

BIV - Holdings

BIV Bond Sectors Weight
AAA 54.51%
BBB 25.24%
A 16.97%
AA 3.1%
Others 0.15%
Below B 0.03%
B 0.0%
BB 0.0%
US Government 0.0%

BIV’s Top Bond Sectors are ratings of AAA, BBB, A, AA, and Others at 54.51%, 25.24%, 16.97%, 3.1%, and 0.15%. The fund is less weighted towards Below B (0.03%), B (0.0%), and BB (0.0%) rated bonds.

Risk Analysis

IXUS BIV
Mean Return 0 0.35
R-squared 0 95.12
Std. Deviation 0 4.09
Alpha 0 -0.07
Beta 0 1.33
Sharpe Ratio 0 0.89
Treynor Ratio 0 2.72

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

The Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares (BIV) has a R-squared of 95.12 with a Treynor Ratio of 2.72 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.89. Its Beta is 1.33 while BIV’s Mean Return is 0.35. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 4.09 and a Alpha of -0.07.

IXUS’s Mean Return is 0.35 points lower than that of BIV and its R-squared is 95.12 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 0, IXUS is slightly less volatile than BIV. The Alpha and Beta of IXUS are 0.07 points higher and 1.33 points lower than BIV’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

IXUS vs. BIV - Annual Returns

Year IXUS BIV
2020 11.14% 9.71%
2019 21.85% 10.19%
2018 -14.55% -0.09%
2017 28.08% 3.8%
2016 4.66% 2.86%
2015 -4.62% 1.23%
2014 -3.96% 7.0%
2013 15.85% -3.44%
2012 0.0% 7.02%
2011 0.0% 10.62%
2010 0.0% 9.55%

IXUS had its best year in 2017 with an annual return of 28.08%. IXUS’s worst year over the past decade yielded -14.55% and occurred in 2018. In most years the iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2011, 2010, and 2016 where annual returns amounted to 0.0%, 0.0%, and 4.66% respectively.

The year 2011 was the strongest year for BIV, returning 10.62% on an annual basis. The poorest year for BIV in the last ten years was 2013, with a yield of -3.44%. Most years the Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2017, 2014, and 2012, when gains were 3.8%, 7.0%, and 7.02% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IXUS vs. BIV - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
IXUS $10,000 $14,209 6.09%
BIV $10,000 $13,968 5.31%

A $10,000 investment in IXUS would have resulted in a final balance of $14,209. This is a profit of $4,209 over 7 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.09%.

With a $10,000 investment in BIV, the end total would have been $13,968. This equates to a $3,968 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.31%.

IXUS’s CAGR is 0.77 percentage points higher than that of BIV and as a result, would have yielded $241 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IXUS outperformed BIV by 0.77% annually.


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