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IXUS vs. MUB: What’s The Difference?

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

The expense ratio of IXUS is 0.02 percentage points higher than MUB’s (0.09% vs. 0.07%). IXUS also has a high exposure to the financial services sector while MUB is mostly comprised of AA bonds. Overall, IXUS has provided higher returns than MUB over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

IXUSMUB
NameiShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETFiShares National Muni Bond ETF
CategoryForeign Large BlendMuni National Interm
IssueriSharesiShares
AUM29.54B22.71B
Avg. Return6.09%4.04%
Div. Yield2.13%1.96%
Expense Ratio0.09%0.07%

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 iShares National Muni Bond ETF (MUB) is a Muni National Interm fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 22.71B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 4.04% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.96% with an expense ratio of 0.07%.

IXUS’s dividend yield is 0.17% higher than that of MUB (2.13% vs. 1.96%). Also, IXUS yielded on average 2.05% more per year over the past decade (6.09% vs. 4.04%). The expense ratio of IXUS is 0.02 percentage points higher than MUB’s (0.09% vs. 0.07%).

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Fund Composition

Holdings

IXUS - Holdings

IXUS HoldingsWeight
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd1.64%
Tencent Holdings Ltd1.35%
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares1.34%
Nestle SA1.1%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd1.06%
ASML Holding NV0.9%
Roche Holding AG0.81%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE0.67%
Novartis AG0.62%
Toyota Motor Corp0.59%

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%.

MUB - Holdings

MUB Bond SectorsWeight
AA60.38%
AAA18.39%
A15.04%
BBB6.0%
Others0.17%
BB0.02%
Below B0.0%
B0.0%
US Government0.0%

MUB’s Top Bond Sectors are ratings of AA, AAA, A, BBB, and Others at 60.38%, 18.39%, 15.04%, 6.0%, and 0.17%. The fund is less weighted towards BB (0.02%), Below B (0.0%), and B (0.0%) rated bonds.

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Risk Analysis

IXUSMUB
Mean Return00.32
R-squared099
Std. Deviation03.68
Alpha0-0.46
Beta01.01
Sharpe Ratio00.88
Treynor Ratio03.2

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

The iShares National Muni Bond ETF (MUB) has a Mean Return of 0.32 with a Standard Deviation of 3.68 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.88. Its Beta is 1.01 while MUB’s Treynor Ratio is 3.2. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 99 and a Alpha of -0.46.

IXUS’s Mean Return is 0.32 points lower than that of MUB and its R-squared is 99.00 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 0, IXUS is slightly less volatile than MUB. The Alpha and Beta of IXUS are 0.46 points higher and 1.01 points lower than MUB’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

IXUS vs. MUB - Annual Returns

YearIXUSMUB
202011.14%4.87%
201921.85%7.28%
2018-14.55%0.86%
201728.08%4.61%
20164.66%0.06%
2015-4.62%2.99%
2014-3.96%8.61%
201315.85%-3.26%
20120.0%6.14%
20110.0%10.85%
20100.0%1.4%

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 MUB, returning 10.85% on an annual basis. The poorest year for MUB in the last ten years was 2013, with a yield of -3.26%. Most years the iShares National Muni Bond ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2015, 2017, and 2020, when gains were 2.99%, 4.61%, and 4.87% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IXUS vs. MUB - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
IXUS$10,000$14,2096.09%
MUB$10,000$13,2854.04%

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 MUB, the end total would have been $13,285. This equates to a $3,285 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.04%.

IXUS’s CAGR is 2.05 percentage points higher than that of MUB and as a result, would have yielded $924 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IXUS outperformed MUB by 2.05% annually.


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