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IXUS vs. XLC: What’s The Difference?

The iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS) and the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. IXUS is a iShares Foreign Large Blend fund and XLC is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Communications fund. So, what’s the difference between IXUS and XLC? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of IXUS is 0.03 percentage points lower than XLC’s (0.09% vs. 0.12%). IXUS also has a higher exposure to the financial services sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, IXUS has provided lower returns than XLC over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

IXUSXLC
NameiShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETFCommunication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund
CategoryForeign Large BlendCommunications
IssueriSharesSPDR State Street Global Advisors
AUM29.54B14.09B
Avg. Return6.09%29.04%
Div. Yield2.13%0.62%
Expense Ratio0.09%0.12%

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 Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) is a Communications fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 14.09B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 29.04% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.62% with an expense ratio of 0.12%.

IXUS’s dividend yield is 1.51% higher than that of XLC (2.13% vs. 0.62%). Also, IXUS yielded on average 22.95% less per year over the past decade (6.09% vs. 29.04%). The expense ratio of IXUS is 0.03 percentage points lower than XLC’s (0.09% vs. 0.12%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IXUS vs. XLC - Industry Exposure

IXUSXLC
Technology13.24%0.0%
Industrials12.78%0.0%
Energy4.39%0.0%
Communication Services7.09%100.0%
Utilities2.95%0.0%
Healthcare9.29%0.0%
Consumer Defensive8.19%0.0%
Real Estate3.66%0.0%
Financial Services17.34%0.0%
Consumer Cyclical12.57%0.0%
Basic Materials8.5%0.0%

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%.

The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) has the most exposure to the Communication Services sector at 100.0%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials 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.

XLC’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Healthcare, Utilities, Energy, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%.

IXUS is 17.34% more exposed to the Financial Services sector than XLC (17.34% vs 0.0%). IXUS’s exposure to Technology and Industrials stocks is 13.24% higher and 12.78% higher respectively (13.24% vs. 0.0% and 12.78% vs. 0.0%). In total, Real Estate, Energy, and Communication Services also make up 84.86% less of the fund’s holdings compared to XLC (15.14% vs. 100.00%).

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%.

XLC - Holdings

XLC HoldingsWeight
Facebook Inc A23.75%
Alphabet Inc A11.49%
Alphabet Inc Class C11.16%
Netflix Inc4.78%
Charter Communications Inc A4.65%
Comcast Corp Class A4.44%
T-Mobile US Inc4.41%
The Walt Disney Co4.39%
AT&T Inc4.35%
Verizon Communications Inc4.33%

XLC’s Top Holdings are Facebook Inc A, Alphabet Inc A, Alphabet Inc Class C, Netflix Inc, and Charter Communications Inc A at 23.75%, 11.49%, 11.16%, 4.78%, and 4.65%.

Comcast Corp Class A (4.44%), T-Mobile US Inc (4.41%), and The Walt Disney Co (4.39%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc are also represented in the XLC’s holdings at 4.35% and 4.33%.

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Risk Analysis

IXUSXLC
Mean Return00
R-squared00
Std. Deviation00
Alpha00
Beta00
Sharpe Ratio00
Treynor Ratio00

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

The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) has a Mean Return of 0 with a Alpha of 0 and a Beta of 0. Its Sharpe Ratio is 0 while XLC’s Treynor Ratio is 0. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 0 and a R-squared of 0.

IXUS’s Mean Return is 0.00 points lower than that of XLC and its R-squared is 0.00 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 0, IXUS is slightly less volatile than XLC. The Alpha and Beta of IXUS are 0.00 points lower and 0.00 points lower than XLC’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

IXUS vs. XLC - Annual Returns

YearIXUSXLC
202011.14%26.85%
201921.85%31.22%
2018-14.55%0.0%
201728.08%0.0%
20164.66%0.0%
2015-4.62%0.0%
2014-3.96%0.0%
201315.85%0.0%
20120.0%0.0%
20110.0%0.0%
20100.0%0.0%

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 2019 was the strongest year for XLC, returning 31.22% on an annual basis. The poorest year for XLC in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of 0.0%. Most years the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund has given investors modest returns, such as in 2014, 2013, and 2012, when gains were 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IXUS vs. XLC - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
IXUS$10,000$13,5426.09%
XLC$10,000$16,64529.04%

A $10,000 investment in IXUS would have resulted in a final balance of $13,542. This is a profit of $3,542 over 2 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.09%.

With a $10,000 investment in XLC, the end total would have been $16,645. This equates to a $6,645 profit over 2 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.04%.

IXUS’s CAGR is 22.95 percentage points lower than that of XLC and as a result, would have yielded $3,103 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IXUS performed worse than XLC by 22.95% annually.


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