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IXUS vs. XLE: What’s The Difference?

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

The expense ratio of IXUS is 0.03 percentage points lower than XLE’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 higher returns than XLE over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

IXUSXLE
NameiShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETFEnergy Select Sector SPDR Fund
CategoryForeign Large BlendEquity Energy
IssueriSharesSPDR State Street Global Advisors
AUM29.54B25.55B
Avg. Return6.09%1.28%
Div. Yield2.13%3.92%
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 Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) is a Equity Energy fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 25.55B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 1.28% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 3.92% with an expense ratio of 0.12%.

IXUS’s dividend yield is 1.79% lower than that of XLE (2.13% vs. 3.92%). Also, IXUS yielded on average 4.81% more per year over the past decade (6.09% vs. 1.28%). The expense ratio of IXUS is 0.03 percentage points lower than XLE’s (0.09% vs. 0.12%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

IXUS vs. XLE - Industry Exposure

IXUSXLE
Technology13.24%0.0%
Industrials12.78%0.0%
Energy4.39%100.0%
Communication Services7.09%0.0%
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 Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) has the most exposure to the Energy 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.

XLE’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Healthcare, Utilities, Communication Services, 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 XLE (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 XLE (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%.

XLE - Holdings

XLE HoldingsWeight
Exxon Mobil Corp23.7%
Chevron Corp20.03%
ConocoPhillips4.64%
EOG Resources Inc4.46%
Schlumberger Ltd4.43%
Marathon Petroleum Corp4.17%
Pioneer Natural Resources Co4.08%
Phillips 664.07%
Kinder Morgan Inc Class P3.85%
Williams Companies Inc3.5%

XLE’s Top Holdings are Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, EOG Resources Inc, and Schlumberger Ltd at 23.7%, 20.03%, 4.64%, 4.46%, and 4.43%.

Marathon Petroleum Corp (4.17%), Pioneer Natural Resources Co (4.08%), and Phillips 66 (4.07%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Kinder Morgan Inc Class P and Williams Companies Inc are also represented in the XLE’s holdings at 3.85% and 3.5%.

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Risk Analysis

IXUSXLE
Mean Return00.32
R-squared061.84
Std. Deviation027.52
Alpha0-11.98
Beta01.54
Sharpe Ratio00.12
Treynor Ratio0-0.4

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

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) has a Mean Return of 0.32 with a Standard Deviation of 27.52 and a R-squared of 61.84. Its Treynor Ratio is -0.4 while XLE’s Sharpe Ratio is 0.12. Furthermore, the fund has a Beta of 1.54 and a Alpha of -11.98.

IXUS’s Mean Return is 0.32 points lower than that of XLE and its R-squared is 61.84 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 0, IXUS is slightly less volatile than XLE. The Alpha and Beta of IXUS are 11.98 points higher and 1.54 points lower than XLE’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

IXUS vs. XLE - Annual Returns

YearIXUSXLE
202011.14%-32.56%
201921.85%11.87%
2018-14.55%-18.1%
201728.08%-1.01%
20164.66%27.95%
2015-4.62%-21.47%
2014-3.96%-8.61%
201315.85%26.16%
20120.0%5.17%
20110.0%2.98%
20100.0%21.7%

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 2016 was the strongest year for XLE, returning 27.95% on an annual basis. The poorest year for XLE in the last ten years was 2020, with a yield of -32.56%. Most years the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund has given investors modest returns, such as in 2017, 2011, and 2012, when gains were -1.01%, 2.98%, and 5.17% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

IXUS vs. XLE - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
IXUS$10,000$14,2096.09%
XLE$10,000$5,6161.28%

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 XLE, the end total would have been $5,616. This equates to a $-4,384 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.28%.

IXUS’s CAGR is 4.81 percentage points higher than that of XLE and as a result, would have yielded $8,593 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, IXUS outperformed XLE by 4.81% annually.


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