QUAL vs. MINT: What’s The Difference?

The iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL) and the PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund (MINT) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. QUAL is a iShares Large Blend fund and MINT is a PIMCO Ultrashort Bond fund. So, what’s the difference between QUAL and MINT? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of QUAL is 0.21 percentage points lower than MINT’s (0.15% vs. 0.36%). QUAL also has a high exposure to the technology sector while MINT is mostly comprised of Others bonds. Overall, QUAL has provided higher returns than MINT over the past 7 years.

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

Summary

QUAL MINT
Name iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund
Category Large Blend Ultrashort Bond
Issuer iShares PIMCO
AUM 23.93B 14.02B
Avg. Return 13.42% 1.52%
Div. Yield 1.29% 0.56%
Expense Ratio 0.15% 0.36%

The iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL) is a Large Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 23.93B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 13.42% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.29% with an expense ratio of 0.15%.

The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund (MINT) is a Ultrashort Bond fund that is issued by PIMCO. It currently has 14.02B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 1.52% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.56% with an expense ratio of 0.36%.

QUAL’s dividend yield is 0.73% higher than that of MINT (1.29% vs. 0.56%). Also, QUAL yielded on average 11.90% more per year over the past decade (13.42% vs. 1.52%). The expense ratio of QUAL is 0.21 percentage points lower than MINT’s (0.15% vs. 0.36%).

Fund Composition

Holdings

QUAL - Holdings

QUAL Holdings Weight
Facebook Inc Class A 4.77%
Nike Inc Class B 4.05%
Microsoft Corp 3.54%
Apple Inc 3.52%
Johnson & Johnson 2.99%
BlackRock Inc 2.87%
Target Corp 2.8%
Mastercard Inc Class A 2.72%
NVIDIA Corp 2.71%
Alphabet Inc Class A 2.49%

QUAL’s Top Holdings are Facebook Inc Class A, Nike Inc Class B, Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc, and Johnson & Johnson at 4.77%, 4.05%, 3.54%, 3.52%, and 2.99%.

BlackRock Inc (2.87%), Target Corp (2.8%), and Mastercard Inc Class A (2.72%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. NVIDIA Corp and Alphabet Inc Class A are also represented in the QUAL’s holdings at 2.71% and 2.49%.

MINT - Holdings

MINT Bond Sectors Weight
Others 0.0%
Below B 0.0%
B 0.0%
BB 0.0%
BBB 0.0%
A 0.0%
AA 0.0%
AAA 0.0%
US Government 0.0%

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

Risk Analysis

QUAL MINT
Mean Return 0 0.12
R-squared 0 4.7
Std. Deviation 0 1.08
Alpha 0 0.62
Beta 0 0.08
Sharpe Ratio 0 0.78
Treynor Ratio 0 10.8

The iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL) has a Treynor Ratio of 0 with a Standard Deviation of 0 and a Beta of 0. Its Sharpe Ratio is 0 while QUAL’s R-squared is 0. Furthermore, the fund has a Mean Return of 0 and a Alpha of 0.

The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund (MINT) has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.78 with a Mean Return of 0.12 and a Beta of 0.08. Its R-squared is 4.7 while MINT’s Standard Deviation is 1.08. Furthermore, the fund has a Treynor Ratio of 10.8 and a Alpha of 0.62.

QUAL’s Mean Return is 0.12 points lower than that of MINT and its R-squared is 4.70 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 0, QUAL is slightly less volatile than MINT. The Alpha and Beta of QUAL are 0.62 points lower and 0.08 points lower than MINT’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

QUAL vs. MINT - Annual Returns

Year QUAL MINT
2020 16.96% 1.63%
2019 34.14% 3.3%
2018 -5.77% 1.72%
2017 22.26% 1.9%
2016 9.18% 1.99%
2015 5.56% 0.52%
2014 11.62% 0.53%
2013 0.0% 0.72%
2012 0.0% 2.48%
2011 0.0% 0.42%
2010 0.0% 1.72%

QUAL had its best year in 2019 with an annual return of 34.14%. QUAL’s worst year over the past decade yielded -5.77% and occurred in 2018. In most years the iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2010, 2015, and 2016 where annual returns amounted to 0.0%, 5.56%, and 9.18% respectively.

The year 2019 was the strongest year for MINT, returning 3.3% on an annual basis. The poorest year for MINT in the last ten years was 2011, with a yield of 0.42%. Most years the PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund has given investors modest returns, such as in 2020, 2018, and 2010, when gains were 1.63%, 1.72%, and 1.72% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

QUAL vs. MINT - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
QUAL $10,000 $23,251 13.42%
MINT $10,000 $11,215 1.52%

A $10,000 investment in QUAL would have resulted in a final balance of $23,251. This is a profit of $13,251 over 7 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.42%.

With a $10,000 investment in MINT, the end total would have been $11,215. This equates to a $1,215 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.52%.

QUAL’s CAGR is 11.90 percentage points higher than that of MINT and as a result, would have yielded $12,036 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, QUAL outperformed MINT by 11.90% annually.


Current recommendations:

Over the past years, I have discovered several tools and products that have helped me tremendously on my path to financial freedom:

P.S.: The links below are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you sign up for one of the services. Thank you for your support!

1) Take a look at M1 Finance, my favorite broker. I love how easy it is to invest and maintain my portfolio with them. I can set up automatic transfers, rebalance my portfolio with one click and even borrow up to 35% of my assets at super low interest rates!

2) Fundrise is by far the best way I've found to invest in Real Estate. You can diversify your portfolio by investing in their eREITs or even allocate capital to individual properties (without the hassle of managing tenants!).

3) If you are interested in crypto, check out Gemini. I've started allocating a small amount of assets to the growing crypto space and Gemini has just been a breeze to use. Once you register, make sure to also open an Active Trader account to buy crypto at the lowest fees on the market (just 0.03%!).

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out the Recommended Tools section.

Leave a Reply