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SPY vs. VXUS: What’s The Difference?

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) and the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. SPY is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Large Blend fund and VXUS is a Vanguard Foreign Large Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between SPY and VXUS? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of SPY is 0.01 percentage points higher than VXUS’s (0.09% vs. 0.08%). SPY also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, SPY has provided higher returns than VXUS over the past ten years.

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

Summary

 SPYVXUS
NameSPDR S&P 500 ETF TrustVanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares
CategoryLarge BlendForeign Large Blend
IssuerSPDR State Street Global AdvisorsVanguard
AUM374.03B404.73B
Avg. Return14.41%8.41%
Div. Yield1.3%2.44%
Expense Ratio0.09%0.08%

If you are also looking for SPY vs. IWR, You can check out all those details.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is a Large Blend fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 374.03B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 14.41% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.3% with an expense ratio of 0.09%.

The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 404.73B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 8.41% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.44% with an expense ratio of 0.08%.

SPY’s dividend yield is 1.14% lower than that of VXUS (1.3% vs. 2.44%). Also, SPY yielded on average 6.00% more per year over the past decade (14.41% vs. 8.41%). The expense ratio of SPY is 0.01 percentage points higher than VXUS’s (0.09% vs. 0.08%).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

SPY vs. VXUS - Industry Exposure

I have a comparison for SPY vs. EFA, You can check out all those details.

 SPYVXUS
Technology24.22%13.07%
Industrials8.86%12.94%
Energy2.86%4.55%
Communication Services11.14%7.06%
Utilities2.45%2.94%
Healthcare13.09%9.19%
Consumer Defensive6.32%7.83%
Real Estate2.57%3.79%
Financial Services14.23%17.64%
Consumer Cyclical12.0%12.64%
Basic Materials2.27%8.37%

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 24.22%. This is followed by Financial Services and Healthcare at 14.23% and 13.09% respectively. Utilities (2.45%), Real Estate (2.57%), and Energy (2.86%) only make up 7.88% of the fund’s total assets.

SPY’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Communication Services, Consumer Cyclical, and Healthcare stocks at 6.32%, 8.86%, 11.14%, 12.0%, and 13.09%.

The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 17.64%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials at 13.07% and 12.94% respectively. Real Estate (3.79%), Energy (4.55%), and Communication Services (7.06%) only make up 15.40% of the fund’s total assets.

VXUS’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Basic Materials, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, and Industrials stocks at 7.83%, 8.37%, 9.19%, 12.64%, and 12.94%.

SPY is 11.15% more exposed to the Technology sector than VXUS (24.22% vs 13.07%). SPY’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 3.41% lower and 3.90% higher respectively (14.23% vs. 17.64% and 13.09% vs. 9.19%). In total, Utilities, Real Estate, and Energy also make up 3.40% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VXUS (7.88% vs. 11.28%).

If you need another SPY comparison I have one SPY vs. DIA right here.

Holdings

SPY - Holdings
SPY HoldingsWeight
Apple Inc5.9%
Microsoft Corp5.6%
Amazon.com Inc4.05%
Facebook Inc A2.29%
Alphabet Inc A2.02%
Alphabet Inc Class C1.96%
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B1.45%
Tesla Inc1.44%
NVIDIA Corp1.37%
JPMorgan Chase & Co1.29%

SPY’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc A, and Alphabet Inc A at 5.9%, 5.6%, 4.05%, 2.29%, and 2.02%.

Alphabet Inc Class C (1.96%), Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (1.45%), and Tesla Inc (1.44%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. NVIDIA Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are also represented in the SPY’s holdings at 1.37% and 1.29%.

VXUS - Holdings
VXUS HoldingsWeight
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd1.62%
Tencent Holdings Ltd1.41%
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares1.26%
Nestle SA1.1%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd1.05%
ASML Holding NV0.86%
Roche Holding AG0.81%
Toyota Motor Corp0.67%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE0.61%
Novartis AG0.6%

VXUS’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 1.62%, 1.41%, 1.26%, 1.1%, and 1.05%.

ASML Holding NV (0.86%), Roche Holding AG (0.81%), and Toyota Motor Corp (0.67%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and Novartis AG are also represented in the VXUS’s holdings at 0.61% and 0.6%.

Risk Analysis

 SPYVXUS
Mean Return1.230.56
R-squared10098.39
Std. Deviation13.5615.12
Alpha-0.090.31
Beta10.99
Sharpe Ratio1.040.4
Treynor Ratio14.125.14

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) has a Treynor Ratio of 14.12 with a Sharpe Ratio of 1.04 and a Alpha of -0.09. Its Beta is 1 while SPY’s Standard Deviation is 13.56. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 100 and a Mean Return of 1.23.

The SPY vs. IUSB is another great set of index’s and ETF to look at.

The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) has a Mean Return of 0.56 with a Treynor Ratio of 5.14 and a R-squared of 98.39. Its Alpha is 0.31 while VXUS’s Standard Deviation is 15.12. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.4 and a Beta of 0.99.

SPY’s Mean Return is 0.67 points higher than that of VXUS and its R-squared is 1.61 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 13.56, SPY is slightly less volatile than VXUS. The Alpha and Beta of SPY are 0.40 points lower and 0.01 points higher than VXUS’s Alpha and Beta.

Performance

Annual Returns

SPY vs. VXUS - Annual Returns
YearSPYVXUS
202018.25%11.32%
201931.29%21.58%
2018-4.45%-14.42%
201721.69%27.52%
201611.8%4.72%
20151.34%-4.28%
201413.53%-4.17%
201332.21%15.16%
201215.84%18.22%
20112.06%0.0%
201014.93%0.0%

SPY had its best year in 2013 with an annual return of 32.21%. SPY’s worst year over the past decade yielded -4.45% and occurred in 2018. In most years the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust provided moderate returns such as in 2014, 2010, and 2012 where annual returns amounted to 13.53%, 14.93%, and 15.84% respectively.

The year 2017 was the strongest year for VXUS, returning 27.52% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VXUS in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -14.42%. Most years the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2010, 2016, and 2020, when gains were 0.0%, 4.72%, and 11.32% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

SPY vs. VXUS - Portfolio Growth
FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
SPY$10,000$35,56114.41%
VXUS$10,000$19,3158.41%

A $10,000 investment in SPY would have resulted in a final balance of $35,561. This is a profit of $25,561 over 9 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.41%.

If you need more comparisons to read try SPY vs. MBB.

With a $10,000 investment in VXUS, the end total would have been $19,315. This equates to a $9,315 profit over 9 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.41%.

SPY’s CAGR is 6.00 percentage points higher than that of VXUS and as a result, would have yielded $16,246 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, SPY outperformed VXUS by 6.00% annually.


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