The Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund ETF Shares (VB) and the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VB is a Vanguard Small Blend fund and XLF is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Financial fund. So, what’s the difference between VB and XLF? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of VB is 0.07 percentage points lower than XLF’s (0.05% vs. 0.12%). VB also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, VB has provided higher returns than XLF over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare VB vs. XLF. We’ll look at fund composition and performance, as well as at their annual returns and holdings. Moreover, I’ll also discuss VB’s and XLF’s portfolio growth, industry exposure, and risk metrics and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund ETF Shares||Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund|
|Issuer||Vanguard||SPDR State Street Global Advisors|
The Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund ETF Shares (VB) is a Small Blend fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 137.72B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 14.25% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.14% with an expense ratio of 0.05%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) is a Financial fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 40.81B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 12.17% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.57% with an expense ratio of 0.12%.
VB’s dividend yield is 0.43% lower than that of XLF (1.14% vs. 1.57%). Also, VB yielded on average 2.09% more per year over the past decade (14.25% vs. 12.17%). The expense ratio of VB is 0.07 percentage points lower than XLF’s (0.05% vs. 0.12%).
The Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund ETF Shares (VB) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 16.85%. This is followed by Industrials and Healthcare at 16.11% and 14.34% respectively. Communication Services (2.4%), Energy (3.67%), and Consumer Defensive (4.14%) only make up 10.21% of the fund’s total assets.
VB’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Basic Materials, Real Estate, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Healthcare stocks at 4.63%, 9.56%, 13.03%, 13.06%, and 14.34%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 100.0%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials at 0.0% and 0.0% respectively. Consumer Cyclical (0.0%), Real Estate (0.0%), and Consumer Defensive (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.
XLF’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Healthcare, Utilities, Communication Services, Energy, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%.
VB is 16.85% more exposed to the Technology sector than XLF (16.85% vs 0.0%). VB’s exposure to Industrials and Healthcare stocks is 16.11% higher and 14.34% higher respectively (16.11% vs. 0.0% and 14.34% vs. 0.0%). In total, Communication Services, Energy, and Consumer Defensive also make up 10.21% more of the fund’s holdings compared to XLF (10.21% vs. 0.00%).
|Charles River Laboratories International Inc||0.34%|
|Diamondback Energy Inc||0.31%|
|VICI Properties Inc Ordinary Shares||0.3%|
VB’s Top Holdings are Charles River Laboratories International Inc, Pool Corp, Bio-Techne Corp, Avantor Inc, and PerkinElmer Inc at 0.34%, 0.32%, 0.32%, 0.32%, and 0.31%.
Diamondback Energy Inc (0.31%), VICI Properties Inc Ordinary Shares (0.3%), and IDEX Corp (0.3%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Entegris Inc and Novavax Inc are also represented in the VB’s holdings at 0.3% and 0.29%.
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B||12.83%|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co||11.47%|
|Bank of America Corp||7.57%|
|Wells Fargo & Co||4.56%|
|Goldman Sachs Group Inc||3.15%|
|Charles Schwab Corp||2.66%|
|American Express Co||2.62%|
XLF’s Top Holdings are Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co, and Citigroup Inc at 12.83%, 11.47%, 7.57%, 4.56%, and 3.56%.
Morgan Stanley (3.32%), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (3.15%), and BlackRock Inc (3.02%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Charles Schwab Corp and American Express Co are also represented in the XLF’s holdings at 2.66% and 2.62%.
The Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund ETF Shares (VB) has a Treynor Ratio of 10.15 with a Sharpe Ratio of 0.74 and a Beta of 1.21. Its Mean Return is 1.15 while VB’s Alpha is -4.02. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 17.82 and a R-squared of 85.03.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) has a Mean Return of 1.21 with a R-squared of 73.26 and a Treynor Ratio of 11.25. Its Sharpe Ratio is 0.74 while XLF’s Alpha is 2.63. Furthermore, the fund has a Beta of 1.15 and a Standard Deviation of 18.86.
VB’s Mean Return is 0.06 points lower than that of XLF and its R-squared is 11.77 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 17.82, VB is slightly less volatile than XLF. The Alpha and Beta of VB are 6.65 points lower and 0.06 points higher than XLF’s Alpha and Beta.
VB had its best year in 2013 with an annual return of 37.8%. VB’s worst year over the past decade yielded -9.3% and occurred in 2018. In most years the Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund ETF Shares provided moderate returns such as in 2017, 2012, and 2016 where annual returns amounted to 16.24%, 18.22%, and 18.31% respectively.
The year 2013 was the strongest year for XLF, returning 35.37% on an annual basis. The poorest year for XLF in the last ten years was 2011, with a yield of -17.16%. Most years the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund has given investors modest returns, such as in 2010, 2014, and 2017, when gains were 11.97%, 15.02%, and 22.03% respectively.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in VB would have resulted in a final balance of $39,734. This is a profit of $29,734 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.25%.
With a $10,000 investment in XLF, the end total would have been $30,782. This equates to a $20,782 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.17%.
VB’s CAGR is 2.09 percentage points higher than that of XLF and as a result, would have yielded $8,952 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VB outperformed XLF by 2.09% annually.
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)Personal Capital is simply the best tool out there to track your net worth and plan for financial freedom. Just their retirement planner alone has become an invaluable tool to keep myself on track financially. Try it out, it's free!
2) 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!
3) 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!).
4) Groundfloor is another great way to get exposure to the real estate sector by investing in short-term, high-yield real estate debt. Current returns are >10% and you can get started with just $10.
5) If you are interested in startup investing, check out Mainvest. I've started allocating a small amount of assets to invest in and support small businesses. Return targets are between 10-25% and you can start with just $100!
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out the Recommended Tools section.