VEA vs. HYG: What’s The Difference?

The Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets Index Fund ETF Shares (VEA) and the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VEA is a Vanguard Foreign Large Blend fund and HYG is a iShares High Yield Bond fund. So, what’s the difference between VEA and HYG? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of VEA is 0.43 percentage points lower than HYG’s (0.05% vs. 0.48%). VEA also has a high exposure to the financial services sector while HYG is mostly comprised of BB bonds. Overall, VEA has provided higher returns than HYG over the past ten years.

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

Summary

VEA HYG
Name Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets Index Fund ETF Shares iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF
Category Foreign Large Blend High Yield Bond
Issuer Vanguard iShares
AUM 157.48B 20.03B
Avg. Return 7.05% 6.42%
Div. Yield 2.49% 4.44%
Expense Ratio 0.05% 0.48%

The Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets Index Fund ETF Shares (VEA) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 157.48B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 7.05% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.49% with an expense ratio of 0.05%.

The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) is a High Yield Bond fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 20.03B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 6.42% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 4.44% with an expense ratio of 0.48%.

VEA’s dividend yield is 1.95% lower than that of HYG (2.49% vs. 4.44%). Also, VEA yielded on average 0.63% more per year over the past decade (7.05% vs. 6.42%). The expense ratio of VEA is 0.43 percentage points lower than HYG’s (0.05% vs. 0.48%).

Fund Composition

Holdings

VEA - Holdings

VEA Holdings Weight
Nestle SA 1.5%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 1.4%
ASML Holding NV 1.16%
Roche Holding AG 1.1%
Toyota Motor Corp 0.92%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE 0.84%
Novartis AG 0.82%
Shopify Inc A 0.7%
AstraZeneca PLC 0.67%
SAP SE 0.66%

VEA’s Top Holdings are Nestle SA, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, ASML Holding NV, Roche Holding AG, and Toyota Motor Corp at 1.5%, 1.4%, 1.16%, 1.1%, and 0.92%.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (0.84%), Novartis AG (0.82%), and Shopify Inc A (0.7%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. AstraZeneca PLC and SAP SE are also represented in the VEA’s holdings at 0.67% and 0.66%.

HYG - Holdings

HYG Bond Sectors Weight
BB 56.53%
B 31.27%
Below B 11.4%
BBB 0.61%
AAA 0.28%
A 0.0%
AA 0.0%
US Government 0.0%
Others -0.09%

HYG’s Top Bond Sectors are ratings of BB, B, Below B, BBB, and AAA at 56.53%, 31.27%, 11.4%, 0.61%, and 0.28%. The fund is less weighted towards A (0.0%), AA (0.0%), and US Government (0.0%) rated bonds.

Performance

Annual Returns

VEA vs. HYG - Annual Returns

Year VEA HYG
2020 10.29% 4.12%
2019 22.08% 14.23%
2018 -14.47% -1.93%
2017 26.44% 6.09%
2016 2.51% 13.92%
2015 -0.21% -5.55%
2014 -5.71% 2.0%
2013 22.12% 5.9%
2012 18.6% 13.83%
2011 -12.57% 5.89%
2010 8.47% 12.07%

VEA had its best year in 2017 with an annual return of 26.44%. VEA’s worst year over the past decade yielded -14.47% and occurred in 2018. In most years the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets Index Fund ETF Shares provided moderate returns such as in 2016, 2010, and 2020 where annual returns amounted to 2.51%, 8.47%, and 10.29% respectively.

The year 2019 was the strongest year for HYG, returning 14.23% on an annual basis. The poorest year for HYG in the last ten years was 2015, with a yield of -5.55%. Most years the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2011, 2013, and 2017, when gains were 5.89%, 5.9%, and 6.09% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

VEA vs. HYG - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
VEA $10,000 $19,290 7.05%
HYG $10,000 $19,427 6.42%

A $10,000 investment in VEA would have resulted in a final balance of $19,290. This is a profit of $9,290 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.05%.

With a $10,000 investment in HYG, the end total would have been $19,427. This equates to a $9,427 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.42%.

VEA’s CAGR is 0.63 percentage points higher than that of HYG and as a result, would have yielded $137 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VEA outperformed HYG by 0.63% annually.


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