The Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets Index Fund ETF Shares (VEA) and the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VEA is a Vanguard Foreign Large Blend fund and XLE is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Equity Energy fund. So, what’s the difference between VEA and XLE? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of VEA is 0.07 percentage points lower than XLE’s (0.05% vs. 0.12%). VEA also has a higher exposure to the financial services sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, VEA has provided higher returns than XLE over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare VEA vs. XLE. We’ll look at annual returns and industry exposure, as well as at their risk metrics and performance. Moreover, I’ll also discuss VEA’s and XLE’s portfolio growth, holdings, and fund composition and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets Index Fund ETF Shares||Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund|
|Category||Foreign Large Blend||Equity Energy|
|Issuer||Vanguard||SPDR State Street Global Advisors|
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 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%.
VEA’s dividend yield is 1.43% lower than that of XLE (2.49% vs. 3.92%). Also, VEA yielded on average 5.77% more per year over the past decade (7.05% vs. 1.28%). The expense ratio of VEA is 0.07 percentage points lower than XLE’s (0.05% vs. 0.12%).
The Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets Index Fund ETF Shares (VEA) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 17.39%. This is followed by Industrials and Technology at 15.47% and 11.67% respectively. Real Estate (4.04%), Energy (4.17%), and Communication Services (5.41%) only make up 13.62% of the fund’s total assets.
VEA’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Basic Materials, Consumer Defensive, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, and Technology stocks at 8.24%, 8.61%, 10.6%, 11.31%, and 11.67%.
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%.
VEA is 17.39% more exposed to the Financial Services sector than XLE (17.39% vs 0.0%). VEA’s exposure to Industrials and Technology stocks is 15.47% higher and 11.67% higher respectively (15.47% vs. 0.0% and 11.67% vs. 0.0%). In total, Real Estate, Energy, and Communication Services also make up 86.38% less of the fund’s holdings compared to XLE (13.62% vs. 100.00%).
|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%|
|Shopify Inc A||0.7%|
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%.
|Exxon Mobil Corp||23.7%|
|EOG Resources Inc||4.46%|
|Marathon Petroleum Corp||4.17%|
|Pioneer Natural Resources Co||4.08%|
|Kinder Morgan Inc Class P||3.85%|
|Williams Companies Inc||3.5%|
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%.
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 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.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
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 XLE, the end total would have been $9,339. This equates to a $-661 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.28%.
VEA’s CAGR is 5.77 percentage points higher than that of XLE and as a result, would have yielded $9,951 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VEA outperformed XLE by 5.77% annually.
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