The Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) and the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VGT is a Vanguard Technology fund and IAU is a iShares N/A fund. So, what’s the difference between VGT and IAU? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of VGT is 0.15 percentage points lower than IAU’s (0.1% vs. 0.25%). VGT also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, VGT has provided higher returns than IAU over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare VGT vs. IAU. We’ll look at risk metrics and annual returns, as well as at their industry exposure and portfolio growth. Moreover, I’ll also discuss VGT’s and IAU’s performance, holdings, and fund composition and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares||iShares Gold Trust|
The Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) is a Technology fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 54.13B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 20.84% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.66% with an expense ratio of 0.1%.
The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) is a N/A fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 28.61B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 6.03% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.0% with an expense ratio of 0.25%.
VGT’s dividend yield is 0.66% higher than that of IAU (0.66% vs. 0.0%). Also, VGT yielded on average 14.80% more per year over the past decade (20.84% vs. 6.03%). The expense ratio of VGT is 0.15 percentage points lower than IAU’s (0.1% vs. 0.25%).
FYI: The best way I've found to invest in ETFs is through M1 Finance. It's free and you even get an instant line of credit! Have a look here (link to M1 Finance).
The Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 88.89%. This is followed by Financial Services and Industrials at 8.83% and 1.67% 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.
VGT’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Healthcare, Utilities, Energy, Communication Services, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.61%, and 1.67%.
The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 0.0%. This is followed by Industrials and Energy 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.
IAU’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Healthcare, Utilities, Communication Services, and Energy stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%.
VGT is 88.89% more exposed to the Technology sector than IAU (88.89% vs 0.0%). VGT’s exposure to Financial Services and Industrials stocks is 8.83% higher and 1.67% higher respectively (8.83% vs. 0.0% and 1.67% vs. 0.0%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Real Estate, and Consumer Defensive also make up 0.00% less of the fund’s holdings compared to IAU (0.00% vs. 0.00%).
|Visa Inc Class A||3.16%|
|PayPal Holdings Inc||2.76%|
|Mastercard Inc Class A||2.76%|
|Cisco Systems Inc||1.9%|
VGT’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, NVIDIA Corp, Visa Inc Class A, and PayPal Holdings Inc at 19.58%, 16.53%, 4.22%, 3.16%, and 2.76%.
Mastercard Inc Class A (2.76%), Adobe Inc (2.39%), and Intel Corp (1.94%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Salesforce.com Inc and Cisco Systems Inc are also represented in the VGT’s holdings at 1.91% and 1.9%.
IAU’s Top Holdings are Gold, N/A, N/A, N/A, and N/A at 100.0%, 0%, 0%, 0%, and 0%.
N/A (0%), N/A (0%), and N/A (0%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. N/A and N/A are also represented in the IAU’s holdings at 0% and 0%.
NOTE: The easiest way to add diversification to your portfolio is to invest in real estate through Fundrise. You can become private real estate investor without the burden of property management! Check it out here (link to Fundrise).
The Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares (VGT) has a R-squared of 74.84 with a Beta of 1.02 and a Treynor Ratio of 20.55. Its Mean Return is 1.76 while VGT’s Alpha is 10.41. Furthermore, the fund has a Sharpe Ratio of 1.23 and a Standard Deviation of 16.61.
The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.13 with a Standard Deviation of 16.97 and a Alpha of 4.16. Its Beta is 0.48 while IAU’s Mean Return is 0.23. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 16.03 and a Treynor Ratio of 1.5.
VGT’s Mean Return is 1.53 points higher than that of IAU and its R-squared is 58.81 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 16.61, VGT is slightly less volatile than IAU. The Alpha and Beta of VGT are 6.25 points higher and 0.54 points higher than IAU’s Alpha and Beta.
FYI: Another great way to get exposure to the real estate sector is by investing in real estate debt. Groundfloor offers fantastic short-term, high-yield bonds that can add diversification to your portfolio!
VGT had its best year in 2019 with an annual return of 48.68%. VGT’s worst year over the past decade yielded 0.52% and occurred in 2011. In most years the Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF Shares provided moderate returns such as in 2016, 2012, and 2014 where annual returns amounted to 13.73%, 14.05%, and 18.01% respectively.
The year 2010 was the strongest year for IAU, returning 27.93% on an annual basis. The poorest year for IAU in the last ten years was 2013, with a yield of -27.96%. Most years the iShares Gold Trust has given investors modest returns, such as in 2012, 2011, and 2016, when gains were 8.37%, 8.66%, and 8.85% respectively.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in VGT would have resulted in a final balance of $72,718. This is a profit of $62,718 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.84%.
With a $10,000 investment in IAU, the end total would have been $16,786. This equates to a $6,786 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.03%.
VGT’s CAGR is 14.80 percentage points higher than that of IAU and as a result, would have yielded $55,932 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VGT outperformed IAU by 14.80% 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.