The Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares (VNQ) and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VNQ is a Vanguard Real Estate fund and XLV is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Health fund. So, what’s the difference between VNQ and XLV? And which fund is better?
VNQ and XLV have the same expense ratio: 0.12%. VNQ also has a higher exposure to the real estate sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, VNQ has provided lower returns than XLV over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare VNQ vs. XLV. We’ll look at annual returns and holdings, as well as at their fund composition and portfolio growth. Moreover, I’ll also discuss VNQ’s and XLV’s performance, industry exposure, and risk metrics and examine how these affect their overall returns.
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!
|Name||Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares||Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund|
|Issuer||Vanguard||SPDR State Street Global Advisors|
The Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares (VNQ) is a Real Estate fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 77.34B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 11.05% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.34% with an expense ratio of 0.12%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) is a Health fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 27.88B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 15.02% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.4% with an expense ratio of 0.12%.
VNQ’s dividend yield is 0.94% higher than that of XLV (2.34% vs. 1.4%). Also, VNQ yielded on average 3.98% less per year over the past decade (11.05% vs. 15.02%). VNQ and XLV have the same expense ratio: 0.12%.
FYI: The best way I've found to invest is through M1 Finance. It's free and you even get an instant line of credit and 100$! Have a look here (link to M1 Finance).
The Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares (VNQ) has the most exposure to the Real Estate 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 Consumer Defensive (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.
VNQ’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%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) has the most exposure to the Healthcare 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.
XLV’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Utilities, Communication Services, Energy, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%.
VNQ is 100.00% more exposed to the Real Estate sector than XLV (100.0% vs 0.0%). VNQ’s exposure to Technology and Industrials stocks is 0.00% lower and 0.00% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 0.0% and 0.0% vs. 0.0%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Consumer Defensive also make up 0.00% less of the fund’s holdings compared to XLV (0.00% vs. 0.00%).
|Vanguard Real Estate II Index||11.62%|
|American Tower Corp||7.24%|
|Crown Castle International Corp||5.01%|
|Simon Property Group Inc||2.52%|
|Digital Realty Trust Inc||2.49%|
|SBA Communications Corp||2.1%|
VNQ’s Top Holdings are Vanguard Real Estate II Index, American Tower Corp, Prologis Inc, Crown Castle International Corp, and Equinix Inc at 11.62%, 7.24%, 5.33%, 5.01%, and 4.3%.
Public Storage (2.85%), Simon Property Group Inc (2.52%), and Digital Realty Trust Inc (2.49%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. SBA Communications Corp and Welltower Inc are also represented in the VNQ’s holdings at 2.1% and 2.09%.
|Johnson & Johnson||9.19%|
|UnitedHealth Group Inc||8.01%|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc||4.2%|
|Merck & Co Inc||4.17%|
|Eli Lilly and Co||3.87%|
XLV’s Top Holdings are Johnson & Johnson, UnitedHealth Group Inc, Pfizer Inc, Abbott Laboratories, and AbbVie Inc at 9.19%, 8.01%, 4.64%, 4.36%, and 4.21%.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (4.2%), Merck & Co Inc (4.17%), and Eli Lilly and Co (3.87%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Danaher Corp and Medtronic PLC are also represented in the XLV’s holdings at 3.61% and 3.54%.
The Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares (VNQ) has a Mean Return of 0.89 with a Treynor Ratio of 11.9 and a R-squared of 44.4. Its Standard Deviation is 16.13 while VNQ’s Sharpe Ratio is 0.62. Furthermore, the fund has a Beta of 0.76 and a Alpha of 2.47.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) has a Beta of 0.7 with a Treynor Ratio of 21.1 and a Sharpe Ratio of 1.13. Its Mean Return is 1.27 while XLV’s Alpha is 7.75. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 12.94 and a R-squared of 58.19.
VNQ’s Mean Return is 0.38 points lower than that of XLV and its R-squared is 13.79 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 16.13, VNQ is slightly more volatile than XLV. The Alpha and Beta of VNQ are 5.28 points lower and 0.06 points higher than XLV’s Alpha and Beta.
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).
VNQ had its best year in 2014 with an annual return of 30.29%. VNQ’s worst year over the past decade yielded -5.95% and occurred in 2018. In most years the Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares provided moderate returns such as in 2017, 2016, and 2011 where annual returns amounted to 4.95%, 8.53%, and 8.62% respectively.
The year 2013 was the strongest year for XLV, returning 41.24% on an annual basis. The poorest year for XLV in the last ten years was 2016, with a yield of -2.83%. Most years the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund has given investors modest returns, such as in 2011, 2020, and 2012, when gains were 12.44%, 13.33%, and 17.56% respectively.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in VNQ would have resulted in a final balance of $29,506. This is a profit of $19,506 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.05%.
With a $10,000 investment in XLV, the end total would have been $44,147. This equates to a $34,147 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.02%.
VNQ’s CAGR is 3.98 percentage points lower than that of XLV and as a result, would have yielded $14,641 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VNQ performed worse than XLV by 3.98% 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.