VOO vs. VXUS: What’s The Difference?

The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) and the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VOO is a Vanguard Large Blend fund and VXUS is a Vanguard Foreign Large Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between VOO and VXUS? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of VOO is 0.05 percentage points lower than VXUS’s (0.03% vs. 0.08%). VOO also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, VOO has provided higher returns than VXUS over the past ten years.

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

Summary

VOO VXUS
Name Vanguard S&P 500 ETF Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares
Category Large Blend Foreign Large Blend
Issuer Vanguard Vanguard
AUM 753.41B 404.73B
Avg. Return 14.45% 8.41%
Div. Yield 1.34% 2.44%
Expense Ratio 0.03% 0.08%

The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) is a Large Blend fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 753.41B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 14.45% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.34% with an expense ratio of 0.03%.

The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) is a Foreign Large Blend fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 404.73B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 8.41% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.44% with an expense ratio of 0.08%.

VOO’s dividend yield is 1.10% lower than that of VXUS (1.34% vs. 2.44%). Also, VOO yielded on average 6.04% more per year over the past decade (14.45% vs. 8.41%). The expense ratio of VOO is 0.05 percentage points lower than VXUS’s (0.03% vs. 0.08%).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

VOO vs. VXUS - Industry Exposure

VOO VXUS
Technology 24.24% 13.07%
Industrials 8.86% 12.94%
Energy 2.84% 4.55%
Communication Services 11.14% 7.06%
Utilities 2.43% 2.94%
Healthcare 13.1% 9.19%
Consumer Defensive 6.32% 7.83%
Real Estate 2.58% 3.79%
Financial Services 14.2% 17.64%
Consumer Cyclical 12.01% 12.64%
Basic Materials 2.27% 8.37%

The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 24.24%. This is followed by Financial Services and Healthcare at 14.2% and 13.1% respectively. Utilities (2.43%), Real Estate (2.58%), and Energy (2.84%) only make up 7.85% of the fund’s total assets.

VOO’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Communication Services, Consumer Cyclical, and Healthcare stocks at 6.32%, 8.86%, 11.14%, 12.01%, and 13.1%.

The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 17.64%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials at 13.07% and 12.94% respectively. Real Estate (3.79%), Energy (4.55%), and Communication Services (7.06%) only make up 15.40% of the fund’s total assets.

VXUS’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Basic Materials, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, and Industrials stocks at 7.83%, 8.37%, 9.19%, 12.64%, and 12.94%.

VOO is 11.17% more exposed to the Technology sector than VXUS (24.24% vs 13.07%). VOO’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 3.44% lower and 3.91% higher respectively (14.2% vs. 17.64% and 13.1% vs. 9.19%). In total, Utilities, Real Estate, and Energy also make up 3.43% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VXUS (7.85% vs. 11.28%).

Holdings

VOO - Holdings

VOO Holdings Weight
Apple Inc 5.92%
Microsoft Corp 5.62%
Amazon.com Inc 4.06%
Facebook Inc Class A 2.29%
Alphabet Inc Class A 2.02%
Alphabet Inc Class C 1.97%
Tesla Inc 1.44%
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B 1.44%
NVIDIA Corp 1.37%
JPMorgan Chase & Co 1.3%

VOO’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc Class A, and Alphabet Inc Class A at 5.92%, 5.62%, 4.06%, 2.29%, and 2.02%.

Alphabet Inc Class C (1.97%), Tesla Inc (1.44%), and Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (1.44%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. NVIDIA Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are also represented in the VOO’s holdings at 1.37% and 1.3%.

VXUS - Holdings

VXUS Holdings Weight
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd 1.62%
Tencent Holdings Ltd 1.41%
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares 1.26%
Nestle SA 1.1%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 1.05%
ASML Holding NV 0.86%
Roche Holding AG 0.81%
Toyota Motor Corp 0.67%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE 0.61%
Novartis AG 0.6%

VXUS’s Top Holdings are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares, Nestle SA, and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd at 1.62%, 1.41%, 1.26%, 1.1%, and 1.05%.

ASML Holding NV (0.86%), Roche Holding AG (0.81%), and Toyota Motor Corp (0.67%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and Novartis AG are also represented in the VXUS’s holdings at 0.61% and 0.6%.

Performance

Annual Returns

VOO vs. VXUS - Annual Returns

Year VOO VXUS
2020 18.35% 11.32%
2019 31.46% 21.58%
2018 -4.42% -14.42%
2017 21.78% 27.52%
2016 11.93% 4.72%
2015 1.35% -4.28%
2014 13.63% -4.17%
2013 32.33% 15.16%
2012 15.98% 18.22%
2011 2.09% 0.0%
2010 0.0% 0.0%

VOO had its best year in 2013 with an annual return of 32.33%. VOO’s worst year over the past decade yielded -4.42% and occurred in 2018. In most years the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF provided moderate returns such as in 2016, 2014, and 2012 where annual returns amounted to 11.93%, 13.63%, and 15.98% respectively.

The year 2017 was the strongest year for VXUS, returning 27.52% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VXUS in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -14.42%. Most years the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2010, 2016, and 2020, when gains were 0.0%, 4.72%, and 11.32% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

VOO vs. VXUS - Portfolio Growth

Fund Initial Balance Final Balance CAGR
VOO $10,000 $35,826 14.45%
VXUS $10,000 $19,315 8.41%

A $10,000 investment in VOO would have resulted in a final balance of $35,826. This is a profit of $25,826 over 9 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.45%.

With a $10,000 investment in VXUS, the end total would have been $19,315. This equates to a $9,315 profit over 9 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.41%.

VOO’s CAGR is 6.04 percentage points higher than that of VXUS and as a result, would have yielded $16,511 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VOO outperformed VXUS by 6.04% annually.


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