The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares (VTI) and the iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VTI is a Vanguard Large Blend fund and QUAL is a iShares Large Blend fund. So, what’s the difference between VTI and QUAL? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of VTI is 0.12 percentage points lower than QUAL’s (0.03% vs. 0.15%). VTI also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, VTI has provided higher returns than QUAL over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare VTI vs. QUAL. We’ll look at annual returns and performance, as well as at their portfolio growth and holdings. Moreover, I’ll also discuss VTI’s and QUAL’s risk metrics, fund composition, and industry exposure and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares||iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF|
|Category||Large Blend||Large Blend|
The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares (VTI) is a Large Blend fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 1.26T total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 14.70% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.26% with an expense ratio of 0.03%.
The iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL) is a Large Blend fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 23.93B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 13.42% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.29% with an expense ratio of 0.15%.
VTI’s dividend yield is 0.03% lower than that of QUAL (1.26% vs. 1.29%). Also, VTI yielded on average 1.27% more per year over the past decade (14.70% vs. 13.42%). The expense ratio of VTI is 0.12 percentage points lower than QUAL’s (0.03% vs. 0.15%).
The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares (VTI) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 24.1%. This is followed by Financial Services and Healthcare at 13.77% and 13.64% respectively. Basic Materials (2.44%), Energy (2.77%), and Real Estate (3.59%) only make up 8.80% of the fund’s total assets.
VTI’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Communication Services, Consumer Cyclical, and Healthcare stocks at 5.77%, 9.39%, 10.4%, 11.83%, and 13.64%.
The iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 22.52%. This is followed by Financial Services and Healthcare at 15.87% and 13.22% respectively. Basic Materials (2.35%), Utilities (2.41%), and Real Estate (2.72%) only make up 7.48% of the fund’s total assets.
QUAL’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Consumer Cyclical, Communication Services, and Healthcare stocks at 8.57%, 9.22%, 9.43%, 11.44%, and 13.22%.
VTI is 1.58% more exposed to the Technology sector than QUAL (24.1% vs 22.52%). VTI’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 2.10% lower and 0.42% higher respectively (13.77% vs. 15.87% and 13.64% vs. 13.22%). In total, Basic Materials, Energy, and Real Estate also make up 1.49% more of the fund’s holdings compared to QUAL (8.80% vs. 7.31%).
|Facebook Inc Class A||1.88%|
|Alphabet Inc Class A||1.66%|
|Alphabet Inc Class C||1.56%|
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B||1.09%|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co||1.06%|
VTI’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc Class A, and Alphabet Inc Class A at 4.9%, 4.6%, 3.33%, 1.88%, and 1.66%.
Alphabet Inc Class C (1.56%), Tesla Inc (1.18%), and Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (1.09%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. NVIDIA Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are also represented in the VTI’s holdings at 1.07% and 1.06%.
|Facebook Inc Class A||4.77%|
|Nike Inc Class B||4.05%|
|Johnson & Johnson||2.99%|
|Mastercard Inc Class A||2.72%|
|Alphabet Inc Class A||2.49%|
QUAL’s Top Holdings are Facebook Inc Class A, Nike Inc Class B, Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc, and Johnson & Johnson at 4.77%, 4.05%, 3.54%, 3.52%, and 2.99%.
BlackRock Inc (2.87%), Target Corp (2.8%), and Mastercard Inc Class A (2.72%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. NVIDIA Corp and Alphabet Inc Class A are also represented in the QUAL’s holdings at 2.71% and 2.49%.
VTI had its best year in 2013 with an annual return of 33.51%. VTI’s worst year over the past decade yielded -5.13% and occurred in 2018. In most years the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares provided moderate returns such as in 2016, 2012, and 2010 where annual returns amounted to 12.68%, 16.41%, and 17.26% respectively.
The year 2019 was the strongest year for QUAL, returning 34.14% on an annual basis. The poorest year for QUAL in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -5.77%. Most years the iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2010, 2015, and 2016, when gains were 0.0%, 5.56%, and 9.18% respectively.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in VTI would have resulted in a final balance of $23,156. This is a profit of $13,156 over 7 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.70%.
With a $10,000 investment in QUAL, the end total would have been $23,251. This equates to a $13,251 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.42%.
VTI’s CAGR is 1.27 percentage points higher than that of QUAL and as a result, would have yielded $95 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VTI outperformed QUAL by 1.27% annually.
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