Skip to content

VTI vs. SDY: What’s The Difference?

The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares (VTI) and the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VTI is a Vanguard Large Blend fund and SDY is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Large Value fund. So, what’s the difference between VTI and SDY? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of VTI is 0.32 percentage points lower than SDY’s (0.03% vs. 0.35%). VTI also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, VTI has provided higher returns than SDY over the past ten years.

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

TIP: Keep track of all your investments with Personal Capital. I use this amazing tool to aggregate all investments in one place and make sure I'm on track to financial freedom. Oh, and did I mention it's free? Try it out here (link to Personal Capital).

Summary

VTISDY
NameVanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF SharesSPDR S&P Dividend ETF
CategoryLarge BlendLarge Value
IssuerVanguardSPDR State Street Global Advisors
AUM1.26T19.67B
Avg. Return14.70%12.44%
Div. Yield1.26%2.65%
Expense Ratio0.03%0.35%

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 SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) is a Large Value fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 19.67B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 12.44% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 2.65% with an expense ratio of 0.35%.

VTI’s dividend yield is 1.39% lower than that of SDY (1.26% vs. 2.65%). Also, VTI yielded on average 2.26% more per year over the past decade (14.70% vs. 12.44%). The expense ratio of VTI is 0.32 percentage points lower than SDY’s (0.03% vs. 0.35%).

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).

Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

VTI vs. SDY - Industry Exposure

VTISDY
Technology24.1%2.0%
Industrials9.39%15.89%
Energy2.77%5.95%
Communication Services10.4%4.64%
Utilities2.29%12.14%
Healthcare13.64%7.35%
Consumer Defensive5.77%14.01%
Real Estate3.59%6.57%
Financial Services13.77%16.32%
Consumer Cyclical11.83%8.68%
Basic Materials2.44%6.45%

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 SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 16.32%. This is followed by Industrials and Consumer Defensive at 15.89% and 14.01% respectively. Communication Services (4.64%), Energy (5.95%), and Basic Materials (6.45%) only make up 17.04% of the fund’s total assets.

SDY’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Real Estate, Healthcare, Consumer Cyclical, Utilities, and Consumer Defensive stocks at 6.57%, 7.35%, 8.68%, 12.14%, and 14.01%.

VTI is 22.10% more exposed to the Technology sector than SDY (24.1% vs 2.0%). VTI’s exposure to Financial Services and Healthcare stocks is 2.55% lower and 6.29% higher respectively (13.77% vs. 16.32% and 13.64% vs. 7.35%). In total, Basic Materials, Energy, and Real Estate also make up 10.17% less of the fund’s holdings compared to SDY (8.80% vs. 18.97%).

Holdings

VTI - Holdings

VTI HoldingsWeight
Apple Inc4.9%
Microsoft Corp4.6%
Amazon.com Inc3.33%
Facebook Inc Class A1.88%
Alphabet Inc Class A1.66%
Alphabet Inc Class C1.56%
Tesla Inc1.18%
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B1.09%
NVIDIA Corp1.07%
JPMorgan Chase & Co1.06%

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%.

SDY - Holdings

SDY HoldingsWeight
Exxon Mobil Corp2.81%
AT&T Inc2.5%
South Jersey Industries Inc2.22%
Chevron Corp2.02%
International Business Machines Corp2.0%
AbbVie Inc1.93%
National Retail Properties Inc1.86%
Federal Realty Investment Trust1.77%
Realty Income Corp1.7%
Old Republic International Corp1.65%

SDY’s Top Holdings are Exxon Mobil Corp, AT&T Inc, South Jersey Industries Inc, Chevron Corp, and International Business Machines Corp at 2.81%, 2.5%, 2.22%, 2.02%, and 2.0%.

AbbVie Inc (1.93%), National Retail Properties Inc (1.86%), and Federal Realty Investment Trust (1.77%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Realty Income Corp and Old Republic International Corp are also represented in the SDY’s holdings at 1.7% and 1.65%.

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).

Performance

Annual Returns

VTI vs. SDY - Annual Returns

YearVTISDY
202020.95%1.78%
201930.8%23.37%
2018-5.13%-2.73%
201721.16%15.84%
201612.68%20.17%
20150.4%-0.7%
201412.56%13.8%
201333.51%30.09%
201216.41%11.51%
20111.06%7.28%
201017.26%16.41%

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 2013 was the strongest year for SDY, returning 30.09% on an annual basis. The poorest year for SDY in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -2.73%. Most years the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2012, 2014, and 2017, when gains were 11.51%, 13.8%, and 15.84% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

VTI vs. SDY - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
VTI$10,000$42,64814.70%
SDY$10,000$34,80612.44%

A $10,000 investment in VTI would have resulted in a final balance of $42,648. This is a profit of $32,648 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.70%.

With a $10,000 investment in SDY, the end total would have been $34,806. This equates to a $24,806 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.44%.

VTI’s CAGR is 2.26 percentage points higher than that of SDY and as a result, would have yielded $7,842 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VTI outperformed SDY by 2.26% annually.


Current recommendations:

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.