The Vanguard Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VUG) and the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VUG is a Vanguard Large Growth fund and IEMG is a iShares Diversified Emerging Mkts fund. So, what’s the difference between VUG and IEMG? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of VUG is 0.07 percentage points lower than IEMG’s (0.04% vs. 0.11%). VUG also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, VUG has provided higher returns than IEMG over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare VUG vs. IEMG. We’ll look at industry exposure and annual returns, as well as at their risk metrics and portfolio growth. Moreover, I’ll also discuss VUG’s and IEMG’s holdings, performance, and fund composition and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||Vanguard Growth Index Fund ETF Shares||iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF|
|Category||Large Growth||Diversified Emerging Mkts|
The Vanguard Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VUG) is a Large Growth fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 165.53B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 17.58% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.57% with an expense ratio of 0.04%.
The iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) is a Diversified Emerging Mkts fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 83.68B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 7.41% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.78% with an expense ratio of 0.11%.
VUG’s dividend yield is 1.21% lower than that of IEMG (0.57% vs. 1.78%). Also, VUG yielded on average 10.17% more per year over the past decade (17.58% vs. 7.41%). The expense ratio of VUG is 0.07 percentage points lower than IEMG’s (0.04% vs. 0.11%).
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 Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VUG) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 39.05%. This is followed by Consumer Cyclical and Communication Services at 17.78% and 16.49% respectively. Energy (0.32%), Basic Materials (1.52%), and Consumer Defensive (2.41%) only make up 4.25% of the fund’s total assets.
VUG’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Real Estate, Industrials, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Communication Services stocks at 2.46%, 5.13%, 6.75%, 8.09%, and 16.49%.
The iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 20.44%. This is followed by Financial Services and Consumer Cyclical at 16.9% and 15.67% respectively. Real Estate (2.75%), Energy (4.71%), and Consumer Defensive (5.68%) only make up 13.14% of the fund’s total assets.
IEMG’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Healthcare, Industrials, Basic Materials, Communication Services, and Consumer Cyclical stocks at 5.73%, 5.92%, 8.64%, 11.41%, and 15.67%.
VUG is 18.61% more exposed to the Technology sector than IEMG (39.05% vs 20.44%). VUG’s exposure to Consumer Cyclical and Communication Services stocks is 2.11% higher and 5.08% higher respectively (17.78% vs. 15.67% and 16.49% vs. 11.41%). In total, Energy, Basic Materials, and Consumer Defensive also make up 14.78% less of the fund’s holdings compared to IEMG (4.25% vs. 19.03%).
|Facebook Inc Class A||3.89%|
|Alphabet Inc Class A||3.43%|
|Alphabet Inc Class C||3.22%|
|Visa Inc Class A||1.78%|
|PayPal Holdings Inc||1.6%|
VUG’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc Class A, and Alphabet Inc Class A at 10.13%, 9.52%, 6.88%, 3.89%, and 3.43%.
Alphabet Inc Class C (3.22%), Tesla Inc (2.44%), and NVIDIA Corp (2.21%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Visa Inc Class A and PayPal Holdings Inc are also represented in the VUG’s holdings at 1.78% and 1.6%.
|Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd||5.37%|
|Tencent Holdings Ltd||4.42%|
|Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares||4.38%|
|Samsung Electronics Co Ltd||3.49%|
|Naspers Ltd Class N||0.93%|
|Reliance Industries Ltd Shs Dematerialised||0.83%|
|China Construction Bank Corp Class H||0.77%|
IEMG’s Top Holdings are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, and Meituan at 5.37%, 4.42%, 4.38%, 3.49%, and 1.52%.
Naspers Ltd Class N (0.93%), Vale SA (0.91%), and Reliance Industries Ltd Shs Dematerialised (0.83%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. China Construction Bank Corp Class H and Infosys Ltd are also represented in the IEMG’s holdings at 0.77% and 0.74%.
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 Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VUG) has a Standard Deviation of 14.76 with a R-squared of 92.48 and a Treynor Ratio of 16.13. Its Sharpe Ratio is 1.13 while VUG’s Alpha is 1.81. Furthermore, the fund has a Mean Return of 1.44 and a Beta of 1.04.
The iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) has a Beta of 0 with a Standard Deviation of 0 and a Mean Return of 0. Its Sharpe Ratio is 0 while IEMG’s R-squared is 0. Furthermore, the fund has a Alpha of 0 and a Treynor Ratio of 0.
VUG’s Mean Return is 1.44 points higher than that of IEMG and its R-squared is 92.48 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 14.76, VUG is slightly more volatile than IEMG. The Alpha and Beta of VUG are 1.81 points higher and 1.04 points higher than IEMG’s Alpha and Beta.
BTW: Uncorrelated crypto assets such as Bitcoin can serve as a hedge and mitigate risk. I've allocated around 5% of my portfolio to crypto assets through Gemini - the simplest and cheapest broker I've found! Click here to read more (link to Gemini).
VUG had its best year in 2020 with an annual return of 40.16%. VUG’s worst year over the past decade yielded -3.32% and occurred in 2018. In most years the Vanguard Growth Index Fund ETF Shares provided moderate returns such as in 2014, 2012, and 2010 where annual returns amounted to 13.62%, 17.03%, and 17.11% respectively.
The year 2017 was the strongest year for IEMG, returning 36.78% on an annual basis. The poorest year for IEMG in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -14.69%. Most years the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2012, 2011, and 2010, when gains were 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0% respectively.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in VUG would have resulted in a final balance of $29,615. This is a profit of $19,615 over 7 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.58%.
With a $10,000 investment in IEMG, the end total would have been $15,037. This equates to a $5,037 profit over 7 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.41%.
VUG’s CAGR is 10.17 percentage points higher than that of IEMG and as a result, would have yielded $14,578 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VUG outperformed IEMG by 10.17% 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) 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!
2) 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!).
3) If you are interested in crypto, check out Gemini. I've started allocating a small amount of assets to the growing crypto space and Gemini has just been a breeze to use. Once you register, make sure to also open an Active Trader account to buy crypto at the lowest fees on the market (just 0.03%!).
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out the Recommended Tools section.