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VXUS vs. DIA: What’s The Difference?

The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VXUS is a Vanguard Foreign Large Blend fund and DIA is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Large Value fund. So, what’s the difference between VXUS and DIA? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of VXUS is 0.08 percentage points lower than DIA’s (0.08% vs. 0.16%). VXUS also has a lower exposure to the financial services sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, VXUS has provided lower returns than DIA over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

VXUSDIA
NameVanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF SharesSPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust
CategoryForeign Large BlendLarge Value
IssuerVanguardSPDR State Street Global Advisors
AUM404.73B30.46B
Avg. Return8.41%13.35%
Div. Yield2.44%1.61%
Expense Ratio0.08%0.16%

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%.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA) is a Large Value fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 30.46B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 13.35% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.61% with an expense ratio of 0.16%.

VXUS’s dividend yield is 0.83% higher than that of DIA (2.44% vs. 1.61%). Also, VXUS yielded on average 4.95% less per year over the past decade (8.41% vs. 13.35%). The expense ratio of VXUS is 0.08 percentage points lower than DIA’s (0.08% vs. 0.16%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

VXUS vs. DIA - Industry Exposure

VXUSDIA
Technology13.07%17.32%
Industrials12.94%16.7%
Energy4.55%2.0%
Communication Services7.06%4.42%
Utilities2.94%0.0%
Healthcare9.19%17.92%
Consumer Defensive7.83%6.3%
Real Estate3.79%0.0%
Financial Services17.64%20.68%
Consumer Cyclical12.64%13.44%
Basic Materials8.37%1.21%

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%.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA) has the most exposure to the Financial Services sector at 20.68%. This is followed by Healthcare and Technology at 17.92% and 17.32% respectively. Utilities (0.0%), Basic Materials (1.21%), and Energy (2.0%) only make up 3.21% of the fund’s total assets.

DIA’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Communication Services, Consumer Defensive, Consumer Cyclical, Industrials, and Technology stocks at 4.42%, 6.3%, 13.44%, 16.7%, and 17.32%.

VXUS is 3.04% less exposed to the Financial Services sector than DIA (17.64% vs 20.68%). VXUS’s exposure to Technology and Industrials stocks is 4.25% lower and 3.76% lower respectively (13.07% vs. 17.32% and 12.94% vs. 16.7%). In total, Real Estate, Energy, and Communication Services also make up 8.98% more of the fund’s holdings compared to DIA (15.40% vs. 6.42%).

Holdings

VXUS - Holdings

VXUS HoldingsWeight
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd1.62%
Tencent Holdings Ltd1.41%
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Ordinary Shares1.26%
Nestle SA1.1%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd1.05%
ASML Holding NV0.86%
Roche Holding AG0.81%
Toyota Motor Corp0.67%
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE0.61%
Novartis AG0.6%

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%.

DIA - Holdings

DIA HoldingsWeight
UnitedHealth Group Inc7.63%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc7.23%
The Home Depot Inc6.07%
Microsoft Corp5.16%
Salesforce.com Inc4.65%
Amgen Inc4.64%
Boeing Co4.56%
Visa Inc Class A4.45%
McDonald’s Corp4.4%
Honeywell International Inc4.18%

DIA’s Top Holdings are UnitedHealth Group Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, The Home Depot Inc, Microsoft Corp, and Salesforce.com Inc at 7.63%, 7.23%, 6.07%, 5.16%, and 4.65%.

Amgen Inc (4.64%), Boeing Co (4.56%), and Visa Inc Class A (4.45%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. McDonald’s Corp and Honeywell International Inc are also represented in the DIA’s holdings at 4.4% and 4.18%.

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Risk Analysis

VXUSDIA
Mean Return0.561.13
R-squared98.3993.31
Std. Deviation15.1213.68
Alpha0.31-0.94
Beta0.990.97
Sharpe Ratio0.40.94
Treynor Ratio5.1413.07

The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) has a R-squared of 98.39 with a Sharpe Ratio of 0.4 and a Standard Deviation of 15.12. Its Beta is 0.99 while VXUS’s Mean Return is 0.56. Furthermore, the fund has a Alpha of 0.31 and a Treynor Ratio of 5.14.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA) has a Sharpe Ratio of 0.94 with a Mean Return of 1.13 and a Treynor Ratio of 13.07. Its Beta is 0.97 while DIA’s Standard Deviation is 13.68. Furthermore, the fund has a Alpha of -0.94 and a R-squared of 93.31.

VXUS’s Mean Return is 0.57 points lower than that of DIA and its R-squared is 5.08 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 15.12, VXUS is slightly more volatile than DIA. The Alpha and Beta of VXUS are 1.25 points higher and 0.02 points higher than DIA’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

VXUS vs. DIA - Annual Returns

YearVXUSDIA
202011.32%9.63%
201921.58%25.09%
2018-14.42%-3.6%
201727.52%27.97%
20164.72%16.28%
2015-4.28%0.1%
2014-4.17%9.88%
201315.16%29.41%
201218.22%10.04%
20110.0%8.21%
20100.0%13.87%

VXUS had its best year in 2017 with an annual return of 27.52%. VXUS’s worst year over the past decade yielded -14.42% and occurred in 2018. In most years the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares provided moderate returns such as in 2010, 2016, and 2020 where annual returns amounted to 0.0%, 4.72%, and 11.32% respectively.

The year 2013 was the strongest year for DIA, returning 29.41% on an annual basis. The poorest year for DIA in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -3.6%. Most years the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust has given investors modest returns, such as in 2014, 2012, and 2010, when gains were 9.88%, 10.04%, and 13.87% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

VXUS vs. DIA - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
VXUS$10,000$19,3158.41%
DIA$10,000$30,81113.35%

A $10,000 investment in VXUS would have resulted in a final balance of $19,315. This is a profit of $9,315 over 9 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.41%.

With a $10,000 investment in DIA, the end total would have been $30,811. This equates to a $20,811 profit over 9 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.35%.

VXUS’s CAGR is 4.95 percentage points lower than that of DIA and as a result, would have yielded $11,496 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VXUS performed worse than DIA by 4.95% annually.


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