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VXUS vs. VBK: What’s The Difference?

The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF Shares (VXUS) and the Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. VXUS is a Vanguard Foreign Large Blend fund and VBK is a Vanguard Small Growth fund. So, what’s the difference between VXUS and VBK? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of VXUS is 0.01 percentage points higher than VBK’s (0.08% vs. 0.07%). VXUS also has a higher exposure to the financial services sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, VXUS has provided lower returns than VBK over the past ten years.

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

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Summary

VXUSVBK
NameVanguard Total International Stock Index Fund ETF SharesVanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares
CategoryForeign Large BlendSmall Growth
IssuerVanguardVanguard
AUM404.73B37.89B
Avg. Return8.41%16.53%
Div. Yield2.44%0.45%
Expense Ratio0.08%0.07%

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 Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) is a Small Growth fund that is issued by Vanguard. It currently has 37.89B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 16.53% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.45% with an expense ratio of 0.07%.

VXUS’s dividend yield is 1.99% higher than that of VBK (2.44% vs. 0.45%). Also, VXUS yielded on average 8.12% less per year over the past decade (8.41% vs. 16.53%). The expense ratio of VXUS is 0.01 percentage points higher than VBK’s (0.08% vs. 0.07%).

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Fund Composition

Industry Exposure

VXUS vs. VBK - Industry Exposure

VXUSVBK
Technology13.07%27.87%
Industrials12.94%13.19%
Energy4.55%1.77%
Communication Services7.06%3.24%
Utilities2.94%0.32%
Healthcare9.19%23.24%
Consumer Defensive7.83%3.83%
Real Estate3.79%7.87%
Financial Services17.64%4.05%
Consumer Cyclical12.64%12.13%
Basic Materials8.37%2.49%

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 Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 27.87%. This is followed by Healthcare and Industrials at 23.24% and 13.19% respectively. Energy (1.77%), Basic Materials (2.49%), and Communication Services (3.24%) only make up 7.50% of the fund’s total assets.

VBK’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Financial Services, Real Estate, Consumer Cyclical, and Industrials stocks at 3.83%, 4.05%, 7.87%, 12.13%, and 13.19%.

VXUS is 13.59% more exposed to the Financial Services sector than VBK (17.64% vs 4.05%). VXUS’s exposure to Technology and Industrials stocks is 14.80% lower and 0.25% lower respectively (13.07% vs. 27.87% and 12.94% vs. 13.19%). In total, Real Estate, Energy, and Communication Services also make up 2.52% more of the fund’s holdings compared to VBK (15.40% vs. 12.88%).

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%.

VBK - Holdings

VBK HoldingsWeight
Charles River Laboratories International Inc0.78%
Pool Corp0.73%
Bio-Techne Corp0.73%
Avantor Inc0.73%
PerkinElmer Inc0.72%
Entegris Inc0.7%
PTC Inc0.62%
Fair Isaac Corp0.57%
Bill.com Holdings Inc Ordinary Shares0.56%
Avalara Inc0.55%

VBK’s Top Holdings are Charles River Laboratories International Inc, Pool Corp, Bio-Techne Corp, Avantor Inc, and PerkinElmer Inc at 0.78%, 0.73%, 0.73%, 0.73%, and 0.72%.

Entegris Inc (0.7%), PTC Inc (0.62%), and Fair Isaac Corp (0.57%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Bill.com Holdings Inc Ordinary Shares and Avalara Inc are also represented in the VBK’s holdings at 0.56% and 0.55%.

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Risk Analysis

VXUSVBK
Mean Return0.561.22
R-squared98.3980.56
Std. Deviation15.1217.95
Alpha0.31-2.81
Beta0.991.18
Sharpe Ratio0.40.78
Treynor Ratio5.1411.18

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

The Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) has a Mean Return of 1.22 with a Sharpe Ratio of 0.78 and a Beta of 1.18. Its Alpha is -2.81 while VBK’s Treynor Ratio is 11.18. Furthermore, the fund has a R-squared of 80.56 and a Standard Deviation of 17.95.

VXUS’s Mean Return is 0.66 points lower than that of VBK and its R-squared is 17.83 points higher. With a Standard Deviation of 15.12, VXUS is slightly less volatile than VBK. The Alpha and Beta of VXUS are 3.12 points higher and 0.19 points lower than VBK’s Alpha and Beta.

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Performance

Annual Returns

VXUS vs. VBK - Annual Returns

YearVXUSVBK
202011.32%35.29%
201921.58%32.75%
2018-14.42%-5.68%
201727.52%21.9%
20164.72%10.74%
2015-4.28%-2.51%
2014-4.17%4.02%
201315.16%38.18%
201218.22%17.67%
20110.0%-1.43%
20100.0%30.87%

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 VBK, returning 38.18% on an annual basis. The poorest year for VBK in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -5.68%. Most years the Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2012, and 2017, when gains were 10.74%, 17.67%, and 21.9% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

VXUS vs. VBK - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
VXUS$10,000$19,3158.41%
VBK$10,000$37,70516.53%

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 VBK, the end total would have been $37,705. This equates to a $27,705 profit over 9 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.53%.

VXUS’s CAGR is 8.12 percentage points lower than that of VBK and as a result, would have yielded $18,390 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, VXUS performed worse than VBK by 8.12% annually.


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