Skip to content

XLE vs. ACWI: What’s The Difference?

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) and the iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. XLE is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Equity Energy fund and ACWI is a iShares N/A fund. So, what’s the difference between XLE and ACWI? And which fund is better?

The expense ratio of XLE is 0.20 percentage points lower than ACWI’s (0.12% vs. 0.32%). XLE also has a higher exposure to the energy sector and a higher standard deviation. Overall, XLE has provided lower returns than ACWI over the past 11 years.

In this article, we’ll compare XLE vs. ACWI. We’ll look at annual returns and portfolio growth, as well as at their fund composition and holdings. Moreover, I’ll also discuss XLE’s and ACWI’s industry exposure, risk metrics, and performance 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

XLEACWI
NameEnergy Select Sector SPDR FundiShares MSCI ACWI ETF
CategoryEquity EnergyN/A
IssuerSPDR State Street Global AdvisorsiShares
AUM25.55B16.85B
Avg. Return1.28%10.21%
Div. Yield3.92%1.39%
Expense Ratio0.12%0.32%

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) is a Equity Energy fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 25.55B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 1.28% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 3.92% with an expense ratio of 0.12%.

The iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) is a N/A fund that is issued by iShares. It currently has 16.85B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 10.21% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 1.39% with an expense ratio of 0.32%.

XLE’s dividend yield is 2.53% higher than that of ACWI (3.92% vs. 1.39%). Also, XLE yielded on average 8.93% less per year over the past decade (1.28% vs. 10.21%). The expense ratio of XLE is 0.20 percentage points lower than ACWI’s (0.12% vs. 0.32%).

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

XLE vs. ACWI - Industry Exposure

XLEACWI
Technology0.0%20.41%
Industrials0.0%9.65%
Energy100.0%3.48%
Communication Services0.0%9.87%
Utilities0.0%2.61%
Healthcare0.0%11.74%
Consumer Defensive0.0%7.15%
Real Estate0.0%2.75%
Financial Services0.0%15.58%
Consumer Cyclical0.0%12.01%
Basic Materials0.0%4.73%

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) has the most exposure to the Energy sector at 100.0%. This is followed by Technology and Industrials at 0.0% and 0.0% respectively. Consumer Cyclical (0.0%), Financial Services (0.0%), and Real Estate (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.

XLE’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Healthcare, Utilities, Communication Services, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0%.

The iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 20.41%. This is followed by Financial Services and Consumer Cyclical at 15.58% and 12.01% respectively. Real Estate (2.75%), Energy (3.48%), and Basic Materials (4.73%) only make up 10.96% of the fund’s total assets.

ACWI’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Consumer Defensive, Industrials, Communication Services, Healthcare, and Consumer Cyclical stocks at 7.15%, 9.65%, 9.87%, 11.74%, and 12.01%.

XLE is 96.52% more exposed to the Energy sector than ACWI (100.0% vs 3.48%). XLE’s exposure to Technology and Industrials stocks is 20.41% lower and 9.65% lower respectively (0.0% vs. 20.41% and 0.0% vs. 9.65%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Financial Services, and Real Estate also make up 30.34% less of the fund’s holdings compared to ACWI (0.00% vs. 30.34%).

Holdings

XLE - Holdings

XLE HoldingsWeight
Exxon Mobil Corp23.7%
Chevron Corp20.03%
ConocoPhillips4.64%
EOG Resources Inc4.46%
Schlumberger Ltd4.43%
Marathon Petroleum Corp4.17%
Pioneer Natural Resources Co4.08%
Phillips 664.07%
Kinder Morgan Inc Class P3.85%
Williams Companies Inc3.5%

XLE’s Top Holdings are Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, EOG Resources Inc, and Schlumberger Ltd at 23.7%, 20.03%, 4.64%, 4.46%, and 4.43%.

Marathon Petroleum Corp (4.17%), Pioneer Natural Resources Co (4.08%), and Phillips 66 (4.07%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Kinder Morgan Inc Class P and Williams Companies Inc are also represented in the XLE’s holdings at 3.85% and 3.5%.

ACWI - Holdings

ACWI HoldingsWeight
Apple Inc3.44%
Microsoft Corp2.91%
Amazon.com Inc2.21%
Facebook Inc A1.25%
Alphabet Inc Class C1.12%
Alphabet Inc A1.09%
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd0.79%
Tesla Inc0.78%
NVIDIA Corp0.74%
JPMorgan Chase & Co0.71%

ACWI’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc A, and Alphabet Inc Class C at 3.44%, 2.91%, 2.21%, 1.25%, and 1.12%.

Alphabet Inc A (1.09%), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (0.79%), and Tesla Inc (0.78%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. NVIDIA Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are also represented in the ACWI’s holdings at 0.74% and 0.71%.

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).

Risk Analysis

XLEACWI
Mean Return0.320.89
R-squared61.8499.96
Std. Deviation27.5214.05
Alpha-11.980.15
Beta1.541
Sharpe Ratio0.120.71
Treynor Ratio-0.49.45

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) has a Mean Return of 0.32 with a Sharpe Ratio of 0.12 and a Standard Deviation of 27.52. Its Beta is 1.54 while XLE’s R-squared is 61.84. Furthermore, the fund has a Alpha of -11.98 and a Treynor Ratio of -0.4.

The iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) has a Standard Deviation of 14.05 with a Sharpe Ratio of 0.71 and a Alpha of 0.15. Its Treynor Ratio is 9.45 while ACWI’s R-squared is 99.96. Furthermore, the fund has a Beta of 1 and a Mean Return of 0.89.

XLE’s Mean Return is 0.57 points lower than that of ACWI and its R-squared is 38.12 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 27.52, XLE is slightly more volatile than ACWI. The Alpha and Beta of XLE are 12.13 points lower and 0.54 points higher than ACWI’s Alpha and Beta.

FYI: Another great way to get exposure to the real estate sector is by investing in real estate debt. Groundfloor offers fantastic short-term, high-yield bonds that can add diversification to your portfolio!

Performance

Annual Returns

XLE vs. ACWI - Annual Returns

YearXLEACWI
2020-32.56%16.38%
201911.87%26.7%
2018-18.1%-9.15%
2017-1.01%24.35%
201627.95%8.22%
2015-21.47%-2.39%
2014-8.61%4.64%
201326.16%22.91%
20125.17%15.99%
20112.98%-7.6%
201021.7%12.31%

XLE had its best year in 2016 with an annual return of 27.95%. XLE’s worst year over the past decade yielded -32.56% and occurred in 2020. In most years the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund provided moderate returns such as in 2017, 2011, and 2012 where annual returns amounted to -1.01%, 2.98%, and 5.17% respectively.

The year 2019 was the strongest year for ACWI, returning 26.7% on an annual basis. The poorest year for ACWI in the last ten years was 2018, with a yield of -9.15%. Most years the iShares MSCI ACWI ETF has given investors modest returns, such as in 2016, 2010, and 2012, when gains were 8.22%, 12.31%, and 15.99% respectively.

Portfolio Growth

XLE vs. ACWI - Portfolio Growth

FundInitial BalanceFinal BalanceCAGR
XLE$10,000$9,3391.28%
ACWI$10,000$27,24110.21%

A $10,000 investment in XLE would have resulted in a final balance of $9,339. This is a profit of $-661 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.28%.

With a $10,000 investment in ACWI, the end total would have been $27,241. This equates to a $17,241 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.21%.

XLE’s CAGR is 8.93 percentage points lower than that of ACWI and as a result, would have yielded $17,902 less on a $10,000 investment. Thus, XLE performed worse than ACWI by 8.93% 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.