The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) and the Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) are both among the Top 100 ETFs. XLK is a SPDR State Street Global Advisors Technology fund and VBK is a Vanguard Small Growth fund. So, what’s the difference between XLK and VBK? And which fund is better?
The expense ratio of XLK is 0.05 percentage points higher than VBK’s (0.12% vs. 0.07%). XLK also has a higher exposure to the technology sector and a lower standard deviation. Overall, XLK has provided higher returns than VBK over the past ten years.
In this article, we’ll compare XLK vs. VBK. We’ll look at fund composition and annual returns, as well as at their portfolio growth and holdings. Moreover, I’ll also discuss XLK’s and VBK’s performance, risk metrics, and industry exposure and examine how these affect their overall returns.
|Name||Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund||Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares|
|Issuer||SPDR State Street Global Advisors||Vanguard|
The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) is a Technology fund that is issued by SPDR State Street Global Advisors. It currently has 42.3B total assets under management and has yielded an average annual return of 20.02% over the past 10 years. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.73% with an expense ratio of 0.12%.
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%.
XLK’s dividend yield is 0.28% higher than that of VBK (0.73% vs. 0.45%). Also, XLK yielded on average 3.50% more per year over the past decade (20.02% vs. 16.53%). The expense ratio of XLK is 0.05 percentage points higher than VBK’s (0.12% vs. 0.07%).
The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) has the most exposure to the Technology sector at 87.54%. This is followed by Financial Services and Industrials at 10.71% and 1.75% respectively. Consumer Cyclical (0.0%), Real Estate (0.0%), and Consumer Defensive (0.0%) only make up 0.00% of the fund’s total assets.
XLK’s mid-section with moderate exposure is comprised of Healthcare, Utilities, Communication Services, Energy, and Industrials stocks at 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%, and 1.75%.
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%.
XLK is 59.67% more exposed to the Technology sector than VBK (87.54% vs 27.87%). XLK’s exposure to Financial Services and Industrials stocks is 6.66% higher and 11.44% lower respectively (10.71% vs. 4.05% and 1.75% vs. 13.19%). In total, Consumer Cyclical, Real Estate, and Consumer Defensive also make up 23.83% less of the fund’s holdings compared to VBK (0.00% vs. 23.83%).
|Visa Inc Class A||3.95%|
|PayPal Holdings Inc||3.42%|
|Mastercard Inc A||3.19%|
|Cisco Systems Inc||2.23%|
XLK’s Top Holdings are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, NVIDIA Corp, Visa Inc Class A, and PayPal Holdings Inc at 21.45%, 20.37%, 4.98%, 3.95%, and 3.42%.
Mastercard Inc A (3.19%), Adobe Inc (2.8%), and Salesforce.com Inc (2.26%) have a slightly smaller but still significant weight. Intel Corp and Cisco Systems Inc are also represented in the XLK’s holdings at 2.26% and 2.23%.
|Charles River Laboratories International Inc||0.78%|
|Fair Isaac Corp||0.57%|
|Bill.com Holdings Inc Ordinary Shares||0.56%|
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%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) has a R-squared of 73.56 with a Treynor Ratio of 21.44 and a Alpha of 10.43. Its Sharpe Ratio is 1.27 while XLK’s Mean Return is 1.7. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 15.58 and a Beta of 0.95.
The Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund ETF Shares (VBK) has a Mean Return of 1.22 with a Beta of 1.18 and a Alpha of -2.81. Its Treynor Ratio is 11.18 while VBK’s R-squared is 80.56. Furthermore, the fund has a Standard Deviation of 17.95 and a Sharpe Ratio of 0.78.
XLK’s Mean Return is 0.48 points higher than that of VBK and its R-squared is 7.00 points lower. With a Standard Deviation of 15.58, XLK is slightly less volatile than VBK. The Alpha and Beta of XLK are 13.24 points higher and 0.23 points lower than VBK’s Alpha and Beta.
XLK had its best year in 2019 with an annual return of 49.97%. XLK’s worst year over the past decade yielded -1.56% and occurred in 2018. In most years the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund provided moderate returns such as in 2016, 2012, and 2014 where annual returns amounted to 14.81%, 15.47%, and 17.75% 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.
|Fund||Initial Balance||Final Balance||CAGR|
A $10,000 investment in XLK would have resulted in a final balance of $67,790. This is a profit of $57,790 over 11 years and amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.02%.
With a $10,000 investment in VBK, the end total would have been $48,639. This equates to a $38,639 profit over 11 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.53%.
XLK’s CAGR is 3.50 percentage points higher than that of VBK and as a result, would have yielded $19,151 more on a $10,000 investment. Thus, XLK outperformed VBK by 3.50% 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)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.