This article looks into SPY vs VOO vs IVV in terms of their individual performance, as well as differences.
S&P 500 ETFs are highly favored by investors. The three most prominent ETFs currently available in the market are the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV), and the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO).
These ETFs are designed to track the largest large-cap index, which is the S&P 500. As of 2022, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) industry has accumulated approximately $350 billion in assets under management since the beginning of the year.
These three ETFs have received over $20 billion in total. It is a commonly observed trend that investors tend to favor S&P 500 ETFs as a core component of their investment portfolio.
One could easily make the mistake of assuming that these funds are interchangeable due to their size and shared focus on tracking the S&P 500.
That statement is generally accurate. For investors seeking a core portfolio position in their IRA or 401(k) account with a long-term investment horizon, the performance of all three investment options will be quite similar, with any differences being negligible. It’s advisable not to overthink the decision as it may not require excessive contemplation.
It would be inaccurate to claim that they are truly identical. Certain investors may find one of these three ETFs more suitable than the others, forming a relatively small subset of the overall investor population.
Determining whether you belong to the category of investors who prioritize fees over other factors boils down to analyzing fee structures.
If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).
Table of Contents
SPY vs VOO vs IVV: What Is SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)?
One of the most well-known and widely held funds is called the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust.
Its objective is to replicate the performance of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index, which follows the progress of 500 companies with significant market capitalization in the United States.
A committee takes into consideration factors such as the size of the market, the liquidity of the market, and the industry while making their selection.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is widely regarded as one of the most important benchmarks for evaluating the performance of the stock market in the United States.
It also provides insight into the state of the nation’s overall economy. The fund, which was launched in January 1993 and is also known as the SPY Exchange Traded Fund, has another name.
The SPY Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) was first launched on January 22, 1993, as was previously mentioned.
The S&P 500 Index is replicated in the form of an exchange-traded fund, abbreviated as ETF.
Even though other exchange-traded funds that track the S&P 500 have since been introduced, many people still consider it the first ETF ever to be listed, and it continues to be one of the most frequently traded exchange-traded funds. In point of fact, it is widely recognized as the very first fund of its kind to have followed the S&P 500.
At the time of its launch in 1993, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) had meager assets under management (AUM) balance of 6.53 million dollars.
After getting off to a shaky beginning and having some early problems obtaining investors, the AUM skyrocketed to more than one billion dollars three years later.
The exceptional amount of $375.19 billion in assets that the ETF trust has as of May 2nd, 2023 may be found in its portfolio.
Investors have access to numerous trading platforms for trading this exchange-traded fund (ETF), which is denoted by the ticker symbol SPY and is traded on the Arca market operated by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
State Street Bank and Trust is acting in the capacity of trustee for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, and ALPS Distributors is acting in the capacity of a distributor for the fund.
Due to the fact that ETF shares move in a way that is analogous to that of stock trading, investors are able to purchase and sell SPY shares through their broker at any time during the trading day, including selling them short.
It is anticipated that the price of one share of SPY will be equivalent to one tenth of the price of the S&P 500 Index. Therefore, if the S&P is now trading at a level of 4,000, then the price of a single share of SPY ought to be close to $400.
Structure And Cost Of The SPY ETF Portfolio
The exchange-traded fund (ETF) is organized in the form of a unit investment trust (UIT) due to its relatively advanced age.
This indicates that it is a fixed portfolio that forms units that may be issued and redeemed with the issuer. These transactions can take place at any time. The SPY is structured in such a way that it is able to completely replicate the S&P 500 Index.
It does this by ensuring that all of the components of the underlying index maintain the weights that have been assigned to them.
For a relatively modest cost, investors are given the opportunity to own the whole of an index by purchasing a single investment that corresponds to that index.
Examples of these types of index ETFs include the SPY. The expenditure ratio for SPY was calculated to be 0.0945% as of May 2, 2023.
This ratio is one of the lowest among ETFs that follow the S&P 500 Index; nonetheless, it is not the lowest among such ratios.
The cost ratio of SPY is more than three times higher than the expense ratio of the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), which is just 0.03%. It is important to note that the costs shown above do not include any commissions or fees charged by the broker.
SPY ETF Top Holdings
The SPDR Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE: SPY) is a well-diversified basket of assets that spreads its holdings out over a number of different industry categories.
The following top five items were ranked according to their popularity on May 2, 2023:
- Industrials: 8.56%
- Consumer Discretionary: 9.92%
- Financials: 12.92%
- Healthcare: 14.60%
- Information technology: 25.86%
The vast majority of the assets held by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust are invested in common stocks. These equities are all components of the S&P 500 Index. The following firms now make up its top 10 holdings in the company’s portfolio:
- Exxon Mobil (XOM) – 1.32%
- UnitedHealth (UNH) – 1.34%
- Meta Platforms—Class A (META) – 1.55%
- Alphabet—Class C (GOOG) – 1.60%
- Berkshire Hathaway—Class B (BRK.B) – 1.62%
- Alphabet—Class A (GOOGL) – 1.82%
- NVIDIA (NVDA) – 2.02%
- Amazon (AMZN) – 2.68%
- Microsoft (MSFT) – 6.60%
- Apple (AAPL) – 7.28%
SPY ETF Performance
On January 22, 2023, the SPY celebrated its 30th birthday by maintaining its position as the leading exchange-traded fund (ETF) tracking the S&P 500 index while charging higher management fees than some of its younger competitors.
Although the SPY wasn’t a novel investment strategy when it was first introduced in 1993, the method in which it traded on an exchange was analogous to that of a stock, which made it a game-changing vehicle for making financial transactions.
Aside from the fact that it was the first of its kind, the SPY’s success may be attributed to a number of other variables, including the following:
A greater shift toward passive investment management has been beneficial to the fund as it continues to evolve.
This pattern reversed itself in 2018, despite the fact that active management funds had accounted for the lion’s share of net inflows for a significant portion of the past thirty years.
And in 2021, the market share of passive funds in the U.S. equity fund industry reached 54%. This was partially attributable to the strong long-term track record of the SPY as well as its expanding AUM.
The exceptional success of the S&P Index, which was powered in the middle to late 1990s and after the Great Recession by large-cap technology firms, assisted the SPY in continuing to attract new inflows of capital.
The blue-chip index saw an average annual growth rate of 28% from 1995 to 1999, but over the period from 2009 to 2022, it had an annual growth rate of more than 400%.
The fund is popular among investors who desire cost-effective exposure to the S&P 500 and traders who want deep liquidity as a result of the ETF’s $375 billion asset base as well as its average daily trading volume (ADTV) of around $30 billion.
Both of these factors combine to make the fund an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Because of its widespread popularity, the SPDR Trust (SPY) is certain to continue to play a leadership role in the financial markets for the foreseeable future.
SPY vs VOO vs IVV: What Is Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)?
The Vanguard S&P 500 Exchange Traded Fund, which goes by the ticker symbol “VOO,” is a fund that invests in the equities of some of the most successful corporations in the United States.
This exchange-traded fund (ETF) owns each and every equity that is included in the S&P 500 index so that it may accurately monitor its performance.
It is common practice to use the investment return of the S&P 500 index as a proxy for the performance of the whole stock market in the United States.
A hypothetical portfolio of stocks or assets that are used to represent a certain segment of the market or the market as a whole is referred to as an index.
Broad-based indexes include both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), two of the most well-known examples. Indexes are not available for investment by individual investors. They have the option of investing instead in funds that are designed to be identical to an index.
The S&P 500 is an index that includes the 500 biggest publicly traded firms in the United States. The results of the S&P 500 index are what the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF seeks to replicate in order to achieve its investment objective.
Investors are interested in VOO because it offers a high level of diversification and is composed of large-cap stocks, which are equity investments in companies with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion.
Large-cap stocks, in contrast to those of smaller firms, have a tendency to be more stable and to have a good track record of profitability.
In most cases, dividends are financial payments made in the form of cash that are given to shareholders by firms as a reward for the ownership of the stock of that particular company.
In the event that there is a correction in the market, the broad-based and diversified portfolio of companies that the fund holds may assist reduce the risk of loss; nevertheless, it will not remove the risk of loss entirely.
VOO ETF Top Holdings
The top 10 holdings of the VOO are shown below, along with their respective portfolio weightings; together, these holdings account for a total of 25.41% of the fund’s portfolio.
- UnitedHealth Group – 1.33 %
- Exxon Mobil – 1.35%
- Alphabet Class C – 1.43%
- Alphabet Class A – 1.61%
- Berkshire Hathaway Class B – 1.65%
- Tesla – 1.65%
- NVIDIA – 1.73%
- Amazon – 2.50%
- Microsoft – 5.56%
- Apple – 6.60%
VOO ETF Equity Sector Diversification
A great number of funds invest in stocks issued by companies operating in a variety of economic sectors.
A big collection of enterprises that are grouped by comparable commercial activities, such as producing or providing the same product or service, is known as a sector.
In contrast to the consumer discretionary sector, which includes things like luxury products, the consumer staples sector includes necessities like toilet paper.
The sector weights for the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF are shown below. The relative importance of each industry is shown in the table below, which appears inside the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF.
Equity Sector Diversification for the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)
- Real Estate – 2.7%
- Utilities – 2.8%
- Materials – 2.8%
- Energy – 4.8%
- Consumer Staples – 6.7%
- Communication Services – 7.7%
- Industrials – 8.5%
- Consumer Discretionary – 10.7%
- Financials – 11.7%
- Healthcare – 14.3%
- Information Technology – 27.3%
How To Invest In VOO ETF
It is essential to keep in mind that shares of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) move in the same manner as regular stocks, which means that you are free to buy or sell them at any moment throughout the trading day.
You may buy shares of the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF via your broker-dealer or through an investing app such as Robinhood if you have an account with either of those services.
By defining the purchase quantity in dollars, it is also possible to hold fractional shares of the ETF. This option is not available for all exchange-traded funds.
The vast majority of broker-dealers and apps do not charge buy commission costs. However, if you want to be absolutely certain that you will not have to pay commission fees, you can register a brokerage account with the fund provider Vanguard on its website.
This will ensure that you do not have to pay commission fees. If you do not create accounts with other companies or providers, then the items that may be included in your portfolio risk being limited to those that are sold by Vanguard.
This is the catch with such a decision. Vanguard does not impose any minimum investment quantities for its exchange-traded funds (ETFs), in contrast to its index funds.
Although it is possible that you may not be required to pay commissions in order to acquire the shares, there are still additional costs associated with the running of the fund. The expenditures associated with running the VOO ETF each year come to 0.03%.
There are other costs associated with the turnover of portfolios. This indicates that the fund management is responsible for incurring costs each time they reconstruct the portfolio by purchasing or selling assets, which ultimately results in an increase in the total expenditures.
Investing in the S&P 500 via the Vanguard S&P 500 index fund continues to be one of the least expensive and easiest methods to do so, despite the fees that are associated with it.
SPY vs VOO vs IVV: What Is iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV)
BlackRock, Inc. is responsible for the introduction of the exchange-traded fund known as the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF. It is overseen by the BlackRock Fund Advisors team.
The company makes investments in the public stock markets of the United States. The fund’s holdings include equities of firms that are involved in a wide variety of business areas.
It makes investments in growth equities as well as value stocks of large-cap corporations. Using the method of representative sampling, it attempts to mimic the behavior of the S&P 500 Index in terms of performance.
The iShares Trust – iShares Core S&P 500 ETF was established on May 15, 2000, and it has its headquarters in the United States of America.
The goal of the investment is to replicate the performance of the S&P 500 index, which is made up of large-company stocks from the United States.
The performance of the large-capitalization segment of the United States equity market, as assessed by the SPDJI, is what the index measures and tracks.
The fund will generally invest at least 80% of its assets in the component securities of its index as well as in investments that have economic characteristics that are substantially identical to the component securities of its index.
The fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in certain futures, options, swap contracts, cash, and cash equivalents.
SPY vs VOO vs IVV: Expense Ratio Compared
An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) has two main elements that determine its total cost structure. While evaluating the cost of a fund, many individuals tend to solely focus on the expense ratio.
However, it is crucial to take into account both the expense ratio and trading spread in order to make an informed decision.
There are two types of costs associated with investing in the stock market: the cost of managing funds and the cost of trading shares. Both expenses are borne by you directly.
We can begin our analysis by comparing the expense ratios of these three ETFs in a comparative manner.
The SPY exchange-traded fund (ETF) has the largest market capitalization among its peers and has an annual expense ratio of 0.09%.
It’s worth noting that the actual expense ratio is 0.0945%, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll round it to 0.09%. The expense ratios for IVV and VOO are relatively low, standing at only 0.03%.
In the larger context, an annual increase of 6 basis points is unlikely to have a significant impact.
The variance amounts to $6 annually per $10,000 invested. If your investment amount is less than hundreds of thousands of dollars, then the variation in the outcome is likely to be insignificant.
If you are a beginner and contemplating opening a new retirement account, it would be wise to consider investing in the lower cost VOO or IVV. Indeed, if it is possible to obtain a slightly higher total return, it would be logical to do so.
SPY vs VOO vs IVV: Total Cost of Ownership
However, it is important to note that the expense ratio is just a single component of the overall picture.
The impact of your trading behavior is likely to outweigh the significance of the expense ratio alone in determining which of these funds would be more suitable for you.
The daily trading volume for IVV and VOO is approximately $2 billion. The trading volume of SPY exceeds $27 billion.
What is the reason for the significant disparity? Reputation is a significant factor to consider. The SPY ETF holds the distinction of being the first exchange-traded fund ever created. It is often the first symbol that investors associate with the S&P 500 index.
While it may seem like a small detail, the inclusion of “SP” in the SPY ticker symbol can actually aid in making the association with the S&P 500 index more straightforward. There is no correlation between IVV and VOO.
The primary determinant is liquidity. Large institutions tend to prefer using SPY as their primary trading vehicle. Investors often choose to invest in SPY due to its high liquidity, ease of trade, and low trading costs, making it an attractive option in the industry.
Large block trades can impact the share price of smaller ETFs, but this is typically not a concern for products like SPY due to its size and liquidity.
The typical trading spread for SPY is 0%, while VOO and IVV have a slightly higher spread of 0.01%. However, it’s worth noting that there is a disparity in the average cost when considering absolute terms.
The cost per share for SPY is $0.02, while IVV and VOO are priced slightly higher at $0.03 per share. The relatively lower trading costs associated with SPY compared to the other two ETFs make it a more attractive option for institutional traders who engage in large-scale trading activities.
The difference of $0.01 per share on a $400 share price is inconsequential for the typical trader.
Although the differences between SPY, IVV, and VOO may seem insignificant, it is crucial to take into account trading costs in addition to expense ratios when making investment decisions.
Let us examine an instance that provides a clearer demarcation.
The Engine No. 1 Transform 500 ETF (VOTE) is a recently launched investment vehicle that focuses on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors within the large-cap market.
Despite being only a year old, it has already gained traction among investors seeking to align their investments with their values. Putting aside the differences in targeting for now, it is observed that the fund has an expense ratio of 0.05%.
It appears that choosing it would be a more economical option compared to SPY for obtaining comprehensive coverage of large-cap stocks.
Due to VOTE being a recently established fund, it has a low trading volume, with only about $2 million traded daily, which is significantly less compared to the billions of dollars traded daily for the three S&P 500 ETFs.
Consequently, this translates to higher trading expenses. As per the information provided by ETF Action, the current spread on VOTE stands at 0.08%.
Assuming that you make a solitary transaction in VOTE and maintain that position for a complete year, your overall expenditure would amount to 0.13%.
This figure is derived from the sum of the 0.05% expense ratio and the 0.08% trading spread. The SPY investment option boasts a low expense ratio of 0.09% and a trading spread of 0.00%.
Although SPY has a higher expense ratio, it still has a lower total cost compared to other options. If your investment horizon is beyond one year, the calculation methodology alters, but the concept remains the same.
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