This comparative analysis is a detailed study of two successful ETFs, Vanguard’s VWCE and Blackrock’s IWDA. These are two funds that usually appear in many investment portfolios, and it’s essential to understand their differences to know what to expect from them.
To make our analysis as complete as possible, we will include not only a full explanation of each of the ETFs but also some of their key metrics, the historical performance of the product, the costs, and of course, the investment platforms where you will be able to purchase both products.
|FTSE All-World index
|MSCI World index
|AUM (in millions)
|EUR +20,000 m
|EUR +44,000 m
VWCE Vs. IWDA at a glance
|Regarding the performance of the two funds, during the same period (from July 2019 to the present), the most profitable was the IWDA.
|IWDA has a lower TER ratio. That makes it the cheapest fund
|The style of the stocks is similar. However, the VWCE ETF has more presence in Asia, while the IWDA is more concentrated in the USA
Comparison: VWCE vs. IWDA
We now move on to the comparative study between VWCE and IWDA, in which we will take into account different aspects, namely:
- Portfolio Structure
IMPORTANT: Before starting the comparison, note that we are discussing two ETFs whose benchmarks differ. That is why we will not be able to point out a winner and a loser since it would be necessary for both funds to work on the same benchmark.
We will start with the comparative performance of the two ETFs. As the VWCE is younger than the IWDA, we will take the reference in the date of the former.
In the chart, we can see that the return of the IWDA (in blue) is quite similar to that of the VWCE (in orange), although it is true that in the same period (from July 2019 to January 2024), the IWDA has a return of 57.00% while the VWCE remains at 50.30%.
Therefore, we could determine that performance is better in the case of IWDA than VWCE.
TER (Total Expense Ratio)
The TER is the indicator that refers to all the fees incurred by an ETF, so the lower rate is better.
The TER in the case of the IWDA is 0.20% p.a., while in the case of the VWCE, it is 0.22% p.a. In principle, we could consider that the IWDA would be better because it is cheaper, but here we must clarify that the nature of each ETF influences its cost.
Thus, the IWDA invests in securities of developed countries, where costs are efficient, and currency dispersion is little. On the other hand, the VWCE ETF invests in developed and developing countries, so the fees are necessarily higher as it does not have standardized rates and works with many more currencies.
Finally, we compare the portfolios to determine what to expect in each case. Here we can see how the comparison between some sectors and others, being how the distributions are similar in both cases:
The “Morningstar Style Box” shows us that the stocks are mostly of the Blend and large-cap type.
On the other hand, where we find a significant difference is in the geographic distribution, as the weight of VWCE in Asia is greater than in the case of IWDA and to the detriment of its presence in North America. This is the main explanation for the discrepancy in returns and expenses.
What is VWCE?
The VWCE ETF, whose full name is “Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF USD Accumulation,” is a Vanguard fund replicating the FTSE All-World index. This fund was launched in July 2019 and nowadays has assets equivalent to +€20,000 million.
This ETF performs an optimized physical replication of the index, taking a significant sample of its entire composition. As of November 2023, the VWCE portfolio has 3,664 stocks out of the 4,292 that compose the index.
Since its launch, the cumulative return until the close of January 12, 2024, has been +50.30%:
About the Index
The index benchmarked by the ETF is an index issued by FTSE, comprised of hundreds of large and mid-cap companies from both emerging and developed markets.
This index was launched in June 2000, although its portfolio dates back to December 1986 (backtest).
With the VWCE ETF, you can invest in companies such as Apple, NVIDIA, Tesla, Alphabet, Exxon, or United Health. The portfolio mainly weights the technology, financials, and consumer discretionary sectors:
In terms of geographic distribution, nearly 60% corresponds to the United States, while Japan is the second largest economy:
About the Investment Manager
The ETF is run by Vanguard Group. Founded in 1975, this company is a global leader in passive investment, given that it has been present in many innovations launched in the market year after year.
It now employs more than 20,000 employees worldwide and has total assets under management of over 7.5 trillion dollars. In the USA, it manages 204 different funds, while outside that country, the amount rises to 227.
What is IWDA?
The IWDA ETF, whose full name is “iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF USD (Acc),” is a Blackrock fund whose benchmark is the well-known MSCI World Index. This fund, launched in September 2009, is one of the largest in the market, with an AUM of over 50 billion euros.
IWDA’s replication is physical, taking positions corresponding to the benchmark’s portfolio using actual securities.
The index started in September 2009, and at the close of January 12, 2023, it accumulated a return of +393.35%.
About the Index
The replicated index is the MSCI World Index, composed of large and mid-cap companies selected from 23 diverse countries. These countries will be part of the so-called Developed Markets group. In total, the index has 1,480 various stocks.
About the Investment Manager
The IWDA ETF is managed by BlackRock. Founded in 1999, it is the world’s largest asset manager (active and passive management combined) with $10 trillion in AUM. It employs a total of 18,400 people in 35 different countries.
The BlackRock division dedicated to passive management is named iShares, while the actively managed funds are under the brand BlackRock. In total, the company offers more than 1,000 different funds and ETFs available to investors.
Cheapest brokers to invest in VWCE and IWDA
One of the aspects of our analysis is about the platforms where it’s possible to find these ETFs. We selected some of the cheapest ETF brokers in the market to make investing easier.
To conclude our comparative analysis, we must say that these are excellent ETFs. It is not easy to choose a clear winner, but here’s our take on the performance of these ETFs:
If you want an investment focused on developed markets, IWDA will undoubtedly be an excellent option. It is an ETF with low tracking error and adjusted costs. It can provide us with a good index replica.
On the other hand, if you want a more global view, considering the weight of different emerging economies (mainly Asian), the VWCE will be our choice. It also has reduced costs.