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VWRA VS IWDA: Key Differences and Performance Data (2024)

Minho Investment Association| Updated March 11th, 2024

The VWRA is designed to track the performance of the FTSE All-World Index, which consists of large and mid-cap stocks from developed and emerging markets worldwide. In contrast, IWDA is designed to track the performance of the MSCI World Index, which consists of large and mid-cap stocks from 23 developed markets worldwide.

Both ETFs replicate the performance of the underlying index by sampling technique (or optimised sampling – buying a selection of the most relevant index constituents), and the dividends in the ETFs are accumulated and reinvested in the ETF.

VWRA VS IWDA compared in a nutshell

ETF VWRA IWDA
Index Tracked FTSE All-World MSCI World
Fund Manager Vanguard   BlackRock
AUM +€21,000 million +€60,000 million
Exchanges gettex, Stuttgart Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam, London Stock Exchange, XETRA London Stock Exchange, gettex, Stuttgart Stock Exchange, Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, Borsa Italiana, Euronext Amsterdam, SIX Swiss Exchange, XETRA
Fund Currency USD USD
Dividend Distribution Accumulating Accumulating
Expense Ratio (TER) 0.22% 0.20%
Number of holdings 3,667 1,480

Index Tracked

VWRA (Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF) and IWDA (iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF) are exchange-traded funds that provide exposure to global equity markets. VWRA tracks the FTSE All-World Index, which covers developed and emerging markets, while IWDA only tracks the MSCI World Index, which focuses on developed markets. Both ETFs offer investors diversified global equity market exposure.

Performance

Source: Trading View

Our team has collected the historical performances of these two ETFs from August 1st, 2019 (near the inception date of the VWRA ETF) until January 30th, 2024, to showcase the performance of each one. When comparing the performance of both ETFs, it is evident that the IWDA (green line) has outperformed VWRA (purple line). 

Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognise that past performance is not indicative of future returns, and these results may only persist for a while.

Top 10 Holdings

Stock IWDA Stock VWRA
Apple Inc 4.97% Apple Inc 4.1%
Microsoft Corp 4.39% Microsoft Corp 4.1%
Amazon.com Inc 2.33% Alphabet INC 2.2%
NVIDIA Corp 2.02% Amazon.com Inc 2.0%
Alphabet INC class A 1.37% NVIDIA Corp 1.7%
Tesla INC 1.30% Meta Platforms INC class A 1.1%
Alphabet INC class C 1.22% Tesla INC 1.0%
Meta Platforms INC class A 1.17% Berkshire Hathaway INC class B 0.9%
Exxon Mobil Corp. 0.82% Eli Lilly & Co 0.7%
Unitedhealth Group Inc 0.82% UnitedHealth Group Inc 0.7%

Source: Vanguard and BlackRock | As of 30 December 2023

Both VWRA and IWDA use physical replication as their ETF construction strategy. This means that the fund manager acquires the assets that comprise the ETF’s benchmark index, the FTSE All-World Index and MSCI World Index.

Fund Manager

VWRA is offered by Vanguard, and it was launched on 23 July 2019, while IWDA is offered by BlackRock and was launched on 25 September 2009.

VWRA VS IWDA: Key Differences and Performance Data (2024) 1
VWRA VS IWDA: Key Differences and Performance Data (2024) 2

Currency

Both ETFs, VWRA and IWDA, have USD dollars as their fund currency. However, the specific tickers listed can be traded in different currencies depending on the country of the respective exchange, as is the case with the VWRA ticker traded in GBP on the London Stock Exchange.

It is important to highlight that when considering investing in these ETFs, it is necessary to be aware that they do not have currency hedging – these ETFs are “unhedged”. This means that you would be directly exposed to fluctuations in exchange rates between the US dollar and the currencies of the underlying assets.

Exchanges

As previously mentioned, the ETFs in question can be traded on different exchanges and currencies, resulting in different tickers. Therefore, our team has prepared a summary of how these ETFs may be listed on various exchanges, along with the associated currency and ticker.

Exchange Trade currency VWRA IWDA
Ticker
gettex EUR VWCE EUNL
Borsa Italiana EUR VWCE SWDA
Euronext Amsterdam EUR VWCE IWDA
London Stock Exchange USD VWRA IWDA
London Stock Exchange GBP VWRP SWDA
XETRA EUR VWCE EUNL

Note: Our team only selected the markets that offer both ETFs

Distribution

VWRA and IWDA are accumulating ETFs that reinvest dividends back into the fund instead of distributing them directly to you. This structure may interest you if you are focused on long-term capital appreciation and the potential for higher compounding returns over time.

Fund Domicile

Both ETFs, VWRA and IWDA, are domiciled in Ireland; they may benefit from the favourable tax environment and tax treaties Ireland has in place. Ireland has a double taxation treaty with the US, meaning that ETFs domiciled only pay a 15% withholding tax on US dividends versus 30% in domiciles such as Luxembourg, where no treaty exists. These tax advantages will result in reduced tax liabilities for investors.

Total Expense Ratio (TER)

Besides the fees you pay to your broker when trading ETF shares, there’s another cost called the total expense ratio (TER). It’s a fee charged by the fund manager to cover the expenses of running the ETF.

The TER is shown as a percentage of the total amount of money in the fund and is charged daily according to its Net Asset Value (NAV) in the TER daily proportion. For instance, if it is 0.50% and you have $10,000 invested in the ETF, you would pay $50 as expenses for that year – adding all trading days (for simplicity, we consider the ETF didn’t move during this period).

VWRA’s fees are higher than IWDA’s.

ETF VWRA IWDA
TER (%) 0.22 0.20

Diversification

When it comes to sector distribution, both VWRA and IWDA ETFs diversify their holdings across various sectors of the economy. This means that the stocks in these ETFs can belong to sectors such as technology, finance, healthcare, industrials, consumer goods, and more. By diversifying across sectors, you can benefit from different areas of the economy, reducing your exposure to specific risks associated with individual sectors.

VWRA Sector IWDA
25.10% Information Technology 22.90%
14.40% Financials 15.13%
14.00% Consumer Discretionary 10.81%
13.10% Industrials 11.06%
10.90% Health Care 12.06%
5.70% Consumer Staples 6.80%
4.70% Energy 4.45%
3.70% Materials 4.12%
3.00% Communication 7.12%
2.90% Utilities 2.60%
2.50% Real Estate 2.43%
Cash and/or Derivatives 0.52%

Source: Vanguard and BlackRock | As at 30 December 2023

When it comes to geographic distribution, both VWRA and IWDA ETFs offer broad global diversification. They include stocks from companies located in various countries around the world. This means that as an investor, you have exposure to companies in different regions such as North America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and emerging markets. This diversified geographic distribution helps to reduce the specific risk associated with any single country or region, allowing you to benefit from global economic growth.

Country VWRA Country IWDA
United States 61.00% United States 69.58%
Japan 6.20% Japan 6.00%
United Kingdom 3.80% United Kingdom 3.94%
China 2.80% France 3.22%
France 2.70% Canada 3.20%
Canada 2.50% Switzerland 2.67%
Switzerland 2.40% Germany 2.30%
Germany 2.10% Australia 2.04%
India 2.00% Netherlands 1.24%
Australia 2.00% Sweden 0.89%
Others 12.50% Others 4.93%

Source: Vanguard and BlackRock | As at 30 September 2023

Cheapest brokers to invest in ETFs

Now that you’re familiar with the differences between the two ETFs and have decided, it’s time to choose the best broker to move forward with your investment. That’s why we collected all this information, evaluated the most important features of different ETF brokers, and compiled a list of 4 well-known ETF brokers.

Without further delay, here are four ETF brokers and why you should consider them:

  1. Interactive Brokers: Best for the largest ETF offering
  2. Saxo Bank: Best for advanced investors
  3. TD Ameritrade: Best for commission-free stock and ETF trading
  4. eToro: Best for social trading and commission-free investing
    Disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.
Broker ETF Transaction Fees Min. deposit Number of ETFs Regulators
Interactive Brokers Varies by exchange with tiered pricing: Between $0.0005 and $0.0035 per ETF share S$0 13,000+ FINRA, SIPC, SEC, CFTC, IIROC, FCA, CBI, AFSL, SFC, SEBI, MAS, MNB
Saxo Bank Up to 0.12% (min. €5) S$3,000 6,900+ ASIC, FSA, FCA, SFC, MAS, FINMA, and DFSA
TD Ameritrade $0 S$3,000 2,300+ MAS, SEC and FINRA
eToro $0 (other fees apply) $50 300+ FCA, CySEC and ASIC

Conclusion

In summary, both VWRA and IWDA are popular ETFs that provide exposure to global equity markets. 

VWRA tracks the FTSE All-World Index, offering broad coverage of developed and emerging markets. It includes a wide range of stocks from over 49 countries, providing investors with comprehensive global equity exposure.

IWDA, on the other hand, tracks the MSCI World Index, which focuses specifically on developed markets. It includes large and mid-cap stocks from 23 developed countries, offering exposure to established economies.

While VWRA provides a more extensive global market coverage, including emerging markets, IWDA concentrates on developed markets. The choice between the two may depend on an investor’s preference for a broader or more concentrated exposure to global equities.

Minho Investment Association
Contributor

The Minho Investment Association (MIA) is a junior initiative from the University of Minho (Portugal), which aims to promote financial literacy among young people.

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