If you are looking to grow your money with both long and short-term time horizons, ETFs are your best option. ETFs or Exchange-traded Funds has become a popular choice for investors after mutual funds. You can sell and buy funds just like you buy and sell stocks on the stock exchange.

Only one thing differentiates ETFs from traditional mutual funds that you can trade only at the end of the business day. However, due to quick liquidity response and instant diversification, ETFs are great if you are investing for the first time.

Are iShares or Vanguard better investments in 2021? iShares and Vanguard ETFs are part of different Exchange-traded families. In short, an individual fund company provides you with different types of exchange-traded funds under one brand name or product.

iShares and Vanguard ETFs are operated by different exchange companies. However, they differ in their methodology of how the funds are constructed and what market segment or indexes they cover.

Ishares Or Vanguard: Are They A Better Option For Investment In 2021?

To know the answer to the question, are iShares and Vanguard better investment in 2021, you first need to understand each ETF and their benefits.

iShares is part of the ETF family formed by BlackRock. They offer a wide range of over 300 funds that cover both international and U.S indexes and sectors. It also covers asset classes including real estate, commodities, and bonds. Some examples of iShares ETF are iShares Emerging Market ETF (EEM), iShares Russel 2000 Small-Cap Fund (IWM), and iShares Long-term Bond Fund (TLT).

Previously known as Vanguard Index Participation Receipts (VIPERs), a Vanguard ETF offers a large number of ETF types covering sector and indexes in over 50 different funds. It is quite similar to iShares. Some examples of popular Vanguard ETF include Vanguard S&P ETF (VOO), Vanguard FTSE Emerging Market Index Fund (ETF), and Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF (VTI).

Vanguard is best for the investors who are looking for a simple stock trading platform, Buy and hold investors, and retirement savers. iShares are great for anyone who wants to build a great portfolio in the market.

Why Should You Invest In iShares Or Vanguard?

Many investors have noticed the benefits of investing in Vanguard and iShares over the years. Money invested in these ETFs has quintupled in the past five years. You can choose from hundreds of ETFs. The number is still small as compared to the thousands of mutual funds, but there is still a lot of growth.

So, are iShares or Vanguard a better investment in 2021? Let us look at the benefits.


With lower total expense ratios (TERs) in comparison to mutual funds, ETFs have a low fee structure. The average TER for equity ETF is about 0.40%, while the average TER for fixed income ETF is about 0.17%. Thus, it is the cheapest funds you can find in the market.


You can easily sell and buy the ETFs just like any stock of a large company. With an ETF, you are provided with two different types of liquidity.

  • Liquidity through the redemption process/unique creation shows the liquidity of independent positions in the iShares fund.
  • Traditional liquidity, which is measured on an exchange by the secondary market.


With iShares and Vanguard, you can know what is exactly inside an ETF. You can access the fund holdings of ETFs online. All investors can access the information in the portfolio to check if there is a specific security on equity funds.

User-Friendly Platform

Many brokerages offer a platform that makes use of many technical trading tools, such as data points or chart studies. Vanguard and iShares platform are designed for tech-novice investors. Your profit-loss stats, holdings, and account data are displayed on every page.

You can easily access the platform through your mobiles.

Best Investment For 2021: iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF Or Vanguard Small-Cap Growth ETF

Since the market crash due to coronavirus in March, the U.S. market went into recession. However, the S&P 500 rose by 54 percent, and Russell 2000 rose by 65 percent. There is a significant amount of growth in both the ETFs.

Vanguard Small-Cap Growth ETF

The ETF aims to track around 570 small-cap growth stocks which are identified by CRSP US Small Cap Growth Index using specially designed growth screens. As of Oct 23, ETF goes up by 14 percent. And in the five to ten year period, there is a significant increase in the annualized returns.

The ten largest holdings of Vanguard make up 7.8 percent of the portfolio. The largest sectors include the industrial sector (16 percent), Healthcare (26 percent), and technology (22 percent).

The ten holdings include Horizon Therapeutics, Immunomedics, Etsy, Zebra Technologies, Pool Corp., Monolithic Power Systems, HubSpot, Catalent, Teradyne, and Insulet.

iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF

The iShares Russell tracks stocks in a diverse index in comparison to Vanguard ETF. The Russell 2000 index has specific characteristics for growth that are used to track the stocks. The iShares Russell offers greater diversification with 1,100 names with its index.

Amongst the ten largest holdings, it makes up for the portfolio of about 6.3 percent. And the largest sectors include technology at 17 percent, the industrial sector at 12 percent, and healthcare at 25 percent.

The top ten largest holdings are iRhythm Technologies, Mirati Therapeutics, MyooKardia, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Sunrun, LHC Group, Churchill Downs, Decker Outdoor, BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings, and RH.

The ETF has gone up by about 10 percent this year. Moreover, it has an expense ratio of 0.24 percent and over $9.5 billion assets under the management.

Which One Is A Better Investment In 2021?

Both iShares Russell and Vanguard Small-Cap Growth are the best options for investment in 2021. However, if you would like to pick one, you can choose the Vanguard Small-Cap Growth ETF. The reason is that it has superior long and short-term returns plus a lower expense ratio.

Small-cap growth stocks are generally more volatile; that is why they have holdings that are less concentrated and there is more diversification. However, by looking at history, both ETFs can outmatch large-cap rivals while coming out of recession.

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Final Thoughts

Are iShares or Vanguard a better investment in 2021? The answer entirely depends on your decision as to how much money you want to invest. Both the ETFs are cost-effective, transparent, and provide a user-friendly platform for every investor.

Although ETF began about fifteen years ago, it has recently gained popularity against its rival mutual funds. In the coming years, the popularity will increase as more investors will turn to ETFs, and so is the growth. So, choose wisely where you want to invest your money.






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