GASFX vs VPU Fund Comparison

A comparison between GASFX and VPU based on their expense ratio, growth, holdings and how well they match their benchmark performance.

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Minafi's Take on GASFX vs VPU

Here's an in depth look at the differences between Hennessy Gas Utility Fund Investor Class ($GASFX) and Vanguard Utilities Index Fund ETF Shares ($VPU).

To start off, here's a look at the basics of each fund. Keep an eye on the FI Score. That's a custom score from 0 to 100 that we generate based on how good this fund is for the casual investor. Most investors only need a handful of total funds in their portfolio. The higher the score, the more likely this is one of those few. Score alone isn't enough! Keep reading on to see how different (or perhaps similar) these two funds are.

30% FI Score
  • gasfx
  • Mutual Fund
  • Sector Equity
  • Utilities

Hennessy Gas Utility Fund Investor Class

Expenses: 1.00% (Better than 0% of similar funds)

This is a bad choice for a Utilities Sector Equity fund. See why »

72% FI Score
  • vpu
  • ETF
  • Sector Equity
  • Utilities

Vanguard Utilities Index Fund ETF Shares

Expenses: 0.10% (Better than 1% of similar funds)

This is an OK choice for a Utilities Sector Equity fund. See why »

$GASFX is classified as a Mutual Fund while $VPU is classified as an ETF. Even though one of these is a mutual fund and the other is an ETF, that doesn't matter too much for their holdings. Both ETFs and mutual funds are just containers to hold lots of investments inside of them.

The biggest differences between these two is where they may be offered. ETFs are more widely availble from a larger number of investment apps and websites. Mutual funds, on the other hand, are generally offered by the platform they're issued by (Fidelity funds on Fidelity, Vanguard funds on Vanguard). Usually 401(k)'s will offer both ETFs and Mutual Funds. If you're investing outside of a 401(k), I'd recommend you verify the fees associated with ETF and mutual fund transactions. Some platforms charge an additional fee to purchase a mutual fund.

To learn more about the difference between these two, you can read about the difference between ETFs and Mutual Funds.

When evaluating a fund, the first things I look at are:

  • What it invests in
  • How much it charges in fees
  • How large the fund is

Let's look into these criteria one by one and see if either of these funds stands out.

Fund Holdings Comparison

Both of these funds are Sector Equity Utilities funds – which means they're likely both investing in about the same investments behind the scenes.

Minafi's FI Score algorithm takes into account the category and market. The more niche a fund is, the lower the score. This doesn't mean it's a worse fund, but it does mean you should stop and make sure this a fund you need to diversify your portfolio.

GASFX VPU
Market Score 5.4 /10 9.0 /10
Category Score 0.0 /10 0.0 /10
Total 5.4 9.0

A score of 10 means this is a solid market and category that almost every investor will want to have investments in. The lower the score, the more specific the investment. These scores are based on when most investors would add these funds to their portfolio. A score of 10 means that this fund (or one like it) belongs in a three-fund portfolio. The lower the score, the farther down in your portfolio a fund would go.

Winner: $VPU

Fee Comparison

Fees are one of the biggest killers of portfolio growth. The difference between a 2% fee and a 0.04% fee over 30 years can result in your portfolio having half the total value!

If you're just getting started investing and learning how fees impact your portfolio, I'd encourage you to read through my free investment course (specifically '2.2 - All About Fees') where I go over all the different types of fees you can be charged and how to lower them.

For these two funds, GASFX has an expense ratio of 1.00% while VPU has an expense ratio of 0.10%.

Winner: $VPU

Fund Size Comparison

One place these two funds differ is in their total assets under management. This is a good indication of how many other investors trust this fund. A large fund by itself doesn't mean it's a good fund, but it is one thing to consider when figuring out how to choose the right fund.

In the case of these two funds, GASFX is a medium fund with 639 Million in assets under management. VPU, on the other hand, is a large fund with 5.34 Billion in assets under management.

Winner: $VPU, Vanguard Utilities Index Fund ETF Shares

Which Should You Choose? GASFX or VPU?

Since both of these funds are Sector Equity Utilities funds, you'll most likely only need to invest in one of these funds – not both. Running both of these funds through Minafi's FI Score algorithm, gives GASFX a score of 30 and VPU a score of 72.

Neither of these funds has an FI Score above 90 – which is a red flag. I'd look into more funds to find one with a higher FI Score.

Winner: Neither, I'd research more funds if you're looking to invest for retirement.

$GASFX

Hennessy Gas Utility Fund Investor Class

30

Read More
Ratings
Rating Type Rating
Expense Ratio Score 4 /10
Expense Rating 0 /10
Market Score 5 /10
Category Score 0 /10
Overview
Overview Details
Fund Type Mutual Fund
Inception Date May-10-1989
Exchange NMFQS
Expense Ratio 1.000%
Net Assets 639 Million
Yield 2.18%
Holdings
Description Info
Market Sector Equity
Category Utilities
Sectors
  • Basic Materials 1.13%
  • Communication Services 0.00%
  • Consumer Cyclical 0.00%
  • Consumer Defensive 0.00%
  • Energy 21.49%
  • Financial Services 2.75%
  • Healthcare 0.00%
  • Industrials 0.00%
  • Real Estate 0.00%
  • Technology 0.00%
  • Utilities 74.62%
Regions
  • North America 94.85%
  • United Kingdom 5.15%

$VPU

Vanguard Utilities Index Fund ETF Shares

72

Read More
Ratings
Rating Type Rating
Diversification Score 4 /10
Expense Ratio Score 10 /10
Expense Rating 9 /10
Market Score 9 /10
Category Score 0 /10
Overview
Overview Details
Fund Type ETF
Inception Date Nov-30-2017
Exchange NYSE ARCA
Expense Ratio 0.100%
Net Assets 5.34 Billion
Yield 3.02%
Holdings
Description Info
Market Sector Equity
Category Utilities
Sectors
  • Basic Materials 0.50%
  • Communication Services 0.00%
  • Consumer Cyclicals 0.00%
  • Consumer Defensive 0.00%
  • Energy 0.40%
  • Financial Services 0.00%
  • Healthcare 0.00%
  • Industrials 0.00%
  • Real Estate 0.00%
  • Technology 0.00%
  • Utilities 99.10%
Regions
  • North America 100.00%

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