VBIAX vs YLD Fund Comparison

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

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Minafi's Take on VBIAX vs YLD

Here's an in depth look at the differences between Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares ($VBIAX) and Principal Active Income ETF ($YLD).

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.

91% FI Score
  • vbiax
  • Mutual Fund
  • Allocation
  • All-In-One

Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares

Expenses: 0.07% (Better than 1% of similar funds)

This is a great choice for a All-In-One Allocation fund. See why »

50% FI Score
  • yld
  • ETF
  • Allocation
  • All-In-One

Principal Active Income ETF

Expenses: 0.49% (Better than 1% of similar funds)

This is an OK choice for a All-In-One Allocation fund. See why »

$VBIAX is classified as a Mutual Fund while $YLD 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 Allocation All-In-One 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.

Market Score 9.8 /10 3.6 /10
Category Score 5.0 /10 5.0 /10
Total 14.8 8.6

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: $VBIAX

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, VBIAX has an expense ratio of 0.07% while YLD has an expense ratio of 0.49%.

Winner: $VBIAX

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, VBIAX is a large fund with 43.5 Billion in assets under management. YLD, on the other hand, is a small fund with 268 Million in assets under management.

Winner: $VBIAX, Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares

Which Should You Choose? VBIAX or YLD?

Since both of these funds are Allocation All-In-One 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 VBIAX a score of 91 and YLD a score of 50.

In this case, one fund has a 90+ score – which the clear winner between these two.

Winner: $VBIAX, Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares


Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares


Read More
Rating Type Rating
Expense Ratio Score 10 /10
Expense Rating 9 /10
Market Score 10 /10
Category Score 5 /10
Overview Details
Fund Type Mutual Fund
Inception Date Nov-9-1992
Exchange NMFQS
Expense Ratio 0.070%
Net Assets 43.5 Billion
Yield 2.08%
Description Info
Market Allocation
Category All-In-One
  • Basic Materials 2.31%
  • Communication Services 10.02%
  • Consumer Cyclical 10.57%
  • Consumer Defensive 7.14%
  • Energy 2.84%
  • Financial Services 13.51%
  • Healthcare 15.70%
  • Industrials 8.97%
  • Real Estate 3.91%
  • Technology 21.85%
  • Utilities 3.18%
  • Asia Developed 0.05%
  • Asia Emerging 0.09%
  • Europe Developed 0.39%
  • Latin America 0.03%
  • North America 98.96%
  • United Kingdom 0.48%


Principal Active Income ETF


Read More
Rating Type Rating
Diversification Score 4 /10
Expense Ratio Score 8 /10
Expense Rating 5 /10
Market Score 4 /10
Category Score 5 /10
Overview Details
Fund Type ETF
Inception Date Jul-8-2015
Exchange NYSE ARCA
Expense Ratio 0.490%
Net Assets 268 Million
Yield 5.42%
Description Info
Market Allocation
Category All-In-One
  • Basic Materials 2.05%
  • Communication Services 6.70%
  • Consumer Cyclicals 13.55%
  • Consumer Defensive 5.77%
  • Energy 6.73%
  • Financial Services 20.13%
  • Healthcare 13.15%
  • Industrials 9.30%
  • Real Estate 7.04%
  • Technology 8.19%
  • Utilities 7.39%
  • Europe Developed 2.91%
  • North America 97.09%

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