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16 important things you should know about State Street Global Advisors SPY ETF

Updated: July 06, 2021
100
Bull Case
  • High net assets
  • 3-year return above the benchmark
  • 5-year return above the benchmark
  • 10-year return above the benchmark
  • 15-year return above the benchmark
  • Low expense ratio
Bear Case
  • No Bear case arguments for now!

Before we start: if you’re looking for SPY “stock” price, you can quickly find it out by visiting Finny and typing "SPY quote". If you’re looking for a quick scoop on SPY "stock" (price chart, key stats, buy or sell analysis and holdings), go to Finny and look for "SPY". You’ll get all this info in one place.

Are you looking to buy or sell SPY? Or perhaps you’re looking for SPY fact sheet, and learn about its alternatives? If so, you came to the right place.

In this SPY ETF review, we’ll address key questions our readers have been asking us about this fund, above and beyond what you can find in its prospectus, and on Morningstar or Yahoo Finance.

Here is what you’ll be able to find in this review:

  • Fact Sheet: SPY performance, returns, expense ratio, holdings and dividend yield;
  • Analysis: SPY buy or sell; the pros and cons of investing in SPY ETF;
  • Alternatives: other ETFs and mutual funds you should consider as alternatives to SPY.

And here is the list of questions we’ll answer:

  1. Describe SPDR S&P 500 (SPY).
  2. What is SPY underlying index?
  3. What are SPY holdings?
  4. What is SPY performance? What are SPY historical returns?
  5. How many up and down years did SPY have historically?
  6. What is SPY dividend yield?
  7. What is SPY tax efficiency (tax-cost ratio)?
  8. What is SPY beta? How would you assess SPY risk?
  9. What is SPY Sharpe ratio?
  10. What is SPY Finny Score? SPY buy or sell?
  11. What are the pros of investing in SPY? What are SPY buy reasons?
  12. What are the cons of investing in SPY? What are SPY sell reasons?
  13. Compare and contrast: SPY vs QQQ.
  14. Compare and contrast: SPY vs INDEX.
  15. Compare and contrast: SPY vs VOO.

So let’s start. Scroll down to the question that interests you the most.

Fact Sheet

1. Describe SPDR S&P 500 (SPY).

The Trust seeks investment results that, before expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the component common stocks of the S&P 500 Index.

2. What is SPY underlying index?

S&P 500.

3. What are SPY top holdings?

SPY has 507 stock holdings and 0 bond holdings.

The top 10 holdings represent 27.96% of total assets. Here are the top holdings:

Name Symbol % Assets
Apple Inc AAPL 6.45%
Microsoft Corp MSFT 5.65%
Amazon.com Inc AMZN 4.77%
Facebook Inc A FB 2.33%
Alphabet Inc A GOOGL 1.79%
Alphabet Inc Class C GOOG 1.76%
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B BRK.B 1.48%
Johnson & Johnson JNJ 1.33%
Procter & Gamble Co PG 1.26%
NVIDIA Corp NVDA 1.14%

4. What is SPY performance? What are SPY historical returns?

SPY has generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 3.53%;
  • 3-month return is 8.62%;
  • 1-year return is 41.00%;
  • 3-year return is 18.94%;
  • 5-year return is 17.77%;
  • 10-year return is 14.69%;
  • 15-year return is 10.70%.

5. How many up and down years did SPY have historically?

In the last 10 years, SPY had 9 up years and 1 down year.

SPY up and down years

6. What is SPY dividend yield?

SPY yield is 1.33%.

7. What is SPY tax efficiency (tax-cost ratio)?

  • 1-year ax cost ratio is 0.61%;
  • 3-year ax cost ratio is 0.66%.
SPY tax costs

8. What is SPY beta? How would you assess SPY risk?

  • 3-year beta is 1.00;
  • 5-year beta is 1.00;
  • 10-year beta is 1.00;
  • 15-year beta is 1.00.
SPY Beta

9. What is SPY Sharpe ratio?

  • 3-year Sharpe ratio is 0.95;
  • 5-year Sharpe ratio is 1.08;
  • 10-year Sharpe ratio is 1.04;
  • 15-year Sharpe ratio is 0.68.
SPY Sharpe ratio

Analysis

10. What is Finny Score? buy or sell?

Finny Score is 100. Our quantitative analysis shows 6 reasons to buy and 0 reasons to sell it, resulting in the Finny Score of 100.

11. What are the pros of investing in SPY? What are SPY buy reasons?

The following are SPY strengths from our perspective:

  • SPY net assets are $374.03 billion. This fund is a popular choice with retail and institutional investors.
  • SPY 3-year return is 18.94%, which is in line with the 3-year return of the benchmark index (S&P 500 TR USD), 19.06%.
  • SPY 5-year return is 17.77%, which is in line with the 5-year return of the benchmark index (S&P 500 TR USD), 17.9%.
  • SPY 10-year return is 14.69%, which is in line with the 10-year return of the benchmark index (S&P 500 TR USD), 14.82%.
  • SPY 15-year return is 10.7%, which is in line with the 15-year return of the benchmark index (S&P 500 TR USD), 10.82%.
  • SPY expense ratio is 0.09%, which is considered low. Nice job picking a low-cost fund.

12. What are the cons of investing in SPY? What are SPY negatives?

There are no visible red flags.

Alternatives

13. Compare and contrast: SPY vs QQQ.

Both SPY and QQQ are ETFs. SPY has a lower 5-year return than QQQ (17.77% vs 28.15%). SPY has a lower expense ratio than QQQ (0.09% vs 0.2%). Below is the comparison between SPY and QQQ.

SPY QQQ
Segment Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Equity: U.S. - Large Cap
Net Assets $374.03B $177.01B
Expense Ratio 0.09% 0.2%
Management Style passive (index-based) passive (index-based)
Underlying Index S&P 500 NASDAQ-100 Index
YTD Return 16.77% 14.58%
1-Year Return 41% 43.02%
3-Year Return 18.94% 28.51%
5-Year Return 17.77% 28.15%
10-Year Return 14.69% 21.22%
Dividend Yield 1.33% 0.53%

QQQ profile: The Fund seeks to provide investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the Nasdaq-100 Index. The Index measures the average performance of a broadly diversified group of equity securities issued by 100 of the largest non-financial companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.

For further information, check out SPY vs QQQ comparison details.

14. Compare and contrast: SPY vs INDEX.

SPY is an ETF, whereas INDEX is a mutual fund. SPY has a higher 5-year return than INDEX (17.77% vs 15.6%). SPY has a lower expense ratio than INDEX (0.09% vs 0.25%). Below is the comparison between SPY and INDEX.

SPY INDEX
Segment Equity: U.S. - Large Cap U.S. Equity: Large Blend
Net Assets $374.03B $84.90M
Expense Ratio 0.09% 0.25%
Management Style passive (index-based) passive (index-based)
Underlying Index S&P 500 N/A
YTD Return 16.77% 19.94%
1-Year Return 41% 6.64%
3-Year Return 18.94% 16.5%
5-Year Return 17.77% 15.6%
10-Year Return 14.69% N/A
Dividend Yield 1.33% 1.29%

INDEX profile: The Fund seeks to replicate, before fees and expenses, the total return of the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a portfolio of assets whose performance is expected to match approximately the performance of the Standard & Poors 500 Equal Weight Index.

For further information, check out SPY vs INDEX comparison details.

15. Compare and contrast: SPY vs VOO.

Both SPY and VOO are ETFs. SPY has a lower 5-year return than VOO (17.77% vs 17.86%). SPY has a higher expense ratio than VOO (0.09% vs 0.03%). Below is the comparison between SPY and VOO.

SPY VOO
Segment Equity: U.S. - Large Cap Equity: U.S. - Large Cap
Net Assets $374.03B $232.65B
Expense Ratio 0.09% 0.03%
Management Style passive (index-based) passive (index-based)
Underlying Index S&P 500 S&P 500
YTD Return 16.77% 16.82%
1-Year Return 41% 41.16%
3-Year Return 18.94% 19.04%
5-Year Return 17.77% 17.86%
10-Year Return 14.69% 14.78%
Dividend Yield 1.33% 1.4%

VOO profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of its benchmark index, the S&P 500. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach. The Fund attempts to replicate the target index by investing all of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index with the same approximate weightings as the Index.

For further information, check out SPY vs VOO comparison details.

In the SPY review, we covered SPY key stats (return, performance, yield, expense ratio, and holdings), buy and sell analysis, and alternative investments. If this review was helpful to you, feel free to check out other mutual fund and ETF reviews.
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