Australian ETFs on watch: Vanguard VBLD & VanEck CNEW

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On the ASX, the Vanguard Global Infrastructure Index ETF (ASX: VBLD) and VanEck Vectors China New Economy ETF (ASX: CNEW) are two ASX ETFs worthy of closer inspection.

What the Vanguard VBLD ETF does for investors

The Vanguard VBLD ETF gives investors exposure to a range of infrastructure securities listed in developed markets around the world. This ETF also provides exposure to currency fluctuations as it is unhedged.

According to our most recent data, the VBLD ETF had $101.06 million of money invested. With VBLD’s total funds under management (FUM) figure over $100 million, the ETF meets our team’s minimum investment criteria for FUM levels. As a general rule, our team draws the line at $100 million for ETFs in the International shares sector because we believe that, relative to smaller ETFs, achieving this amount of FUM lowers the chance that the ETF issuer will close the ETF.

Fees to consider

According to our numbers, the annual management fee on the VBLD ETF is 0.47%. The issuer, Vanguard, collects this fee automatically.

Meaning, if you invested $2,000 in the VBLD ETF for a full year you could expect to pay management fees of around $9.40. This fee is different from the fee you pay to your brokerage provider (e.g. CommSec, NabTrade, SelfWealth, etc.), which is the fee to buy or sell the ETF. In addition to a management fee charged by the issuer, be mindful to check the ‘spread‘ for the ETF.

A fee comparison

Fees aren’t the only key consideration for ETF investors, but it’s an easy thing to do. To understand if the ETF you’re looking at is too costly, compare it with other ETFs from the same sector, and against the industry average. For example, the average management fee (MER) across all of the ETFs covered by the Best ETFs Australia team was 0.5%, which is $10.00 per $2,000 invested. Keep in mind that small changes in the fees paid can make a big difference after 10 or 20 years. You should read the VBLD Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), available on the ETF issuer’s website, because it will detail the fees, tax implications and the latest information.

Side note: did you know you can access our full review of the VBLD ETF by clicking here?

What does the VanEck CNEW ETF do?

The VanEck CNEW ETF provides investors with exposure to Chinese companies primarily from the IT, health care, consumer staples and consumer discretionary sectors.

With our numbers for Oct 2020, CNEW’s FUM stood at $154.76 million. Since the CNEW’s FUM is over $100 million, our investing team would say the ETF has met our minimum criteria for the total amount invested, otherwise known as FUM. A very sustainable ETF in the Index sector should be able to scale well and become profitable for the ETF issuer.

Are the fees for the CNEW ETF bad?

VanEck, the ETF issuer, charges a yearly management fee of 0.95% for the CNEW ETF. Meaning, if you invested $2,000 for a full 12-month period you could expect to pay a base management fee of around $19.00.

The management fee is above the average for all ETFs on our list of ASX ETFs, but keep in mind the ETF may be able to justify the higher price tag with superior performance over time.

If you want to learn more about the CNEW ETF, you should know that you can access our free investment report.

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