On the ASX, the Vanguard Ethically Conscious International Shares Index ETF (ASX: VESG) and BetaShares Global Healthcare ETF – Currency Hedged ETF (ASX: DRUG) are two ASX ETFs worthy of closer inspection.
What the Vanguard VESG ETF does for investors
The Vanguard VESG ETF provides investors with exposure to a broad range of companies from developed economies around the world, while excluding companies involved with fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons, nuclear power, and adult entertainment.
According to our most recent data, the VESG ETF had $200.09 million of money invested. With VESG’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 VESG ETF is 0.18%. The issuer, Vanguard, collects this fee automatically.
Meaning, if you invested $2,000 in the VESG ETF for a full year you could expect to pay management fees of around $3.60. 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 VESG 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 VESG ETF by clicking here?
What does the BetaShares DRUG ETF do?
The BetaShares DRUG ETF provides investors with exposure to leading global healthcare companies, hedged into Australian dollars.
With our numbers for December 2020, DRUG’s FUM stood at $84.66 million. Given it has less than $100 million invested, ask yourself (or your adviser) if the ETF is still too small (and if you should wait to buy into it). If you’re concerned the ETF might not be established enough, compare it alongside one of the other Index sector ETFs, using our full list of ETFs.
Are the fees for the DRUG ETF bad?
BetaShares, the ETF issuer, charges a yearly management fee of 0.57% for the DRUG ETF. Meaning, if you invested $2,000 for a full 12-month period you could expect to pay a base management fee of around $11.40.
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 DRUG ETF, you should know that you can access our free investment report.