Now could be an opportune time to run the rule over the Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF (ASX: VHY) and SPDR S&P/ASX 200 ETF (ASX: STW). Using our internal quantitative analysis, these ETFs appear to offer good exposure to the Australian shares sector.
Getting to know the STW and VHY ETFs
The Vanguard VHY ETF provides exposure to the largest dividend-paying Australian shares, based on market capitalisation and forecast dividend yield. It tracks the FTSE Australian High Dividend Yield Index. The index excludes real estate investment trusts (REITs) and caps the total exposure to any sector/industry at 40%.
The SPDR STW ETF is Australia’s first ETF and has been operating for over 15 years. STW provides exposure to the largest 200 Australian shares, based on market capitalisation. This is a low-cost way to access top Australian companies through a single fund.
Note: you can continue learning about the STW ETF on our report page. ASX STW report.
To make this article easier to digest, we’ll just study the fees or ‘management expense ratio’ (MER). Using data for December 2020, the VHY ETF has an MER of 0.25% while the STW ETF had a yearly fee of 0.13%. So, STW wins on this metric. Keep in mind, a more useful metric to know is the fee quartiles that these ETFs find themselves in (note: quartile 1 is best). Meaning, we take all the Australian shares ETFs in our database and divide them into 4 quartiles, based on their fees. For example, any ETF which has a fee below 0.3% would be considered in our first (best) quartile.
Performance is important. Keep in mind, performance isn’t everything — and past performance is not indicative of future performance. It’s just one part of a much bigger picture. The reason we say performance is not everything is because of volatility of financial markets and the economy from one year to the next. Some ETFs and funds can put in a good return one year just to generate poor returns the next time around. That’s why we prefer three-year or seven-year track records over one-year track records. It can smooth out the temporary performances caused by external factors. Both ETFs have achieved our three-year performance hurdle. As of December 2020, the VHY ETF had an average annual return of 6.22%. During the same time, the STW ETF returned 8.00%.
Best ETFs Takeaway
For us, the VHY ETF ranks more compelling for our internal scoring methodology but not by much.
We hope this article helped you analyse ETFs. Don’t forget, there’s a lot more to investing well than what we just outlined (risks, diversification, other potentially better ETFs, etc.). Our analyst team at Rask Australia spends months looking at new ASX investments (it’s our day job!). To make your life easier, you can get the name of our team’s top ETF pick for 2021 in a free report. Keep reading to find out how to get our analyst’s report emailed to you right now…