We recently crunched some numbers in our database and found that Betashares Australia 200 ETF (ASX: A200) and VanEck Vectors Australian Property ETF (ASX: MVA) ranked better than most ETFs in the Australian shares sector.
So what do they do?
The Betashares A200 ETF provides exposure to the largest 200 Australian companies, based on market capitalisation. Unlike many other Australian shares ETFs, A200 uses the Solactive Australia 200 Index. This is virtually the same thing as the indices provided by S&P/ASX, as it also uses a market capitalisation weighting.
The VanEck MVA ETF provides investors with exposure to the Australian property market by investing in a portfolio of ASX-listed property companies and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
If you want to go beyond the basics with the A200 ETF you can learn more about it by reading our free review.
Obviously, an easy way to analyse ETFs like MVA and A200 is by using quantitative methods and judging the fees and past performance (note: past performance is no guarantee of future performance).
At Rask Australia and Best ETFs, our team scores ETFs and funds based on the management fees and we take into account the buy-sell spread and other costs. We’ll then compare these ‘all in’ fees and costs across sectors, strategy types and providers to get a sense of fees across the entire market.
To make this article easier to digest, we’ll just study the fees or ‘management expense ratio’ (MER). Using data for December 2020, the A200 ETF has an MER of 0.07% while the MVA ETF had a yearly fee of 0.35%. As a result, A200 comes out on top. 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. MVA achieved a three-year average annual total return of 7.32% as of December 2020 but the A200 ETF had not yet got to the three-year milestone. Again, keep in mind we will still consider shorter-term returns if we believe it is a high quality ETF. And as always, past performance is not indicative of future performance.
Now we need to scrutinise the issuer or provider of the ETF. There are too many factors that go into our internal scoring of fund providers to detail here — here’s the quick version: As you guessed, the issuer of the A200 ETF is Betashares. Betashares ranks highly for our scores of ETF providers and issuers in Australia. We believe BetaShares is one of the leading providers of index and non-index style products to retail investors in Australia. MVA’s provider is VanEck. VanEck ranks highly for our scores of ETF providers and issuers in Australia. Our team considers VanEck to be one of Australia’s leading providers of specialised ETFs and funds for retail investors and advisers.
In summary, the MVA ETF ranks better against our internal scoring methodology but not by much compared to A200.
Please, keep in mind, there is much more to picking a good ETF. That’s why you should now use these skills to find the best ETF you can. If you want the name of our team’s top ETF pick for 2021, keep reading…