Australian shares top ETF review: Vanguard VAP & Betashares FAIR

The Vanguard Australian Property Securities Index ETF (ASX: VAP) and Betashares Australian Sustainability Leaders ETF (ASX: FAIR) are top ETFs. Let’s take a quick look at both.

A look at Vanguard VAP and the FAIR ETF

The Vanguard VAP ETF provides investors with low-cost exposure to listed Australian property companies and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

The BetaShares FAIR ETF provides exposure to the largest Australian shares and focuses on companies which operate ethically. FAIR has been certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), as part of the Responsible Investment Certification Program.

Learn more about the FAIR ETF with our full analysis page. Get our FAIR review.

a gif of 4 etf reports

So where do we start analysing FAIR and VAP? In addition to using our years of experience analysing ETFs to ‘get a feel’ for the ETF, there are simple checks and balances our team uses to compare similar ETFs.

The first is fees. We score ETFs based on their management fees and costs and we take into account the spread. We’ll then compare these ‘all in’ fees and costs across sectors, strategy types and ETF providers.

We’ll keep it easy and just study the fees. Based on our data for December 2020, the VAP ETF has a management expense ratio (MER) of 0.23% while the FAIR ETF’s yearly fee was 0.49%.So VAP comes out on top. That said, a more useful metric to know is the fee quartiles that these ETFs find themselves in (note: quartile 1 is best). For example, any ETF which has a fee below 0.3% would be considered in our first (best) quartile.

How do they perform?

Performance matters. 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 solid return one year just to generate lacking 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 VAP ETF had an average annual return of 6.07%. During the same time, the FAIR ETF returned 9.75%.

There’s one more important thing to consider: the company that starts and runs the ETF. They are in charge of operating the ETF on the ASX. The provider of the VAP fund is Vanguard. Vanguard ranks highly for our scores of ETF providers and issuers in Australia. We consider Vanguard to be in Australia’s top three ETF providers for retail investors, advisers and institutions. Meanwhile, the company responsible for FAIR 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.

Next steps

Did you know we have free reports? View our ASX VAP review and ASX FAIR review today.

For us, the FAIR ETF rates positively against our internal scoring methodology, but only just.

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…

From 200+ ETFs in Australia, our top investment analyst has just identified his #1 ETF for 2021 and beyond.

Low fees? Check.

Long-term growth potential? Check.

Regular cash returns? Check!

This ETF makes investing in ETFs "Super-Easy".

Simply click here or enter your email address below to access the full ETF report, ticker code, and step-by-step investment guide. Our expert's #1 ETF report is completely free.

No gimmicks, no payment, no credit card info. Just enter your email address below and we'll send you the report right away.

From 200+ ETFs in Australia, our top investment analyst has just identified his #1 ETF for 2021 and beyond.

Low fees? Check.

Long-term growth potential? Check.

Regular cash returns? Check!

This ETF makes investing in ETFs "Super-Easy".

Simply click here to access the full ETF report, ticker code, and step-by-step investment guide. Our expert's #1 ETF report is completely free.

No gimmicks, no payment, no credit card info. Just click the link below and enter your email address. We'll send you the report right away.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE REPORT

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The information on this website is general financial advice only. That means, the advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. In addition, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision to acquire a financial product. If you don’t know what your needs are, you should consult a trusted and licensed financial adviser who can provide you with personal financial product advice. Please read our Terms & Conditions and Financial Services Guide before using this website.

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