A look at Vanguard VHY and the IHD ETF
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%.
Investors looking for exposure to 50 high yielding Australian companies may find the iShares IHD ETF of interest. This is a low-cost way to access high-yielding Australian companies through a single fund.
Learn more about the IHD ETF with our full analysis page. Get our IHD review.
So where do we start analysing IHD and VHY? 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 basic and just study the fees. Based on our data for December 2020, the VHY ETF has a management expense ratio (MER) of 0.25% while the IHD ETF’s yearly fee was 0.30%.So VHY 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.
As Jerry Maguire said, ‘show me the money’. 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 positive return one year just to generate inferior 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 IHD ETF returned 5.52%.
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 VHY 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 IHD is iShares. iShares ranks highly for our scores of ETF providers and issuers in Australia. We consider iShares to be among the best ETF providers in Australia and globally.
For us, the VHY ETF ranks fairly better 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…