The Vaneck Australian Resources ETF (ASX: MVR) and Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF (ASX: VHY) are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) operating in the Australian shares sector, and aiming to make investing as simple as possible.
How the MVR and VHY ETFs fit in a portfolio
The VanEck MVR ETF provides focused exposure to the Australian resources sector, which is a significant part of the Australian economy. This is a low-cost way to invest in the Australian resources industry through a single fund.
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%.
See our ASX VHY report – it’s totally free.
Okay, so we know what they’re designed to do, the sectors and strategies. Now what? One of the quick ways to compare ETFs like VHY and MVR is to study the fee load. No one likes paying high fees if they don’t need to. Here at Best ETFs and Rask Austalia, we begin by analysing the fees and ‘all in’ costs of an ETF or fund. Our team will score ETFs based on management fees, plus any other costs, then put them into quartiles by sector, strategy and across the entire ETF 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 MVR ETF has an MER of 0.35% while the VHY ETF had a yearly fee of 0.25%. So, VHY wins on this metric. Keep in mind, a more insightful 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 put 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.
Let’s look at the past results. 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 strong return one year just to generate weak 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 MVR ETF had an average annual return of 11.09%. During the same time, the VHY ETF returned 6.22%.
One final point: the ETF provider is important. In Australia, we believe there are a handful of stand-out ETF providers and many that are mid-pack or very fresh. As you guessed, the provider backing the MVR ETF is Vaneck. And 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. VHY’s ETF provider on the ASX 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.
What it all means
In summary, the VHY ETF ranks better against our internal scoring methodology but not by much compared to MVR.
Please, keep in mind, there is much more to choosing 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…