What are the Vanguard VHY and Betashares GEAR ETFs designed to do?
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%.
BetaShares GEAR Fund is an internally geared fund, investing in the largest 200 companies on the ASX, by market capitalisation.
For more information on the VHY ETF, see our ASX VHY review.
We’ll keep it basic and just study the fees. Based on our data for July 2021, the VHY ETF has a management expense ratio (MER) of 0.25% while the GEAR ETF’s yearly fee was 0.80%.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.
Typically, we want to a see ETFs with a three-year track record of positive performance. Put another way, when an ETF achieves a three year track record, we score it fairly better than might otherwise be the case. That said, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb. Also, remember that it’s hard to compare an ETF with a hedge fund strategy against other ETFs. Why? Hedge fund ETFs often use inverse or ‘opposite’ strategies which means that they’re designed to move in an opposite direction to the market. Nevertheless, we can see that both ETFs met their three-year performance milestone.
Okay, one final thing. Let’s talk about the company responsible for the ETF. There are too many factors that go into our internal scoring of fund providers to step through in this article. The provider behind the VHY ETF 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, GEAR’s provider 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.
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…