Australian shares top ETF review: Vanguard VHY & BetaShares GEAR

The Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF (ASX: VHY) and BetaShares Geared Australian Equity Fund (Hedge Fund) ETF (ASX: GEAR) are top ETFs. Let’s take a quick look at both.

A look at Vanguard VHY and the GEAR 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%.

BetaShares GEAR Fund is an internally geared fund, investing in the largest 200 companies on the ASX, by market capitalisation.

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

a gif of 4 etf reports

So where do we start analysing GEAR 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 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.

Show me the money

Typically, we want to a see ETFs with a three-year track record of compelling performance. Put another way, when an ETF achieves a three year track record, we score it greater 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.

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 GEAR 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

Be sure to visit our free ASX VHY review or ASX GEAR ETF review.

For us, the VHY ETF ranks greater 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 2022 in a free report. Keep reading to find out how to get our analyst’s report emailed to you right now…

My #1 ETF of 2022

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.

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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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