Co-author – Dominic Beattie
What is an ETF?
Exchange traded funds, or ETFs, are pooled investment products designed to track an index through a carefully selected portfolio of securities. As their name suggests, ETFs can be traded on a stock exchange like shares. A typical ETF is a passive investment, however some providers offer active ETFs that are actively managed by a professional fund manager.
Want to know more? See the full guide to ETFs
ETF Providers in Australia
An Australian manager of ETFs, covering Australian and international equities, cash, currencies, commodities and alternative strategies. BetaShares is a member of one of Asia’s largest asset management firms, the Mirae Asset Global Investments Group. BetaShares offers ETFs covering Australian equities, international equities, currencies, commodities, fixed income and active exposures. As of March 2021, BetaShares’s manages over $18 billion in assets.
BlackRock Investment Management (iShares)
A large global investment firm with over 135 investment teams in more than 30 countries. Their iShares range of products includes 28 different ETFs over five exposures – Australian equities, international equities, Australian cash, Australian fixed income & international fixed income.
Provides actively managed ETFs based on the research, skill and intellect of experienced investment professionals. eInvest was founded by senior executives at Perennial. Perennial Investment Management Limited is the Responsible Entity and Issuer of the eInvest funds. They aim to provide new active ETF funds by partnering with other quality boutique investment management firms, who are specialists in their asset class and who are proven to add value.
ETF Securities Limited
A global investment firm offering a comprehensive range of specialist exchange traded products. They consider themselves to be pioneers in specialist investments, having launched the world’s first gold exchange traded commodity. They dominate the commodities ETF sector with over 50% of funds under management – the rest shared between Perth Mint Gold and BetaShares. There are two types of commodity ETFs, synthetic or physical. Synthetic ETFs differ from physically backed ETFs, because they hold financial contracts instead of the physical underlying commodities. Commodities ETFs should be marked as synthetic, if this is the case. ETF Securities Limited offer ETFs specialising in commodities, currency, Australian equities and international equities. As of August 2020, their total funds under management was $3bn.
Related article: Which ETFs Have the Highest Return on Investment?
Fidelity International have a number of managed funds that you can invest in, but at the time of writing just one active ETF. The Fidelity Global Markets Emerging fund aims to achieve stronger returns than the benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Gold Corporation (Perth Mint)
Precious metal provider trading as The Perth Mint has an ETF that tracks the price of gold. Investors looking to invest in gold can do so with their stockbroking account and can manage their gold investment along with their ASX-listed equities and other holdings.
Magellan is an owned subsidiary of Magellan Financial Group, which is a top 100 ASX-listed company. Magellan has offices in Australia, New Zealand and the US, and a team of 37 investment professional managers. They focus on global equity and infrastructure strategies for clients based around the work. They offer six ASX-listed active ETFs which invest in 20 to 40 global stocks.
Russell Investment Management
A global investment firm with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, offering five different ETFs on the ASX. Their ETFs cover two exposures – Australian equities (including a responsible investment ETF) and fixed income & cash. As of March 2021, Russell Investment Management’s total funds under management was $429 billion, globally.
Schroders is a global asset management company with offices in 29 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East. Schroder offers just one ETF in Australia, the Schrolder’s Real Return Fund. This is a multi-asset active ETF available on the ASX with total funds under management of $46 million, as of March 2018.
Related article: Why You Might Consider investing In Active ETFs
State Street Global Advisors (SPDR)
Investment management arm of State Street Corporation – an American global financial services holding company, with an office in Sydney. Offers over 20 ETFs on the ASX under the SPDR product range covering Australian equities, international equities, fixed income & cash and factor investing.
Headquartered in Zurich and Basel, the UBS Group is a global wealth management firm with more than 61,000 employees worldwide. They offer nine different ETFs covering fixed income & cash, and Australian and international equities. UBS are a major provider of ethical ETFs, offering six different funds which deliberately exclude tobacco and ‘controversial weapons’ out of their portfolios. As of March 2018, they had $270 million in total funds under management.
Van Eck Australia (Market Vectors)
Van Eck Australia – a subsidiary of the New York-based Van Eck Global. Their Market Vectors range of ETFs includes over 20 different products specialising in Australian equities, international equities, Australian fixed income and one in international commodities (gold miners).
Vanguard Investments Australia:
Vanguard is a global investment firm headquartered in Pennsylvania (USA) with more than 16,600 employees worldwide. Offers 28 different ETFs on the ASX covering Australian equities, property, international equities and fixed income & cash exposures. As of March 2018, they had $140 billion in total funds under management.
Before you invest
ETFs are considered by ASIC to be complex financial product, with some more complex and risky than others. Before investing, you should consider if an ETF is the right fit for your portfolio, and determine if this financial product suits your investment goals and needs.
*Total funds under management is based on data from March 2018 and provided by Stockspot.
The table below displays some of the International Broad Based ETFs available on our database with the highest three-year returns (sorted highest to lowest by three-year returns and then alphabetically by provider name). Use Canstar’s ETF comparison selector to view a wider range of products. Canstar may earn a fee for referrals.