Popular ETFs Traded in the Last 6 Months

Content Producer · 6 November 2019

Jarrod Purchase, General Manager of Marketing at SelfWealth

The popularity of exchange traded funds (ETFs) doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. To get an idea of which ETFs investors are trading, SelfWealth have shared their most actively traded ETFs on their platform from the last six months.

The increased popularity and inflows to ETFs has resulted in an avalanche of ETF launches over the last few years. Such is the growth of the ETF market that in June this year it surpassed $50bn, growing 30% year-on-year. Industry insiders are forecasting the market may even reach $100bn by 2022.

So, which ETFs are Investors Buying?

In the last six months, over 134,000 trades were made on the SelfWealth platform. Many of them have been for popular stocks like AfterPay (ASX:APT) as well as the classics: Telstra (ASX:TLS) and the Big Four banks. However, the top 10 most traded ETFs, on the platform, alone represented 10% of all trades. Here’s the list:

The Top 10 ETFs Traded in the Last Six Months on SelfWealth

ETF Name Code
1. Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF VAS
2. BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF AAA
3. BetaShares Australian Equities Strong Bear Fund BBOZ
4. BetaShares Equities Strong Bear Fund BBUS
5. Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF VGS
6. BlackRock iShares S&P 500 ETF IVV
7. Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF VDHG
8. SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund STW
9. Vanguard U.S. Total Market Shares Index ETF VTS
10. BetaShares Australia 200 ETF A200

So, what to make of the top 10 ETF list?

It seems Australian investors are buying into talk of a recession, effectively shorting the market with the likes of ‘bear’ ETFs such as ASX:BBOZ and ASX:BBUS, which found their way into the top 10.

Investors ‘short’ a stock, or the broader market when they expect the price of the corresponding asset to fall. This practice typically requires an investor to borrow the security from another market participant. However, with the aforementioned ETFs, you can invest directly in a security that offers exposure to a drop in the Australian or US share markets, respectively.

The Betashares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (ASX:AAA) is also a defensive move, proving popular in second position. The popularity of ETFs corresponds to a climate where interest rates are at an all-time low, leaving investors searching for a high-interest option.

International stocks remain a priority for many investors, with several ETFs such as VGS, IVV, VTS and even VDHG providing exposure to rising share markets overseas. Each of these securities also happen to be among the most actively traded ETFs on the platform.

Finally, low cost funds are proving as popular as ever. While the BetaShares Australia 200 ETF has only been around a short time, it has gained significant traction to make it into the top 10. Meanwhile, stalwart VAS still tops the list. It is not only the most actively traded ETF, but also accounts for nearly as much value as the two ‘bear’ funds combined.

If you are interested in trading ETFs on the ASX it is easier than ever, all you need is a share trading platform.

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.

Risks involved with ETFs

ETFs also have a number of risks to be aware of. These include market risk, liquidity risk and currency risk (particularly if you’ve invested in an international or global ETF). Check out this article on common investment risks to learn more. ETFs do not suit every investor, so before investing be sure to read the PDS, and if ever in doubt seek the help of a professional financial adviser.

About Jarrod Purchase 

Jarrod Purchase is the General Manager of Marketing at SelfWealth and has been with the company for over 18 months. His 10+ years of local and international marketing experience has helped SelfWealth become Australia’s fastest-growing online share trading platform, taking the challenge to large incumbents and providing immense value to Australian investors.

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