Top 10 Traded ETFs in the Last Six Months

Jarrod Purchase, General Manager of Marketing at SelfWealth

In any ‘normal’ year, exchange traded funds (ETFs) would already be a popular investment product thanks to their low-cost, simplified access to a diverse selection of companies and strategies. Over the last six months, however, ETFs have become a more common sight in the portfolios of many investors.

In March this year, ETF trading volume across the ASX reached an all-time record, around eight times the historical average. Meanwhile, ETFs have regularly featured atop the most actively traded shares on the SelfWealth online share trading platform, beating out many blue-chip stocks. Here are the most popular ETFs traded in the last six months.

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

ETF Name Code
1. BetaShares Australian Equities Strong Bear Fund BBOZ
2. Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF VAS
3. BetaShares U.S. Equities Strong Bear Fund – Currency Hedged BBUS
4. BetaShares Geared Australian Equity Fund GEAR
5. SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund STW
6. BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF AAA
7. Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF VDHG
8. Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF VGS
9. Vanguard U.S. Total Market Shares Index ETF VTS
10. BetaShares Nasdaq 100 ETF NDQ

Want to see what’s been popular in trading in the last 12 months? Check out the most popular ETFs from last year. 

What is the main ETF investment trend on SelfWealth?

Despite the volatile market, many SelfWealth members investing in ETFs have opted for aggressive investment strategies. There has been a significant increase in trading volume for geared ETFs. 

A geared ETF uses debt to increase your financial exposure to the performance of an index. This has the potential to boost your profits but also comes with the risk of magnifying your losses. Because of the high risks associated with geared ETFs, these should only be considered by experienced or professional investors.

Since November 2019, ETFs like BBOZ and BBUS have risen from the third and fourth-most popular ETFs to the top three. These ETFs allow investors to bet against the market, which in this instance means profiting from a fall in Australian and US shares respectively. However, there has also been a huge increase in trades for GEAR, which is a geared ETF that climbs when the market increases.

To put into context the popularity of geared ETFs, the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS) was once a fixture as the most-popular ETF on the SelfWealth trading platform. The total value of trades in VAS was nearly as much as the two ‘bear’ funds combined. Since March, the value of trades in BBOZ has more than doubled that of VAS, coming in at nearly half a billion dollars.

What does the rest of the top 10 ETF list tell us?

SelfWealth members have also reduced their exposure to cash-based ETFs such as the Betashares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (ASX: AAA). This ETF was previously the second-most popular ETF traded through SelfWealth, but it has recently recorded lower trading activity. With the Reserve Bank of Australia slashing interest rates to a new low in 2020, the appeal of cash has diminished compared with the aggressive investment strategies mentioned above.

Furthermore, after the strong rally in equity prices since the March sell-off, investors have sought exposure to growth instead of cash. ETFs featuring international shares have remained highly popular, with trading volume in VGS, VTS and VDHG trending higher.

Last but not least, the BetaShares Nasdaq 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ) rounds out the top 10 ETFs traded in the last six months on the SelfWealth trading platform. Tech shares like Apple (APPL) and Amazon (AMZN) have driven the strong performance of the US stock market in recent months. This has spurred on a wave of interest in NDQ across the SelfWealth community, with many investors positioning their portfolios to gain exposure to companies at the heart of the digital economy.

What are the most popular ETFs traded in the last 12 months?

Although there has been significant market movement within the last 12 months, there is some consistency in the most popular ETFs traded on SelfWealth from November last year as you can see in the list below.

  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)

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

If you’re comparing Online Share Trading companies, the comparison table below displays some of the companies available on Canstar’s database with links to the company’s website. The information displayed is based on an average of 6 trades per month. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) followed by provider name (alphabetical). Use Canstar’s Online Share Trading comparison selector to view a wider range of Online Share Trading companies.

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.

Begin investing in ETFs with SelfWealth today.

This article was reviewed by our Content Producer Isabella Shoard before it was published as part of our fact-checking process.

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