The best and worst ETFs of the past 12 months


Stockspot has identified technology ETFs as the standout investment over the past 12 months.

The Global X FANG+ ETF and the Global X Semiconductor ETF (SEMI) topped its rankings with gains of 56.1% and 55.5%, respectively. These returns are largely attributed to the explosive performance of artificial intelligence companies, like NVIDIA.

Next in line, the Betashares Global Uranium ETF (URNM) posted a 47.9% return, as uranium prices surged to their highest levels in over a decade, driven by heightened demand and supply constraints.

With more than 80% of active fund managers failing to beat the index, Aussie investors are ditching risky stock picking in favour of a safer option: ETFs.

On the other side of the spectrum, renewable energy ETFs, including the Betashares Solar ETF (TANN), Global X Hydrogen ETF (HGEN), and VanEck Global Clean Energy ETF (CLNE), experienced declines of 25.2%, 20.6%, and 17.6% respectively over the past year.

Stockspot chief executive Chris Brycki says, "Renewable and clean energy stocks have faced headwinds of rising interest rates which have increased borrowing costs and capital expenditure outlays."

Taking the worst hit, the Global X Physical Palladium (ETPMPD), plummeted by 41.7%. The decline mirrors the broader drop in the commodity, which is now around 60% below its previous all-time high.

Meanwhile, "low-cost vanilla ETFs" tracking broad-based share markets registered the most substantial annual assets under management (AUM) growth.

Some of the largest ETFs in Australia, such as the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (VAS) and the Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF (VGS) gained $1.9 billion and $1.7 billion in assets over the past year respectively. Combined, these ETFs took in $1.8 billion in net inflows over the period, accounting for 14% of the total net flows for the Australian ETF market.

In contrast, active ETFs experienced some of the sharpest falls in assets driven by net outflows from investors.

Two of Magellan's ETFs, the Magellan Global Fund - Open Class Units (Managed Fund) (MGOC) and the Magellan Infrastructure Fund (Currency Hedged) (Managed Fund) (MICH) experienced asset decreases of $2.1 billion and $145 million respectively over the past year.

Rounding out the ETFs with the largest asset declines, the VanEck Australian Property ETF (MVA) reported negative returns and $28 million in net outflows over the past year.

The Vanguard Global Value Equity Active ETF (Managed Fund) (VVLU) also experienced net outflows as investors shifted their preference towards growth stocks.

This article first appeared on Financial Standard

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Andrew McKean is a journalist at Financial Standard. He covers superannuation, wealth management and financial advice. Prior to this he has worked freelance for not-for-profit organisations and corporate educators. Andrew has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and non-fiction writing from Macquarie University. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.