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2020 Year in Review for Aussie ETFs

It's that time of the month again where we review the goings on in the ETF (Exchange Traded Fund market) across Australia. It was a year of some record-setting in the markets not just for equities. From the strongest level of net-inflows to record breaking levels of funds under management (FUM), 2020 was a big year for Aussie ETFs.

In this review we'll take a look at total price performance (including dividends and other distributions), net inflows, funds under management and transactions. You can see these highlights below or, better yet, view them in the interactive app here: CLICK HERE

2020 Year in Review

Overall Highlights


ATEC (+53.9%) was the best performing ETF of 2020 (despite bumpy start) whilst WCM was the best ETF Issuer with +25.5% (albeit with only 1 ETF it provides, WCMQ). Across ETF themes, Technology related equities did the best at +34.9% (led by ATEC, ACDC +53.6% and ASIA +51.0% with FANG following closely behind at +50.2%). Behind Technology as a theme, Healthcare also fared well with returns of +11.7% (led by CURE +35.1% and DRUG +7.1%).

Net Inflows

Total net inflows in 2020 were AU$33bn. Magellan made up the most with their total global fund listed in November. It finished the year with a total of AU$13.3bn across 3 funds (MGOC, MICH and MHG). Excluding them we saw Vanguard, BetaShares, iShares, VanEck and ETF Securities with the most inflows across 2020 (2nd chart below shows the change in inflows each month).

FUM (funds under management)

FUM grew to AU$94.4bn in 2020 despite experiencing largest dip in March of this year (AU$6.7bn). Each year has seen continued growth as more and more ETFs are listed and more money flows into the markets.

Transactions (number of trades)

Number of trades in 2020 far outweighed previous years (2019 and 2018) with March having the most transactions as Covid-19 related lockdowns took place across the country. BBOZ was most traded ETF in 2020.

Other Insights

The above images are mainly from the initial highlights package put together for this review. Deep diving into the data requires going into the app even further and when you do this you can see things like:

Navigate to Net Inflows and see that total Net Inflows for the market were AU$33bn but you get to see how this was split across ETF Issuer, Category, Thematic and Fund. The Category is provided by the ASX and Chi-X in their monthly statistical publications whilst the Thematic view is our take on the various types of ETF plays you can make.

If we click on 1 of the bars or use the filters on the left hand side, we can focus on one particular issuer (in this case ETF Securities and we can see they had AU$1.2bn net inflows). Doing this interacts with other parts of the app and you can see how net inflows spread out across 2020 for the issuer and how that compared with similar periods in previous years.

When we said the app was interactive we meant it. Horizontal bar charts do little to tell you what happened over time so we also created some pop-up images that showcase more data when the user hovers over a bar (only for the horizontal bar charts).

There will be a video explainer showing you what you can do with this report and this data so stay tuned.

If you would like to start exploring you can click on "The Apps" menu above or CLICK HERE.

The Apps

The Year in Review app is available on "The Apps" page where you'll see it below the main ETFtracker app.

You can either view these on the page as they are but you also have the option of expanding each app to see it on its own page. To do this click on the expand arrows button on the bottom right of each app.

So why 2 apps? Well, we've got 2 here since the ETFtracker app is updated monthly but does not focus on showcasing year vs year comparisons and requires more filtering for users to isolate 2020 metrics on their own. By having the apps as separate pieces we have something that can cater to 2 types of users, those interested in monthly insights and those focusing on what happened in 2020.

That's all for now so thanks if you've come this far!

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