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Aussie ETFs — 2022 Year in Review

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

With the latest December 2022 data out from the ASX, we get to take a look at the overall year that was for Aussie ETFs, and it wasn’t so great. Filtering out the CBOE exchange from our overall snapshot page we see that FUM went sideways as it ended up at $130bn (from $134bn in December 2021). We also saw 16% growth in the number of funds with 276 ETFs on the ASX as at December 2022 versus the 237 we saw at the end of 2021. This includes new issuers like JP Morgan coming into the mix this year.


Performance


Let’s take a look at some other stats in more detail starting out with Performance (Total Returns — which includes price performance and reinvestment of dividend returns).


It was not a great year if you were long on the markets (aka betting it would go up) as the best ETFs were the short/negative betting ones like SNAS and BBUS. Resource/Commodity focused ETFs did do well including FUEL, QRE, OZR, MVR, OOO.




On the flipside, the worst performing was the blockchain related CRYP, followed by LNAS (Long Nasdaq ETF), GGUS (another geared long US play) along with MKAX (Montaka Global Extension Fund), HYGG (Hyperion Global Growth and IDEA (Perpetual Global Innovation).



Tech and thematic type ETF investors would not be happy with returns this year (but this has played out well for them in prior periods).


These results are the opposite of 2021 where the leveraged shorts of BBUS, BBOZ and SNAS were the worst performers, and best were the leveraged longs of LNAS, GGUS. OOO stayed strong across both years (+63% in 2021 and +19% in 2022).


Back to 2022 performance, the ASX has their sector classifications and we can see that Australian Sector ETFs were the top performing (on average) whilst most others were in the negative.




We also build our own classifications at ETFtracker and the themes we saw as follows. Inverse market, commodity/resource related led the way whilst blockchain, payments and technology plays were the worst performing.



Inflows and FUM


Over to inflow and looking at 2021 to 2022, it’s clear there was a drop-off for 2022 in terms of new money coming in monthly. That said, with each month at least being positive inflows overall, we should have seen a continued rise in FUM, but returns (above) were key in driving that down.



The biggest inflows came from VAS at $2.6bn for the period and RCAP at $1.5bn then VGS and A200 at under a billion.



Category wise it was Global (Strategy) Equities, Australian Equities, Australian Fixed Income and Global Property that had the most funds flowing into them for 2022.



This was FUM in 2021, rising steadily.



Here we have 2022, and it’s much more up-and-down, even falling to as low as $121bn twice.



In December, the most amount of FUM still belongs to VAS (Vanguard Australia Index) and is followed by MGOC (Magellan’s Global Equities Fund).



Transactions


Moving over to transactions and we’ll highlight trading to start off with. The number of trades that happened in a month peaked back in March of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic hit and a wave of funds came in from investors making moves (buys and sells) as the ASX 200 dropped (around +30% (from end of Feb to end of March 2020).



That said, there were more ASX ETFs traded in 2022 than 2021 as we can see below.



This is driven by the fact we have more ETFs this year but also highlights how much more activity there are amongst issuers, brokers, and investors overall.



Other factors


Taking a look at some other data and we find that overall distribution yield (aka dividend yield) was much higher in 2022 than previous periods. This is as expected when trying to keep investors in the market when price returns haven’t been as great.



The average MER (management expense ratio) continues to rise



but when we break this down, it’s lower for Passive tracking ETFs



versus those which are actively managed (though interestingly, active is the lowest its been since May 2021)



You can access this data yourself with the ETFtracker app on desktop/laptop here: https://tinyurl.com/etftracker


And you can also check out the website of ETFtracker for more insights on how the app works and other things you can do: https://www.etftracker.com.au/

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