ETFs are managed funds that trade on the ASX just like ordinary shares.

Most ETFs track a benchmark of some sort (e.g. index, sector, commodity etc.) so they are a great way to get exposure to an entire component of the market through one share transaction.

As at October 2018 there are over 180 ASX listed ETFs to choose from.

Lets use one of Australias largest ETFs as an example.

The SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (STW) aims to replicate the performance of the S&P/ASX 200 index by purchasing all its 200 constituents in a weighting similar to the index.

Any movement in the S&P/ASX 200 will result in a near identical movement in the STW Fund (less a 0.19% p.a. management fee).

So, if an investor were to purchases shares in STW they could expect to see a return highly correlated to the S&P/ASX 200 benchmark.

You buy and sell ETFs just like ordinary shares (e.g. CBA). Theyre listed on the ASX and can be bought through your existing brokerage account. Unlike most companies that have three character ticker codes, many ETFs have four or five character ticker codes.

All major corners of the market are now accessible to retail investors e.g. foreign markets, individual commodities and sectors.

One share purchase can provide exposure to an entire sector, commodity or market.

Short Sell the market with ease and profit when the market is going down.

My advice to the trustee [of my will] could not be more simple: Put 10% of the cash in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund.

iSTOXX MUTB Global ex-Australia Quality Leaders.

Access to the 150 global companies (ex-Australia) based on a combined ranking of four key factors ROE, debt-to-capital, CF generation ability and earnings stability.

A broadly diversified portfolio of global shares.

Covers large, mid and small-capitalisation stocks across developed markets which comply with MSCIs size, liquidity, and free-float criteria.

Exposure to large, mid and small-capitalisation stocks across developed market countries, hedged to the Australian Dollar.

Exposure to large, mid and small-capitalisation stocks from 23 developed markets around the world.

Track a subset of MSCI World (AUD) using a minimum volatility strategy.

Tracks 100 large capitalisation global equities.

Tracks 100 large capitalisation global equities (hedged to Australian dollars).

Exposure to Chinese equities that are available to international investors, along with Brazilian, Russian, and Indian equities.

A global equity fund with a medium to long-term investment horizon.

Magellan Global Equities Fund (Currency Hedged)

A global equity fund with a medium to long-term investment horizon, currency hedged.

Covers large and mid-cap equities across 24 developed countries.

Targets a 50% allocation to income asset classes and a 50% allocation to growth asset classes.

Targets a 70% allocation to income asset classes and a 30% allocation to growth asset classes.

Targets a 30% allocation to income asset classes and a 70% allocation to growth asset classes.

Targets a 10% allocation to income asset classes and a 90% allocation to growth asset classes.

Vanguard Ethically Conscious International Shares

FTSE Developed ex-Aus, ex Non-renewable, Vice Products & Weapons

Diversified range of securities that excludes companies with significant business activities involving fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, military weapons, nuclear power and adult entertainment.

Seeks volatility lower than the FTSE Global All Cap Index (AUD Hedged).

Invests in global equity securities demonstrating value characteristics.

AMP Global Infrastructure Securities (Unhedged)

A focus on infrastructure assets that have little sensitivity to GDP, are monopolies, or have long term contracts or very stable regulation.

AMP Capital Global Property Securities (Unhedged)

A diversified portfolio of property securities and REITs listed on equity markets around the world.

Solactive Asia Ex-Japan Technology & Internet Tigers

Exposure to 50 of the most innovative and disruptive technology companies in Asia, including Alibab and Baidu.

BetaShares Global Banks ETF – Currency Hedged

Exposure to the performance of the largest global banks by market capitalisation (excluding companies listed in Australia), hedged into Australian dollars.

Nasdaq Consumer Technology Association Cybersecurity

Exposure to the leading companies in the global cybersecurity sector.

BetaShares Global Energy Companies – Currency Hedged

Nasdaq Global ex-Australia Energy (Hedged AUD)

Provides exposure to the largest global Energy companies by market capitalisation (excluding Australia), hedged into Australian dollars.

BetaShares Global Healthcare ETF – Currency Hedged

Nasdaq Global ex-Australia Healthcare (Hedged AUD)

Exposure to the largest global healthcare companies by market capitalisation (ex-Australian).

BetaShares Global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic

Exposure to the leading companies expected to benefit from the increased adoption and utilisation of Robotics and A.I.

Provides exposure to 100 large global stocks (ex-Australia) which are climate change leaders.

Morningstar® Developed Markets Technology Moat Focus

Exposure to tech companies in developed markets.

Solactive Global Core Infrastructure Low Volatility

Exposure to the US biotechnology sub-industry within the health care sector.

Composed of global equities in the Consumer Staples sector.

Composed of global equities in the Healthcare sector.

Composed of global equities in the Telecommunications sector.

Dow Jones Global Select Real Estate Securities

Tracks the performance of publicly traded real estate securities and REITs.

VanEck Vectors FTSE Global Infrastructure (Hedged)

FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 (Hedged AUD)

A diversified portfolio of infrastructure securities (eg transportation, energy and telecommunications) from developed markets.

A portfolio of the most fundamentally sound companies in China having the best growth prospects in sectors making up the New Economy.

VanEck Vectors MSCI International Sustainable Equity

A diversified portfolio of sustainable international companies listed on exchanges in developed markets around the world (ex Australia).

FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure Index (with net dividends reinvested) AUD

Exposure to around 146 listed infrastructure companies across a range of industries, including transportation, energy and communications.

Vanguard MSCI International Small Companies Index

MSCI World ex-Australia Small Cap Index (net dividends reinvested)

Exposure to small companies listed in major developed countries.

Exposure to a diversified portfolio of 100 global companies (ex-Australia) which are selected for their potential to generate attractive and persistent income.

Exposure to high dividend-yield companies that have exhibited increasing or stable dividends for at least ten consecutive years.

Exposure to large and mid-capitalisation developed market equities (excluding the US and Canada).

Exposure to many of the worlds largest companies in major developed and emerging countries (excluding US).

VanEck Vectors MSCI World ex-Australia Quality

A diversified portfolio of quality international companies listed on exchanges in developed markets around the world (ex-Australia) hedged to AUD.

VanEck Vectors MSCI World ex-Australia Quality Hedged

A diversified portfolio of quality international companies listed on exchanges in developed markets around the world (ex-Australia).

S&P Developed ex-Australia LargeMidCap (Hedged AUD)

Exposure to companies in 25 developed markets (ex-Australia) with foreign currency exposures hedged to reduce the impact of fluctuations.

Covers large and mid-capitalisation securities from 25 developed markets (ex-Australia).

MSCI World ex-Australia ex-Tobacco ex-Controversial Weapons

Covers approximately 1,550 large and mid-capitalisation securities from 22 developed countries (ex-Australia).

Exposure to many of the worlds largest companies (ex-Australia) with net dividends reinvested.

Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares (Hedged)

Exposure to many of the worlds largest companies (ex-Australia) with net dividends reinvested, hedged into Australian dollars to reduce fluctuations.

iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond (AUD Hedged)

J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Core Index (AUD Hedged)

Tracks the Australian dollar hedged performance of US dollar denominated fixed and/or floating rate emerging market bonds issued by sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities.

Composed of large and mid-capitalisation emerging market equities.

Consists of large and mid-capitalisation equities in emerging markets.

VanEck Vectors MSCI Multifactor Emerging Markets Equity

Includes large and mid-cap stocks with an aim to maximise exposure to four factors – Value, Momentum, Low Size and Quality.

FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion

Exposure to companies listed on emerging markets (with net dividends reinvested).

Vanguard International Credit Securities Index (Hedged)

Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Government-related and Corporate

Exposure to high-quality, income-generating securities issued by government-owned or guaranteed entities and investment-grade corporate issuers from around the world.

Vanguard International Fixed Interest Index (Hedged)

Bloomberg Barclays Global Treasury Index (AUD Hedged)

Exposure to high-quality, income-generating securities issued by governments from around the world, hedged to Australian dollars to reduce fluctuations.

Exposure to the performance of the Offshore Renminbi (CNH) relative to the Australian Dollar (AUD).

Exposure to the performance of the US Dollar (USD) relative to the Australian Dollar (AUD).

Tracks the change in price of the British Pound relative to the Australian dollar (eg if the British Pound goes up 10%, so will the ETF).

Tracks the change in price of the Euro relative to the Australian dollar (eg if the Euro goes up 10%, so will the ETF).

Exposure to the change in value of the Australian Dollar relative to the U.S. Dollar.

Tracks the change in price of the US Dollar relative to the Australian dollar (eg if the US Dollar goes up 10%, so will the ETF).

iShares Core Global Corporate Bond (AUD Hedged)

Provides a broad-based measure of the Australian dollar hedged performance of the global investment grade corporate fixed-rate debt market.

Markit iBoxx Global Developed Markets Liquid High Yield Capped

Aims to track the Australian dollar hedged performance of fixed rate, high yield corporate bonds across global developed markets.

Vanguard Ethically Conscious Global Aggregate Bond Index (Hedged)

Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Float Adjusted Bond (Hedged)

Exposure to high-quality, income-generating securities issued by government-guaranteed entities, investment-grade corporate issues and securitised assets from around the world.

Vanguard Global Aggregate Bond Index (Hedged)

Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Float Adjusted Bond (AUD Adj)

Exposure to high-quality, income-generating securities issued by government-guaranteed entities, investment-grade corporate issues and securitised assets from around the world.

BetaShares Australian Ex-20 Portfolio Diversifier

Track the performance of 180 ASX listed stocks ranked from number 21 to number 200 as based on their market capitalisation.

iShares Edge MSCI Australia Minimum Volatility

Track the performance of the parent index using a minimum volatility strategy.

Track a subset of MSCI Australia IMI (AUD) according to to four style factors.

BetaShares Managed Risk Australian Share Fund (managed fund)

Broad exposure to 200 of Australias largest companies.

Covers approximately 75 blue-chip companies weighted equally.

Diversified exposure to large capitalisation ASX listed shares and trusts with an emphasis on value.

MSCI Australia ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons

Covers approximately 70 large and mid-capitalisation companies (excluding Tobacco and Weapons).

Vanguard MSCI Australian Large Companies Index

Exposure to the largest companies and property trusts listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Invests in S&P/ASX 200 Index listed companies using absolute bias, bottom-up, benchmark unaware, fundamental methodology.

Tracks the price and income performance of the S&P/ASX 200 Financials-x-A-REIT Index.

Nasdaq Future Australian Sustainability Leaders

Exposure to a portfolio of sustainable, ethical Australian companies..

Tracks the price and income performance of the S&P/ASX 200 Resources Index.

Provides investors with access to companies involved in battery technology and lithium mining.

Exposure to the largest ASX-listed companies that generate at least 50% of their revenues or assets from the Australian banking sector.

Exposure to companies in the S&P/ASX 100 index, excluding those in the S&P/ASX50 index.

Exposure to the largest and most liquid ASX-listed companies that generate at least 50% of their revenues or assets from the Australian resources sector.

Tracks the return of the S&P/ASX 200 Financials Ex-A-REIT Index.

Tracks the return of the S&P/ASX 200 A-REIT Index.

Tracks the return of the S&P/ASX 200 Resources Index.

Tracks the return of the 200 largest ASX companies (not the index specifically).

Tracks the return of the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Geared).

Tracks the return of the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries Accumulation Index.

Tracks the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries (companies in the S&P/ASX 300 index but not in the S&P/ASX 100 index).

Exposure to the most liquid dividend paying small cap local companies and offshore ASX listed companies which generate at least 50% of their revenues or assets from Australia.

Tracks the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries (companies in the S&P/ASX 300 index but not in the S&P/ASX 100 index).

Vanguard MSCI Australian Small Companies Index

Broadly diversified exposure to small capitalisation companies listed on the ASX.

Covers the top 40 stocks with the highest shareholder yields in the past one year from the S&P/ASX 300 Index.

Exposure to Australian equities that pay fully franked dividends while employing a risk management overlay.

BetaShares Australian Dividend Harvester Fund (managed fund)

Exposure to large capitalisation Australian shares along with regular franked dividend income, paid monthly, that is at least double the annual income yield of the broad Australian sharemarket.

BetaShares Australian Top 20 Equity Yield Maximiser Fund (managed fund)

Exposure to all S&P/ASX 20 shares while providing attractive quarterly income that exceeds the dividend yield of a portfolio of the underlying shares.

Seeks to provide exposure to high yielding common stocks from Australia while meeting diversification, stability and tradability requirements.

Tracks the Russell Australia ESG High Dividend Index, which is weighted towards companies that demonstrate positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) characteristics.

Comprises Australian blue-chip companies with a bias towards those that have a high expected dividend yield.

SPDR MSCI Australia Select High Dividend Yield Fund

Aims to achieve a higher than average dividend yield than the ASX average.

Exposure to approximately Australian 25 companies screened for their dividend yield.

Invests in a diversified portfolio of 30 securities that have paid out 100% franked dividends in the past two years.

Aims for exposure to companies with higher forecast dividends relative to other ASX-listed companies.

Tracks the performance of the largest and most liquid ASX-listed Real Estate Investment Trusts (A-REITs).

Vanguard Australian Property Securities Index Fund

Tracks the return of the S&P/ASX 300 A-REIT Index.

Exposure to the change in value of the Australian Dollar relative to the U.S. Dollar.

BetaShares Australian Bank Senior Floating Rate Bond

Solactive Australian Bank Senior Floating Rate Bond

Provides exposure to a portfolio of some of the largest and most liquid senior floating rate bonds issued by Australian banks.

Aims to provide regular income distributions that exceed the 30 day Bank Bill Swap Rate.

BetaShares Australian Investment Grade Corporate Bond

Solactive Australian Investment Grade Corporate Bond Select TR

Exposure to a portfolio of investment grade fixed-rate Australian corporate bonds.

Capital preservation and regular income with a diversified portfolio of high quality short-term money market instruments.

Composed of investment grade fixed income bonds issued in the Australian debt market.

A passive investment strategy that aims to outperform the performance of the S&P/ASX Bank Bill Index.

Tracks a segment of the Australian bond market comprised of inflation-linked fixed income securities issued by the Australian Treasury or Australian semi-government entities.

Composed of fixed income bonds issued by the Australian Treasury.

Tracks the performance of the DBIQ 0-5 year Australian Semi-Government Bond Index which comprises predominantly Australian government fixed income securities.

DBIQ 0-5 year Australian Semi-Government Bond

Tracks the performance of the DBIQ 0-5 year Australian Semi-Government Bond Index which comprises predominantly Australian semi-government fixed income securities.

Tracks the performance of the Australian fixed rate bond market.

SPDR® S&P®/ASX Australian Government Bond Fund

Tracks the performance of a sub-set of the Australian fixed rate bond market – the Commonwealth and State Government market.

Provide a total return that exceeds the Reserve Bank of Australia Official Cash Rate.

VanEck Vectors Australian Corporate Bond Plus

Diversified portfolio of Australian dollar denominated corporate, government and semi-government bonds with minimum investment grade credit rating.

Invests in a diversified portfolio of Australian dollar denominated Floating Rate Bonds.

Vanguard Australian Corporate Fixed Interest Index

Seeks to track the return of the Bloomberg AusBond Credit 0+ Yr Index.

Covers high-quality, income-generating securities issued by the Commonwealth Government of Australia, State Government authorities and treasury corporations, as well as investment-grade corporate issuers.

Covers high-quality, income-generating securities issued by the Commonwealth Government of Australia, Australian State Government authorities, and treasury corporations.

BetaShares Australian Equities Bear Hedge Fund

Profit from a decline of the Australian share market by generating returns negatively correlated to the S&P/ASX 200 index.

BetaShares Australian Equities Strong Bear Hedge Fund

Profit from a decline of the Australian share market by generating magnified returns negatively correlated to the S&P/ASX 200 index.

Comprises the 1000 securities with the largest fundamental values amongst US listed stocks.

BetaShares Geared U.S. Equity Fund – Currency Hedged

Geared exposure to the returns of the US share market, hedged to Australian dollars.

Tracks the price and yield performance the 20 most attractively priced companies with sustainable competitive advantages according to Morningstars equity research team.

Tracks approximately 610 of the largest US companies (excluding Tobacco and Controversial Weapons).

Exposure to a broadly diversified collection of securities and largest companies listed in the United States.

Aims to provide a higher yield and lower volatility than the S&P 500.

The fund seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of large-capitalisation US equities.

The fund aims to provide investors with the performance of the US market (hedged to Australian dollars).

Provides investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the S&P 500® Index.

Aims to track the performance of the NASDAQ-100 Index, before fees and expenses.

Seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of mid-capitalisation US equities.

Seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of 600 small-capitalisation US equities.

Seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of 2000 small-capitalisation US equities.

Tracks the performance of the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend Index.

Tracks the S&P 500 Index while providing regular income that exceeds the dividend yield of the stocks alone.

Profit from a declining US share market, hedged to Australian dollars, by generating returns negatively correlated to the S&P 500 index.

Tracks the performance of the EURO STOXX 50® Index.

BetaShares WisdomTree Europe (Currency Hedged)

Provides exposure to the European equity market.

Broad exposure to large, mid and small capitalisation companies in Europe.

MSCI Europe ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons

Covers approximately 430 large and mid-capitalisation companies from 15 developed markets (excluding Tobacco and Weapons).

Broad exposure to large, mid and small capitalisation companies in Europe.

Provides exposure to 50 of the largest Asian companies located in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

MSCI Asia APEX 50 ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons

Exposure to the 50 largest stocks in Asia (excluding Japan, Tobacco and Weapons).

Exposure to securities listed in Asia (excluding Japan, Australia and New Zealand).

BetaShares WisdomTree Japan (Currency Hedged)

The Index provides exposure to the Japanese equity market.

Tracks the performance of the 50 largest companies in the Chinese equity market that are available to international investors.

Aims to track the investment results of an index composed of large, mid and small-capitalisation equities primarily traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The fund seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of Japanese equities.

Aims to track the investment results of an index composed of large, mid and small-capitalisation equities primarily traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Aims to track the investment results of an index composed of large, mid and small-capitalisation South Korean equities.

Consists of large, mid and small-capitalisation companies traded primarily on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Tracks 300 of the largest and most liquid stocks in the Chinese A-share market.

MSCI Japan ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons

Diversified exposure to the Japanese equity market (excluding Tobacco and Controversial Weapons) with approximately 320 constituents.

BetaShares Commodities Basket ETF – Currency Hedged (Synthetic)

Tracks the performance of a diverisifed basket of commodities, with a currency hedge against movements in the AUD/USD exchange rate.

Access to the spot price of four precious commodities (gold, silver, platinum and pallidum).

Provides investors with a beneficial interest in physical gold Bullion held by ANZ in a vault in Singapore.

Nasdaq Global ex-Australia Gold Miners Hedged

Exposure to the largest global gold mining companies by market capitalisation (excluding companies listed in Australia), hedged into Australian dollars.

BetaShares Gold Bullion ETF – Currency Hedged

Tracks the performance of the price of gold bullion, with a currency hedge against movements in the AUD/USD exchange rate.

Provides a return equivalent to the movements in the gold spot price.

Provides exposure to large, mid and small-capitalisation exchange listed companies worldwide involved primarily in gold mining.

A structured fully paid call option to one hundredth of a troy ounce of physical gold and may be exercised by you at any time.

Provides a return equivalent to the movements in the silver spot price.

Tracks the performance of the price of platinum spot price.

Tracks the performance of the price of palladium spot price.

BetaShares Crude Oil Index ETF – Currency Hedged (Synthetic)

Tracks the performance of the Crude Oil, with a currency hedge against movements in the AUD/USD exchange rate.

BetaShares Agriculture ETF – Currency Hedged (Synthetic)

S&P GSCI Agriculture Enhanced Select Index Excess Return

Tracks the performance of a basket of corn, wheat, soybeans and sugar, with a currency hedge against movements in the AUD/USD exchange rate.

BetaShares Global Agriculture Companies ETF – Currency Hedged

Nasdaq Global ex-Australia Agriculture Companies Hedged

Exposure to the performance of the largest global agriculture companies by market capitalisation (excluding companies listed in Australia), hedged into Australian dollars.

1. How to Buy Shares in Australia (for beginners)

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