Are these the best Vanguard ETFs in Australia? December 2023
When it comes to exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the Vanguard Group is one of the most well-known names for long term investors, with over $10 trillion in funds under management. Having over 80 investment products in Australia alone, here we will be presenting the top 10 Vanguard ETFs in Australia, sorted by market capitalisation within Australia.
Discover which are the best Vanguard products in Australia from our list below
Year to Date
Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF
Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF
Vanguard US Total Market Shares Index ETF
Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF
Vanguard All-World ex US Shares Index ETF
Vanguard MSCI Index Internation Shares (Hedged) ETF
Vanguard Australian Property Securities Index ETF
Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF
Vanguard Australian Fixed Interest Index ETF
Vanguard Australian Government Bond Index ETF
Data as of 30 November 2023. AUM data as of 31 October 2023. Source: Stake, Vanguard, ASX.
*The list of ETFs mentioned is ranked by assets under management (AUM). When deciding what ETFs to feature, we analyse the financials, recent news, the state of the industry, and whether or not they are actively traded on Stake.
👉 Learn more about Stake pricing to discover how seamless investing in ETFs can be.
Best-performing Vanguard ETFs in Australia
1-year total return
3-year total return (ann.)
5-year total return (ann.)
Data as of October 2023. Source: ASX Investment Products - October 2023.
*The list of ETFs mentioned is ranked by best performing based on 1-year total return.
Decide which is the best Vanguard ETF in Australia for you
1. Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF ($VAS)
Assets under management (AUM): $12.38b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $87.86
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 89% / 11%
The most popular low-cost choice for Australian investors, VAS is a total market index fund ETF that tracks the ASX-300. Given that it is made up mostly of established, dividend-paying, large-cap stocks. Its 3 biggest holdings are in BHP Group Limited ($BHP) (10.37%), Commonwealth Bank ($CBA) (7.72%), and CSL Limited ($CSL) (6.47%) respectively. It's smallest holding on the other hand is Vulcan Steel ($VUL) (0.00115%).
💡Related: Top 10 Dividend ETFs in Australia→
2. Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF ($VGS)
Assets under management (AUM): $6.27b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $108.18
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 88% / 12%
VGS tracks the return of the MSCI World index, excluding Australian stocks. It is another index fund but is an international stock ETF that has holdings in approximately 1,500 companies in developed countries such as the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Switzerland. VGS is one of the best vanguard ETFs for a global portfolio. Its 3 biggest holdings are in Apple ($AAPL) (4.62%), Microsoft ($MSFT) (3.48%), and Amazon ($AMZN) (1.70%).
🆚 Compare VGS vs VAS→
🆚 Compare VGS vs VTS→
3. Vanguard US Total Market Shares Index ETF ($VTS)
Assets under management (AUM): $3.51b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $339.80
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 84% / 16%
VTS is a Vanguard total stock market ETF, meaning that the exposure that VTS provides is approximately equal to that of the entire U.S. stock market. Vanguard markets the ETF as one of the most low-cost ETFs they offer, especially suitable to investors seeking capital growth, some income, and with a higher tolerance for risk. The fund holds over 4,000 stocks, with its top 3 holdings in Microsoft ($MSFT) (5.03%), Amazon ($AMZN) (2.21%) and Tesla ($TSLA) (1.49%).
4. Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF ($VHY)
Assets under management (AUM): $3.04b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $66.28
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 81% / 19%
Income-oriented investors will love VHY – this is one of the best Vanguard ETFs, if not the best when it comes to exposure to the highest dividend-paying stocks in Australia. It is also diversified enough that any one industry can only comprise a maximum of 40% of VHY's portfolio. It is important to note that Australian Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) do not form part of its holdings. The 3 largest companies in VHY are BHP Group Limited ($BHP) (10.02%), Commonwealth Bank ($CBA) (8.98%) and National Australia Bank ($NAB) (7.22%).
🆚 Compare VHY vs VAS→
🆚 Compare VHY vs VDHG→
5. Vanguard All-World ex US Shares Index ETF ($VEU)
Assets under management (AUM): $2.6b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $81.91
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 87% / 13%
As stated by its name, VEU seeks to track the return of the FTSE Global ex-U.S. Index – which means that this is another international stock ETF that provides exposure to companies in both developed and emerging markets outside of the U.S.
The ETF has holdings in 3,720 different stocks at the moment of writing, with its largest allocations in Japan (15.2%), the UK (10.3%) and China (8.7%) companies.
6. Vanguard MSCI Index Internation Shares (Hedged) ETF ($VGAD)
Assets under management (AUM): $2.41b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $88.50
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 73% / 27%
Similar to VEU in the previous section, VGAD tracks the return of MSCI World, excluding Australian shares. While VEU is for international shares outside the U.S., VGAD is for shares outside Australia. As such, VGAD is also an international stock ETF, providing exposure to the growth potential of several other countries.
7. Vanguard Australian Property Securities Index ETF ($VAP)
Assets under management (AUM): $2.19b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $76.37
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 80% / 20%
VAP is a Vanguard Real Estate ETF available to Australians, tracking the ASX-300's A-REIT index. For investors wanting to have holdings in Australian property stocks, VAP would be an attractive opportunity. Additionally, it is an investment in the real estate market without having to directly purchase illiquid property assets or take out a mortgage.
As one of Vanguard's few sector ETFs – ETFs that focus only on one specific sector – do note that VAP would not be able to provide the diversification that Vanguard's total stock market ETFs have. Goodman Group ($GMG) (25.91%), Scentre Group ($SCG) (11.79%) and Stockland ($SGP) (6.99%) are the 3 largest holdings in the fund.
💡Related: Discover these Top 10 REITs in Australia→
8. Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF ($VDHG)
Assets under management (AUM): $1.98b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $57.74
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 86% / 14%
To put VDHG shortly, it is an ETF of funds. Its holdings are all in other Vanguard funds/ETFs, including but not limited to VAS, VAF, Vanguard International Shares Index Fund and Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index Fund.
VDHG is mainly a Vanguard growth ETF, with 90% of its portfolio allocation in growth assets, and only 10% in income assets. VDHG is designed to be for investors with a higher risk tolerance.
🆚 Compare VDHG vs VAS→
9. Vanguard Australian Fixed Interest Index ETF ($VAF)
Assets under management (AUM): $1.72b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $44.53
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 87% / 13%
VAF is for those looking to add fixed-income securities into their portfolio. Tracking the Bloomberg Ausbond Composite Index, VAF invests in bonds that have a rating of BBB- and above, which means they hold only high-quality government, corporate, and overseas bonds. The fund currently has holdings from over 200 fixed-income issuers and has a weighted average coupon of 2.7%. With rising interest rates, it is likely that VAF will have higher coupon bonds in the near future.
10. Vanguard Australian Government Bond Index ETF ($VGB)
Assets under management (AUM): $1b
Stock price (as of 30/11/23): $45.46
Stake Platform Bought / Sold (1 Jan 2023 - 30 Nov 2023): 74% / 26%
Similar to VAF above, VGB is a fixed-income Vanguard ETF – but this time, specifically for Australian government bonds. As a result, the minimum bond rating for VGB's holdings is AA and above. By investing in VGB, one would not have to worry about bond prices as Vanguard promotes this fund as protection from capital volatility. The fund currently has 153 different holdings with a weighted average coupon rate of 2.6%.
What Vanguard Australia products can you invest in?
Vanguard offers Australians two main investment options - mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
Mutual funds are those not listed on the exchange, while ETFs can be bought and sold by investors on the Australian stock market. Both options provide Australians with diversified portfolios, reducing the need for most investors to pick stocks individually.
The company has 30 different Australian ETFs alone, its most popular ones being focused on index funds and international stocks. With this, there are several choices available for investors, allowing them to pick specific ETFs depending on their investment goals.
Which Vanguard ETF is best to buy?
There is no specific best Vanguard fund to buy in Australia. When choosing an ETF or any investment, it's essential to consider your investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
🎓Related: Guide on how to invest in ETFs→
Which Vanguard Australia ETF has performed the best in the last five years?
Almost unsurprisingly, the best Vanguard ETF in terms of capital growth over the last five years is the Vanguard U.S. Total Market Shares ETF ($VTS), having returned an impressive 13.45% per annum.
For those seeking a high dividend yield, the best-performing Vanguard ETF in this list was VAS – with a historical yield of 7.4%. It also grew to 7.86% per annum in the last five years. Definitely more than a relatively small 4-5% that savings accounts have been offering.
💡Related: 10 High Growth ETFs to Watch in 2023→
Vanguard ETFs FAQs
Vanguard Australia is the Australian subsidiary of the Vanguard Group, a global fund management company that provides managed funds and ETFs to investors. Other services provided by the Vanguard Group include asset management, financial advisory, and brokerage services.
The founder of Vanguard, John C. Bogle, has been credited with creating the first index fund ever available to investors. His philosophy was to provide investors with a low-cost way of owning a diversified portfolio. With Vanguard Australia, both sophisticated and retail investors can invest across several asset classes without breaking the bank.
Expense ratios are the cost of owning a fund – it is the percentage that fund managers such as Vanguard take from your returns in order to cover their operating costs. A general benchmark for expense ratios is that anything below 0.2% is good, and those above 1% are too high.
As Vanguard prides itself as a low-cost fund manager, most of its funds have low expense ratios with their average at just 0.09%.
This does not constitute financial product advice nor a recommendation to invest in the securities listed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. As always, do your own research and consider seeking appropriate financial or taxation advice before investing.
Megan is a markets analyst at Stake, with 7 years of experience in the world of investing and a Master’s degree in Business and Economics from The University of Sydney Business School. Megan has extensive knowledge of the UK markets, working as an analyst at ARCH Emerging Markets - a UK investment advisory platform focused on private equity. Previously she also worked as an analyst at Australian robo advisor Stockspot, where she researched ASX listed equities and helped construct the company's portfolios.