Think VAS is the best ASX index fund? These ETFs have beaten it over the past decade…
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The most popular exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the ASX to invest in is the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX:VAS). We know this because VAS currently has over $10 billion in assets under management, far more than its next rival at just over $5 billion.
But we also know that VAS was far from the best performing ETF in 2021. It didn’t even make the top five. Some of the ETFs that beat VAS, like the BetaShares Crude Oil Index ETF (ASX:OOO) had stellar years last year, but don’t beat the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF over a longer period. But funds like these are not index funds; rather, they cover specific corners of the market (in this case, oil futures).
But let’s look at some of the index funds that may shed light on VAS over the past decade.
How does VAS compare to other ASX index funds?
For reference, the VAS has achieved an average return of 9.41% per year over the past ten years (as of January 31).
An index fund that topped this performance is the ASX’s second most popular ETF by assets under management, the iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX:IVV). This ETF tracks the S&P 500 Index, which is the conventional choice for exposure to US equities and is the most followed index in the world. Over the past decade, IVV has more than doubled the return of VAS, providing investors with an average return of 20.07% per year.
But it’s not the only index fund that has outperformed the VAS over the past decade.
the iShares Global Consumer Staples ETF (ASX:IXI) averaged a return of 13.72% over the same period.
the iShares Asia 50 ETF (ASX: IAA) gave investors an average of 12.59%. the iShares Global 100 ETF (ASX:IOO) Tracked by 100 of the world’s largest companies, this fund has averaged 17% per year since 2012.
Even the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (ASX:IJP) beat VAS, giving investors an 11.39% return over the past ten years.
So VAS is certainly not infallible. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in it. Perhaps Australian equities could outperform these other markets over the next decade. After all, past performance does not guarantee future returns. But ASX investors voted with their wallets, and VAS still remains the king of the ASX index fund hill.