Buy Hold Sell: 5 of Livewire readers' top ETFs for 2023

Two financial advisers - Pitcher Partners' Charlie Viola and Shaw and Partners' Candice Bourke - analyse the top-tipped ETFs for 2023.
Buy Hold Sell

Livewire Markets

There's something to be said about the wisdom of the crowd. Take your local coffee shop, for example. Sure, there are other options without a lengthy queue, but I am willing to make a bet that the crowded cafe is bursting with patrons for a reason. 

The same could be said of markets. Collectively, we are smarter together than we are alone, particularly when we have a large diverse team or community around us. That said, this theory is highly dependent on the quality of the crowd. A crowd with limited knowledge can be dangerous. After all, no one wants bad coffee. 

What we really want as a collective is for every single person's diverse ideas and opinions to be heard - completely free from the influence of others. But we humans have a tendency to avoid conflict, which is where "groupthink" comes in. In this case, no opinion is challenged, markets become inefficient, and investors pile into crowded ideas. 

So in this episode, Livewire's Ally Selby was joined by Pitcher Partners' Charlie Viola and Shaw and Partners' Candice Bourke to test the exchange-traded fund (ETF) ideas of Livewire readers. 

They analyse your top-tipped ETFs for 2023. And spoiler alert - there are only two that they agree on. 

Note: This episode was filmed on Wednesday 22 March 2023. You can watch the video, listen to a podcast or read an edited transcript below. 

Edited Transcript 

Ally Selby: Hey, how are you doing, and welcome to Livewire's Buy Hold Sell. I'm Ally Selby, and I've got a few quick stats for you today: There are now 283 exchange-traded funds or ETFs listed on the ASX with a market cap of $136 billion.

So today, in this episode, we're featuring Charlie Viola from Pitcher Partners and Candice Bourke from Shaw and Partners for their analysis of the top five ETFs you voted for at the beginning of the year.

First up, we had the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF. It had the most votes from readers. This one has management fees of 10 bps per annum. Charlie, starting with you, is it a buy, hold, or sell?

Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS

Charlie Viola (HOLD): VAS, for me, is a HOLD. But it's only a hold as a result of the current environment. Once we see more weakness, it's a buy. It's good quality. It's cheap. It gives you broad-based exposure - a great thing for every portfolio.

Ally Selby: Over to you Candice. It tracks the S&P/ASX 300, it's down 7.6% over the past 12 months. Is that one a buy, hold, or sell?

Candice Bourke: (BUY): If you had asked me a week ago, it would've been a hold, but you're asking me today, and today it's a buy. We're overweight Australian equities. It's got a lot of the names that we like in the top 300 of the Australian bucket, so it's a buy.

BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ)

Ally Selby: Okay. Next up we have the BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF. It obviously provides investors with exposure to the top 100 companies in the NASDAQ. It's down 4.4% over the past 12 months. Candice, staying with you, is it a buy, hold, or sell?

Candice Bourke (BUY): Another buy for us for NDQ. Again, if you had asked me a week ago, I'd say hold. We're seeing a lot of rush to the large mega caps in the US, so Apple, Microsoft, and NVIDIA. NVIDIA is up at 83% so far this calendar year. They're acting more like banks than they are tech stocks at the moment with everything going on. So a buy, we like it.

Ally Selby: It is actually more expensive than VAS. It will set investors back around 48 bps per year. Charlie, is it a buy, hold, or sell?

Charlie Viola (HOLD): Again, we are a hold on this. We are probably just taking a breath before piling new money into markets. But again, fantastic products. It gives us exposure to all the things in that market that we want, and the 48 basis points are an okay price to be paying for exposure to US markets.

BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF (ASX: HACK

Ally Selby: Next up, we have a thematic ETF. It's the BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF. The ticker is HACK. It provides investors with exposure to companies like Fortinet, Cisco, and CrowdStrike. Charlie, is that one a buy, hold, or sell?

Charlie Viola (HOLD): At the risk of sounding boring, again we're a hold on this one. We think that the cybersecurity space is one that continues to grow and I think cybercrime is becoming more and more sophisticated. The reason we're a hold, just for the moment, is that we do wonder whether some of the spending in that sector will fall, as people start to see it more like insurance and have a view of not wanting to overspend in the space. But again, nothing wrong with it. It's good quality. If it's in your portfolio, leave it there and put it in the bottom drawer.

Ally Selby: This one's a little bit more expensive than the ones we've looked at before. It costs investors around 67 bps per annum. It's also down quite a lot over the past 12 months. It's down around 16.4%. Should investors be buying the dip here, Candice? Is it a buy, hold, or sell?

Candice Bourke (BUY): We think it's a buy now. Again, the same theme. We were a hold last week. With everything that's going on, I think it's attractive now to get in. We like the thematic. There are a lot of exciting companies in the HACK ETF. There's a lot of talk in the market that semiconductors and that whole automation part of the market have already hit their bottom and have had a recession already. We're seeing it in the share prices year to date. So, it's a buy for us.

Global X Battery Tech and Lithium ETF (ASX: ACDC)

Ally Selby: Next up we have the Global X Battery Tech & Lithium ETF. The ticker is ACDC. Its share price has actually lifted over the past year. It's up 10.5%. Candice, is that one a buy, hold, or sell?

Candice Bourke (BUY): That's a buy for us. I'm very bullish, as you can probably tell. We are really liking future-facing commodities. Anything in the whole decarbonisation, EV supply chain we think is really interesting at the moment. For us, it's part of the satellite for long-term conviction. If you're a high-risk investor, happy to take that on. We think it's a buy and it's one that you should look at.

Ally Selby: Okay. Over to you, Charlie. It has management fees of around 69 bps. Is that one a buy, hold, or sell?

Charlie Viola (BUY): We're with Candice on this one. We're a buy. Again, it's an EV play. It's a tech play. It's really a play in terms of that future-facing stuff like Candice says. I'm not a massive fan of EVs. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a Motorsport fan and I hate EVs. But it is absolutely coming and all the bits that are going into virtually every car now need lithium and really nobody can do the battery tech better than what they're currently doing at the moment. It's a buy.

VanEck MSCI International Quality ETF (ASX: QUAL)

Ally Selby: Okay. Last up for today is the VanEck MSCI International Quality ETF. This one's quite cheap. It will set investors back around 40 bps per year. Charlie, last one for you today, is it a buy, hold, or sell?

Charlie Viola (BUY): We really like that one actually, so we're a buy. I make the point to everybody all the time, just go out and buy quality. This one, the ticker code is QUAL because it's just going out and buying good quality companies - large-cap, broad-based, good exposures. And again, for global exposures in a product like that, the costs are more than reasonable. So yep, go out and buy it.

Ally Selby: I know you're very bullish at the moment, but it has been super volatile. We've seen quite a few banks in the US and Europe collapse. Are you also buying quality right now? Is that one a buy, hold, or sell?

Candice Bourke (BUY): Yep. You've guessed it, it's a buy for us. Agree with what Charlie's saying. You really want flight towards quality in this environment. It's pretty attractive in terms of the MER fees. Performance, as you said, has been all over the place. But again, if you're a long-term investor, it's definitely worth looking at in our opinion. So, buy for us.

Ally Selby: Well, that's all we have time for today. I hope you enjoyed that episode of ETFs as much as I did. If you did, why not give it a like. Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel, we're adding so much great content every week.

Livewire gives readers access to information and educational content provided by financial services professionals and companies (“Livewire Contributors”). Livewire does not operate under an Australian financial services licence and relies on the exemption available under section 911A(2)(eb) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in respect of any advice given. Any advice on this site is general in nature and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision please consider these and any relevant Product Disclosure Statement. Livewire has commercial relationships with some Livewire Contributors.

1 contributor mentioned

Buy Hold Sell
Livewire Markets

Buy Hold Sell is a weekly video series exclusive to Livewire. In each episode two fund managers give their views 'Buy, Hold or Sell' on five ASX listed companies. Not recommendations, please read the disclaimer and seek advice where appropriate.

I would like to

Only to be used for sending genuine email enquiries to the Contributor. Livewire Markets Pty Ltd reserves its right to take any legal or other appropriate action in relation to misuse of this service.

Personal Information Collection Statement
Your personal information will be passed to the Contributor and/or its authorised service provider to assist the Contributor to contact you about your investment enquiry. They are required not to use your information for any other purpose. Our privacy policy explains how we store personal information and how you may access, correct or complain about the handling of personal information.


Sign In or Join Free to comment