Exchange traded funds

Exchange traded funds, or ETFs, can provide a simple and affordable way to invest in multiple companies, bonds and other investment types - all in one go.

A video about exchange traded funds
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Benefits at a glance

  • Diversification is easy - just one purchase can be all you need to invest in multiple shares, bonds and other assets
  • Full transparency - make informed decisions by viewing full details by seeing exactly what an ETF contains before you invest
  • Do-it-yourself - buy and sell New Zealand and Australian ETFs easily through our online share trading platform
  • Cost efficient - you don't have to buy each underlying asset separately, so could reduce your overall brokerage costs

How it works

An ETF could be a good option if you like the idea of investing in multiple investments, but don’t want the hassle of choosing and managing individual investments yourself.

With ETFs you buy units in an investment fund that invests in a basket of securities, like company shares, bonds and other assets – all in one go. Check out our helpful guide on how exchange traded funds work.

Buy and sell ETFs like shares

ETFs trade on the stock exchange so you can buy and sell them like shares. And just like shares, funds are generally available two business days after the date of the sale, which is the usual settlement period for many stock exchanges.

ETFs track the performance of an index

The aim of an ETF is to generally replicate the performance of an index, such as the NZX50, ASX200 or S&P500, so if the value of the securities within the index goes up, so too should the value of the ETF, and vice versa.

Every ETF is different – research them carefully

Every ETF is different – for example some invest in a broad range of assets in a wide range of industries, while others focus on just one type of asset or sector. The management fees also differ from ETF to ETF so you should read the ETF’s product disclosure statement before you invest.

Things to consider

Owning ETFs may appeal to novice and experienced share investors alike for a variety of reasons and like any investment, it’s important you’re informed and comfortable with any potential benefits or risks.

Before you buy any ETFs here are some things to consider. You may also wish to seek financial advice before investing.


A single purchase is all it takes to get an investment in a range of securities. You don't need to choose and manage each individual asset yourself.


When you own units in an ETF you own a piece of that ETF, rather than the individual assets the ETF invests in.

Cost effectiveness

You don't have to buy shares, bonds or other investment types in each company or commodity separately, so you could pay less in brokerage fees. Also, management fees for ETFs are typically lower than those charged by managed funds.

Management fees

As ETFs are funds, fund management fees are applicable. Fees can vary from ETF to ETF, so it's important to check these out and factor them into your returns.

Exchange traded

ETFs are traded on the share market. Proceeds are usually available two working days after the date of sale, which is the usual settlement period for many markets.

Liquidity and pricing

Like shares, pricing can vary based on supply and demand. You should always read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure you understand any further financial or liquidity risks.


ETFs are often comprised of a number of shares, bonds or other investment types, for example a range of companies in different industries. This diversity could help spread your risk. However, if an ETF is heavily invested in one area, like one industry, your risks may not be as well spread.


You can see exactly what an ETF is invested in before you buy it. View historical performance and relevant details of the assets in an ETF to make informed decisions.

Tracking error and returns

Tracking error is the difference between the returns of an index and the returns of a fund. When an ETF's returns are behind the index, it's often due to the management fees associated with ETFs.

Online brokerage rates

Brokerage rate amount by transaction value
New Zealand trades (excluding fixed interest trades)
$15 (up to and including NZ$1,000)
$30 (over NZ$1,000 and up to and including NZ$10,000)
0.30% (over NZ$10,000)
Australian trades
$15 (up to and including AU$1,000)
$30 (over AU$1,000 and up to and including AU$10,000)
0.30% (over AU$10,000)

Note: For customers who receive printed contract notes, the additional $2 charge per trade applies.

Phone trading

International trades can only be completed by phone and there are different brokerage rates depending on the market you’re trading in. Please see our full share trading rates and fees or call us on 0800 272 732 for more details.

Management fees

The management fee is charged by the ETF’s fund manager, not ASB Securities. The fee can vary from ETF to ETF so please see the ETF's product disclosure statement for details.

See all rates and fees

Next steps

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Contact the ASB Securities team from 7am to 6pm NZT, Monday to Friday.

0800 272 732

+64 9 448 8120

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ASB Securities Limited is an NZX firm. When you trade on the NZX markets through ASB Securities you must comply with NZX rules as outlined in the ASB Securities Trading Conduct for Online Share trading. ASB Securities terms and conditions apply. Pricing data supplied by ASX and/or NZX. ASB Cash Management Account, ASB Foreign Currency Account, ASB Margin Lending and ASB Term Deposits are provided by ASB Bank Limited. ASB term's apply. Rates and fees may change. Refer to asb.co.nz for other fees and charges. This page does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader. As individual circumstances differ, you should seek appropriate professional advice. See the ASB Securities glossary for share trading and investment terms or Morningstar for research terms. 

ASB Securities Exchange traded funds