What is a Net Asset Value (NAV)?

A NAV refers to the net value of a fund and for ETFs it is usually quoted on a per unit (or share) basis. It is calculated as the total value of the ETFs assets minus its liabilities, divided by the number of outstanding units.

  • An ETF’s assets include the value of underlying equities, bonds, swaps, cash etc.
  • The liabilities include the management fee, swap fee, transaction costs, any loans or overdrafts etc.
What is the difference between NAV and the market price?

The net asset value of an ETF is calculated at the end of the trading day and represents the value of each share’s portion of the fund’s underlying assets and cash. Some ETFs also have a intraday or indicative NAV (iNAV) which estimates the value based on real-time market movements and is usually published several times a minute.

An ETF’s market price is the price at which shares can be bought or sold on stock exchanges during trading hours. It usually closely approximates the iNAV but is ultimately determined by buyers and sellers in the market and the prices they are willing to transact at.

Do ETFs pay dividends or distributions?

If underlying companies within an ETF pay dividends, these are paid directly into the fund.

The ETF collates all forms of income within the fund, including dividends, interest and capital gains, and pays this out to investors as part of a regular distribution.

The timing of these distributions is outlined in the ETF’s product disclosure statement, and generally ranges from monthly to annually.

What are the difference between ETFs, shares, traditional managed funds, bonds and LICs/LITs?

See the table below

What should I do before trading an ETF?

You can buy and sell ETFs on the stock exchange much the same as you would with shares. Simply choose whether you want to use an online trading account, stockbroker or financial adviser.

  1. Create an online trading account or choose a stockbroker / financial adviser.
  2. Decide what proportion of your money you want to invest in each different asset class or region.
  3. Research which ETFs meet your investment needs and review the ETF’s product disclosure statement.
  4. Use the ASX code to buy or sell the ETF during normal trading hours.
Can I use ETF Securities ETFs in my self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF)?

Yes. ETFs are a suitable investment for SMSFs and have become increasingly popular in recent times due to their transparency and typically lower fees. ETF Securities offers a wide range of products that meet different needs and objectives for an investment portfolio. Please contact us for more information on using our range in your SMSF.

What are authorised participants and market makers and what do they do?

Authorised Participants (APs) are financial institutions that can create or redeem ETF units directly with the issuers. They are typically investment banks or specialist ETF trading firms. APs transact in the primary market by placing orders with the ETF issuers and exchanging either cash or a basket of underlying assets for ETF units.

A market maker provides secondary market liquidity to investors by offering to buy or sell units on the stock exchange throughout the trading day. Market makers ensure that there is enough volume available to meet the supply and demand of investors on a continuous basis. Most ETFs have a lead market maker who is committed to providing liquidity almost all of the time. Many funds also have additional market makers trading on their own account. Competition between market makers can help ensure tighter bid-offer spreads for investors.

A market maker can also be an AP and vice-versa, though this is not always the case.

Is there proxy voting on ETFs?

With an ETF, the issuer (such as ETF Securities) manages shares in the underlying companies held in trust on behalf of investors and acts as a ‘proxy’.

While proxy voting is considered a fiduciary duty, voting is a good way to influence the future activities of a company. The decisions an issuer makes will usually consider the best interests of investors, as well as the practical and financial consequences.

You can ask for a copy of proxy voting decisions made by ETF issuers, including ETF Securities, at any time.

How do I find details on my holdings with ETF Securities?

You can log into your online trading account, Computershare account or speak with your stockbroker / financial adviser to get a full breakdown of your total holdings with ETF Securities.

Alternatively, you can view current performance, pricing and underlying holdings for ETF Securities products on the individual product pages. Visit www.etfsecurities.com.au/product to find your product.

How do I set up a Computershare account?

After you make an investment in an ETF Securities product, you’ll receive a welcome letter from Computershare with instructions on how to set up your account. Alternatively, you can set up your account by:

Visit the Computershare Investor Centre and select ‘Register Now’ 2. You’ll need your HIN for the product and will need to confirm your address, the name of the ETF and your email. You can find your HIN on your CHESS statement, Welcome letter or by logging into your online brokerage account.

If you would prefer not to set up an account, you can check on your holdings by selecting “Single Holding” on the Investor Centre page, and entering your HIN, postcode and the name of the product.

How do I set up Distribution Reinvestment Plan for my investments?

For eligible products, your online brokerage account may allow you to do this, alternatively, login to your Computershare account to set this up. You can select a partial or full preference.

Where do I find the current holdings on ETF Securities’ ETFs?

Every ETF Securities product is fully transparent. We update the product holdings every day and you can access them on the Product page of our website (https://www.etfsecurities.com.au/product). Simply download the portfolio constituent file (PCF) for the product you are invested in to see how your money is invested. You can also find the top 10 holdings, sector and country weights on the product pages.

What are the differences between ETFs, shares, traditional managed funds, bonds and LICs/LITs?




Managed Funds




Remains close to NAV and is supported by market makers

Driven by supply and demand

Remains close to NAV but often not available intraday

Has a par value. Can trade at par, a premium or a discount based on supply and demand

Linked to NAV but varies with supply and demand


  • Brokerage costs

  • Low management fees

  • Bid/offer spreads

  • Brokerage costs

  • Management Fees can vary

  • Possible performance fees

  • Bid/offer spreads

  • Broker markups

  • Bid/offer spreads

  • Brokerage



    fees can vary


    fees may


  • Bid/offer spreads



Depends on the company





Full transparency

Full transparency

Limited to none

Limited to none

Full transparency

Open-ended /





n/a or closed