2020 ETF Research Report

Best performing ETFs for 2020

The top 5 ETF performers that had the best returns over the past year in 2020.

For the 2nd year in a row, the ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) was the best performing ETF over the last year. It is an Exchange Traded Commodity (ETC) and tracks the performance of the price of Palladium.

This metal is used in a range of activities such as an auto catalysts for automobiles (to reduce carbon emissions), dental fillings, and jewelry. ETPMPD returned 90.2% over the last year as the demand for this precious metal continues to grow. ETPMPD has returned over 25% p.a. since 2008.


Gold was a strong performing sector, as investors piled money into the precious yellow metal on the back of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and record low interest rates. The precious yellow metal can give investors diversification benefits as gold is uncorrelated to traditional assets like shares. The ETFS Physical Gold (GOLD) and Perth Mint Gold (PMGOLD) were up 43% for the year. Physical gold outperformed gold mining companies which also delivered a strong return of 23% for the last year. 

GOLD is the ETF we recommend for our clients to provide exposure to physical gold, as we believe it’s the best gold ETF. Here’s Why we think gold is an important portfolio diversifier

ETFS Precious Metals Basket (ETPMPM) holds a basket of metals such as gold, palladium, silver and platinum, which has helped the ETF finish 4th best for the year. 

Healthcare was the top performing sector in Australia with a gain of 37.8%, while consumer staples was up 11.4%. All other sectors posted negative returns with defensive sectors such as utilities (-9.1%) and communication services (-8.2%) fairing best over the last year. 

ASX CodeETF Name1 Year Total Return
ETPMPDETFS Physical Palladium90.2%
GOLDETFS Physical Gold43.1%
PMGOLDPerth Mint Gold42.9%
ETPMPMETFS Precious Metals Basket41.5%
GDXVanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF23.1%

See what the Worst ETF Performers were over the last year.

Stockspot finds the best ETFs in each asset class and automates repetitive tasks like rebalancing and re-investing dividends to keep your ETF portfolio healthy and your costs low.

Investment Associate

Marc has previously worked for Morgan Stanley, AMP and KPMG. He holds a Bachelor of Business (Finance/Accounting) from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and has completed his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1.

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