Here’s how the BetaShares Cybersecurity ETF (ASX:HACK) beat the ASX 200 in 2021

This ETF doubled the ASX 200 last year…

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It might be easy to forget after today’s dramatic sell-off, but in 2021, ASX shares and the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) had a pretty strong year. The ASX 200 ended up gaining a solid 13% or so for the calendar year, not including dividend returns. But the BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF (ASX: HACK) made that look pretty paltry by comparison.

HACK units had a stellar year, no way about it. This exchange-traded fund (ETF) started the year at $8.82 but finished up last week at $10.86. That’s a capital gain of just over 23%. But if we factor in the BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF’s dividend distributions, and the returns get even better. According to the provider, HACK’s total 2021 returns came to roughly 26.6%.

So how did the BetaShares Cybersecurity ETF manage to double the returns of the ASX 200?

One HACK of a year for BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF

It would have helped that this ETF doesn’t invest in any ASX 200 shares. Or any Australian shares for that matter.

HACK holds a concentrated basket of companies that are judged to be world leaders in cybersecurity. Currently, 91.9% of those are US-listed companies, but there is a small presence from Israel, Japan, France, and India.

As of yesterday, its top 5 holdings were:

  1. Accenture Plc (NYSE: ACN) with a portfolio weighting of 6.9%
  2. Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ: CSCO) with a weighting of 6.8%
  3. Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE: PANW) with a weighting of 5.9%
  4. Crowdstrike Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: CRWD) with a weighting of 5.3%
  5. Cloudflare Inc (NYSE: NET) with a weighting of 3.7%

During 2021, Accenture shares rose by a very rewarding 58.7%.

Cisco shares were up 41.6%, while Palo Alto managed a 56.66% rise.

An outlier, Crowdstrike went backwards over the year that was, falling by 3.34%.

But Cloudflare went on to record a very pleasing 73.3% gain for 2021.

With such robust performances from HACK’s top 5 holdings, it’s perhaps no surprise this ETF enjoyed such a successful year.

But BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF investors might be used to this by now. After all, this is a fund that has averaged a return of 30.51% per annum over the past 3 years. And 22.4% per annum over the past 5.

As we begin 2022, it will be interesting to see how HACK performs over the year to come.

The BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF charges a management fee of 0.67% per annum, or $67 for every $10,000 invested.

Should you invest $1,000 in HACK right now?

Before you consider HACK, you'll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and HACK wasn't one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for over a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

*Returns as of January 13th 2022

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns Cloudflare, Inc. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended BETA CYBER ETF UNITS, Cloudflare, Inc., and CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended BETA CYBER ETF UNITS. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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