Which of the Vanguard ASX ETFs has performed best over the past year?

Here is Vanguard's list of winners from 2022.

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It's been a relatively rough 12 months for ASX shares and the share market. In 2022, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) went backwards by around 5.5%. As such, it was always going to be a tough year for ASX exchange-traded funds (ETFs), such as those run by provider Vanguard. 

So let's look at the best-performing Vanguard ETFs over the past 12 months.

Of all Vanguard's ETFs, only four managed a positive return in the 12 months to 31 December 2022. Let's see which ones they were.  

Four Vanguard ETFs that delivered a positive return last year

Vanguard Infrastructure Index ETF (ASX: VBLD)

This infrastructure-based ETF managed to eke out a gain of 0.2% in 2022, including fees and dividend distributions. The Vanguard Infrastructure ETF holds companies such as power generators, railway companies, pipeline operators and telcos.

It's heavily weighted towards the US markets, with almost 70% of its holdings hailing from America. These include NextEra Energy Inc, Union Pacific Corp and Canadian National Railway Co.

This ETF has returned an average of 8.16% per annum since its inception in 2018. It charges a management fee of 0.47% per annum:

Vanguard Global Value Equity Active ETF (ASX: VVLU)

This ETF is a bit of a different beast, being an active ETF rather than an index fund. It uses modelling to build a portfolio of undervalued shares from around the world.

Again, the US is the most dominant market in this fund, but shares are drawn from countries as diverse as Japan, Canada, Israel and Hong Kong. Some of its current holdings include AT&T Inc, Meta Platforms Inc and Exxon Mobil Corp.

The Vanguard Global Value ETF returned 1.34% over 2022, after charging the annual management fee of 0.28%. Since its inception in 2018, this ETF has delivered an average annual return of 7.1% per annum.

Vanguard MSCI Australian Large Companies Index ETF (ASX: VLC)

Back to an index fund now, and this ASX-based ETF tracks the largest 20 companies on the Australian share market.

Naturally, banks and miners like Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) are dominant here, with financials and materials shares accounting for more than 63% of the total portfolio.

Even so, this ETF was able to give investors a decent return of 4.53% last year, thanks in most part to some hefty dividend distributions. This ETF charges 0.2% per annum and has returned an average of 8.01% per annum since its inception in 2011.

Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF (ASX: VHY

Last but certainly not least in terms of performance in 2022, we have the Vanguard High Yield ETF.

This fund invests in a basket of dividend-paying shares from the ASX, with the ETF currently invested in 74 income shares. These come from most corners of the ASX, but banks and miners are still quite dominant.

The Vanguard High Yield ETF hit it out of the park last year, delivering investors a dividend-driven return of 8.6% in 2022. This makes it Vanguard's most successful ASX ETF of last year.

This fund charges a fee of 0.25% per annum and has given investors an average return of 8.76% per annum since its inception in 2011. 

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in AT&T and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Meta Platforms, NextEra Energy, and Union Pacific. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Meta Platforms and Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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