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Intellidex 2019 reviews:CoreShares S&P 500 ETF


Catch this insight by Intellidex on the CoreShares S&P 500 ETF. The CoreShares S&P 500 ETF is one five ETFs on the JSE that provide access to the broad US equity market. The S&P 500 index, which is tracked by this fund, is one of the most widely recognised barometers of US equities performance. It is suitable for long-term investors.

Intellidex Insight: Offshore assets are a critical component of a balanced investment portfolio. The reasons are straightforward. Investing internationally provides diversification and access to companies and industries that you can’t find locally. SA is but a tiny market accounting for a mere 1% of global GDP – offshore investments give investors access to opportunities in the other 99%. Furthermore, the South African markets are facing serious headwinds. The JSE has been moving sideways over the past five years which has seen a lot of SA-focused funds suffering significant losses. And of course, offshore investments hedge your portfolio against rand weakness.

The CoreShares S&P 500 ETF is one five ETFs on the JSE that provide access to the broad US equity market. The S&P 500 index, which is tracked by this fund, is one of the most widely recognised barometers of US equities performance. It covers more than three quarters of the market capitalisations of listed equities in the US. Despite that, about a third of S&P 500 companies’
revenue comes from markets outside the US, which is good for diversification.

While this note focuses on the CoreShares fund, our pick for investors seeking exposure to the US market is actually the Sygnia Itrix S&P 500 which tracks the same index but has a total expense ratio of 0.16%. The CoreShares S&P 500 ETF’s average TER of 0.39 % is a bit steep. 

Fund description: The CoreShares S&P 500 ETF tracks the S&P 500 Index. The methodology filters from the universe of companies according to size – companies must have an unadjusted market cap of US$5.3bn or more – and adequate liquidity.

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CoreShares S&P 500 ETF



Top Holdings: The top 10 account for less than a fifth of the fund, which provides decent diversification. Still, the top 10 are weighted towards tech stocks, health care and financials. It does not have much representation in utilities, real estate or companies involved in producing and selling raw materials. This means for investors to get broad diversification among market capitalisation and sectors, it may help to consider other sector-based

Top 10 CoreShares S&P 500

Suitability: The ETF is suitable for investors seeking exposure to the world’s biggest companies, which naturally has a bias towards tech stocks.

It is suited to long-term investors because equity investments tend to exhibit higher short-term volatility than other asset classes, so a longer investment horizon gives the
portfolio time for returns to accumulate ahead of volatility.

Historical performance: The CoreShares S&P 500 ETF returned 16.8% a year over the past two years which is strong, comprehensively outperforming the MSCI World Index which invests in US stocks as well as companies listed on other international exchanges.

Historical performance CoreShares S&P 500

Source: and September 2019 fact sheets

Fundamentals: We are seeing the following key themes playing out in the markets:

1) Moderate global economic growth: The global economy is expected to remain on a moderate growth path, albeit softer than 2018. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is forecasting global GDP growth of 2.9% this year and 3% next year. The IMF is a bit more optimistic with projections of 3.2% this year and 3.5% next year, while growth in the US is expected to remain above 2% in both years. Risks include escalating trade tensions between China and the US and the US mid term elections next year which could significantly change the global political and economic landscape.

2) Low inflation: Inflation in most developed markets remains stubbornly low, reflecting low demand.

3) Downward pressure on interest rates: The US Federal Reserve recently delivered a second consecutive rate cut of 25 basis points on the back of global uncertainties. This follows a big rate cut by the European Central Bank which left the EU’s benchmark rate in negative territory. Locally, the South African Reserve Bank cut its benchmark interest rate in July but has left it unchanged since.

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CoreShares S&P 500 ETF


The global economic growth projections of above 3% bode well for this fund. It means that its constituents should be able to sustain their strong earnings. The ETF would be further bolstered should the rand weaken against the dollar.

Fund statistics:

Fund Statistics CoreShares S&P 500

Alternatives: The fund’s direct alternatives are the Sygnia Itrix S&P 500, with the lowest total expense ratio of 0.16%. Other options in this category are the Satrix S&P 500 ETF (TER 0. 25%) and 1nvest S&P 500 Feeder ETF (TER 0.27%).

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CoreShares S&P 500 ETF Fact Sheet

CoreShares S&P 500 Facsheet

Background: Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are passively managed investment funds that track the performance of a basket of pre-determined assets. They are traded the same way as shares and the main difference is that whereas one share gives exposure to one company, an ETF gives exposure to numerous companies in a single transaction. ETFs can be traded through your broker in the same way as shares, say, on the Easy Equities platform. In addition, they qualify for the tax-free savings account, where both capital and income gains accumulate tax free.

Benefits of ETFs

  • Gain instant exposure to various underlying shares or bonds in one transaction
  • They diversify risk because a single ETF holds various shares
  • They are cost-effective
  • They are liquid – it is usually easy to find a buyer or seller and they trade just like shares
  • High transparency through daily published index constituents


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