FSTE100 ETFs differences

New to the world of ETFS… can you explain why all the different flavours of FTSE100 ETFs ?

Also what is the Instrument column telling me ? (e.g. ISF ? CUKX ? )

Instrument is the ticker symbol. Like Apple is AAPL, Lloyds LLOY etc…

Different flavours are basically different providers. HSBC, Vanguard, Blackrock (iShares) are all companies that provide ETFs. They might charge slightly different fees and will have different ways of unitising the fund (Making a share of the fund). Each of them pay the London stock exchange a fee to use the FTSE name and replicate the index.

Other differences are Accumulating and Distributing. Basically whether or not you want the dividends to be paid in cash to you, or automatically reinvested for you. Distributing funds will pay out the dividends as cash to your balance.


These ETFs are offered by different issuers: HSBC, iShares, Vanguard. They differ in popularity, cost and whether they are distributing (pays dividend) or accumulating (reinvests dividends). Good places to learn more are the web sites of the issuers, such as

Justetf shows comparisons https://www.justetf.com/uk/how-to/ftse-100-etfs.html

The Instrument is the ticker, by which you can lookup the product. ISF is the most popular, with a size of GBP 6,447 m and total expenses fee (TEF) of 0.07% p.a. As such it trades with smallest bid/offer spread. Second largest if VUKE at GBP 2,339 m.

In practical terms it will not make much difference in which you invest. Personally, I use ISF and VUKE because of their size and low TEF and bid/offer spread.

1 Like

Reading online it seems that accumulating it’s the best strategy ?

Also what kind of fees am I exposed to on T212 when trading ETFs ? Seeing that orders are free of charge…

There are no fees from Trading 212. If you trade frequently in and out you will want to pay attention to the bid/offer spread.

Accumulating and distributing pose different challenges whem it comes to tax reporting, if you are subject to tax.

Accumulating saves you the bother of reinventing dividends, but some people like to receive dividends and perhaps use them to rebalance by reinvesting in something different.

The distributing versions like ISF and VUKE seem to be more popular, though I am not sure why, but perhaps because they have lower costs (TEF).

all of these ETFs will aim to mirror the index, but will do so with slightly differing holdings in companies, so it can make sense to check the actual positions in each etf to determine which is right for you. particularly if you don’t want to support a specific company or feel it will not do well and thus want an ETF that is less influenced by that stocks price falling.

Most of the major ETFs use physical replication. That is, they hold each of the 100 companies in the index in exact proportion to their market cap. So there is no way to avoid owning a particular company. If there are types of company you wish to avoid then there do exist things like the FTSE UK 100 ESG Select Index, avoiding tobacco, oil… . But Trading 212 has no ETF tracking that.