53 Best Vanguard funds to invest in (February 2019)

Milan Kovacevic January 30, 2019

Are you looking for best-performing Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs to consider investing in?  If so, you came to the right place.  

In this post, we'll share with you our selection of high-performing Vanguard funds as ideas for your future investments.  

We've attempted to be comprehensive in our approach and cover all funds that have generated high returns relative to their risk levels.  

We'll be discussing both mutual funds and ETFs.  Mutual funds are less tax-efficient than ETFs, and often require a minimum investment amount (e.g., $10K for Vanguard Admiral funds).  They also allow you to trade without paying a commission. 

Some of them are actively managed--which may be the right strategy for you if you're trying to generate above-market-average returns.   

ETFs, on the other hand, trade like stocks--and in most cases, you'll have to pay a trading fee to buy them (unless you use a zero-commission brokerage account).  They are also more tax efficient than mutual funds, and typically follow a certain index (so they employ a passive investment approach).  

Ultimately, you'll need to consider a variety of factors including your tax strategy, the amount of money available to invest, and your overall investment strategy in order to determine which option--mutual funds or ETFs--is right for you.  Our rule of thumb is, mutual funds are often preferable in tax-deferred accounts (e.g., 401K), while ETFs are often more effective in taxable investment accounts.  But there are many exceptions to this rule. 

Before we share with you our choice of top Vanguard funds, we want you to be aware of our methodology.  Our filter screens for funds with high assets, high risk-adjusted returns relative to benchmarks, and low costs.  We've included both active and passive funds, but have only looked at funds that have substantial net assets, typically above $10 billion.  Our logic is that as a retail investor, you should focus on those funds that are established in the marketplace.  You can leave small-net-asset funds to institutional investors.  

TOP VANGUARD MUTUAL FUNDS

Here is our selection of top Vanguard mutual funds.   

Mutual Fund CategoryBest-Performing Funds
US Large-Cap / Total Market, PassiveVFIAX, VTSAXVINIXVSMPXVIIIX, VITSX     
US Mid-Cap, PassiveVIMAX, VEXAX, VMCIXVEMPX
US Small-Cap, PassiveVSMAXVSCIX
US Equity, ActiveVPMAX
International Equity, PassiveVGTSXVTPSXVTIAX, VTSNX            
International Equity, Active
VWILXVINEX  
International Developed MarketsVTMGX
International Emerging MarketsVEMAX
Fixed Income  TaxableVTBIXVBTLX, VTBNXVFSUXVBTIXVTABXVFIDX          
Fixed Income Tax ExemptVWIUXVMLUXVWSUXVCADX      
Balanced Funds (Equity / Fixed Income)VWENXVWIAX  
Target Date FundsVTTVX (2025), VTWNX (2020), VTHRX (2030), VTTHX (2035)     
Healthcare
VGHAX 
Real Estate
VGSLX  


This choice is not meant to be comprehensive--it just represents a logical starting point for someone looking to buy Vanguard mutual funds.   

#1 Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Class (VFIAX)

VFIAX seeks to track the performance of its benchmark index, the S&P 500. It employs an indexing investment approach. The Fund attempts to replicate the target index by investing all of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index with the same approximate weightings as the Index.

VFIAX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.11%;
  • 3-month return is 6.64%;
  • 1-year return is 21.79%;
  • 3-year annualized return is 11.38%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 15.75%;
  • YTD return is 21.79%.

VFIAX expense ratio is 0.04%.

#2 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTSAX)

VTSAX seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. It employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index. 

VTSAX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.38%;
  • 3-month return is -5.27%;
  • 1-year return is 13.09%;
  • 3-year return is 10.18%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 12.72%;
  • YTD return is -0.23%.

VTSAX expense ratio is 0.04%.

#3 Vanguard Institutional Index I (VINIX)

VINIX seeks to match the investment performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Stock Price Index.  It's similar to VFIAX, but the cost is lower and minimum investment amount is higher ($5 Million). 

VINIX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.38%;
  • 3-month return is -5.78%;
  • 1-year return is 13.23%;
  • 3-year return is 10.54%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 12.93%;
  • YTD return is -0.39%.

VINIX expense ratio is 0.04%.

#4 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares (VSMPX)

VSMPX seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. It employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index.  It's similar to VTIAX, but it requires a $100M minimum investment, and has an ultra-low expense ratio (0.02%).  Check with your investment advisor to see whether this fund is available for you to purchase.      

VSMPX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.38%;
  • 3-month return is -5.26%;
  • 1-year return is 13.10%;
  • 3-year return is 10.21%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 12.68%;
  • YTD return is -0.21%.

VSMPX expense ratio is 0.02%.

#5 Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares (VIIIX)

VIIIX seeks to match the investment performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Stock Price Index.  Per Vanguard, the minimum investment requirement for this fund is $100 million.  It has an ultra-low expense ratio (0.02%).  Check with your money manager or investment advisor whether this fund is available for you to purchase. 

VIIIX  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.38%;
  • 3-month return is -5.78%;
  • 1-year return is 13.25%;
  • 3-year return is 10.56%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 12.95%;
  • YTD return is -0.39%.

VIIIX expense ratio is 0.02%.

#6 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Institutional Shares (VITSX)

VITSX seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market.  Similarly to VTIAX, it employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index.  Its minimum investment amount is $5 million.

VITSX  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.38%;
  • 3-month return is -5.26%;
  • 1-year return is 13.09%;
  • 3-year return is 10.19%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 12.73%;
  • YTD return is -0.22%.

VITSX expense ratio is 0.03%. 

#7 Vanguard PRIMECAP Fund Admiral Shares (VPMAX)

VPMAX is an active US large-cap fund.  It seeks long-term growth of capital by investing in common stocks which are chosen on the basis of greater than average earnings, growth potential, and quality of management.

VPMAX  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.46%;
  • 3-month return is -5.31%;
  • 1-year return is 19.32%;
  • 3-year return is 13.47%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 16.18%;
  • YTD return is 1.16%.

 VPMAX expense ratio is 0.32%. 

Below is a comparison between VPMAX and an index fund VFIAX.  As you can see, VPMAX has historically generated higher returns than VFIAX.    

#8 Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares (VGTSX)

VGTSX seeks to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index, a free-float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to measure equity market performance of companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States. 

VGTSX  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.83%;
  • 3-month return is -4.96%;
  • 1-year return is 15.40%;
  • 3-year return is 5.38%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 5.76%;
  • YTD return is 0.35%.

VGTSX expense ratio is 0.17%. 

#9 Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares (VTPSX)

VTPSX seeks to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index, a free-float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to measure equity market performance of companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States. 

VTPSX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.81%;
  • 3-month return is -4.95%;
  • 1-year return is 15.48%;
  • 3-year return is 5.50%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 5.87%;
  • YTD return is 0.36%.

VTPSX expense ratio is 0.07%.  The minimum investment for this fund is $100 million; find out if you have access to it through your retirement plan provider or money manager.  

#10 Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTIAX)

VTIAX seeks to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index, a free-float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to measure equity market performance of companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States. 

VTIAX  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.79%;
  • 3-month return is -4.97%;
  • 1-year return is 15.42%;
  • 3-year return is 5.46%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 5.83%;
  • YTD return is 0.32%.

VTIAX expense ratio is 0.11%.  The minimum investment for this fund is $3 million.

#11 Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Institutional Shares (VTSNX)

VTSNX seeks to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index, a free-float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to measure equity market performance of companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States. 

VTSNX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.80%;
  • 3-month return is -4.96%;
  • 1-year return is 15.46%;
  • 3-year return is 5.48%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 5.85%;
  • YTD return is 0.35% 

VTSNX expense ratio is 0.09%.  The minimum investment for this fund is $5 million.

#12 Vanguard International Growth Fund Admiral Shares (VWILX)

VWILX is an active international mutual fund.  It seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in equity securities of companies based outside the United States. In selecting stocks, the Fund's advisor evaluates foreign markets around the world and chooses companies with above-average growth potential.

VWILX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.80%;
  • 3-month return is -4.96%;
  • 1-year return is 15.46%;
  • 3-year return is 5.48%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 5.85%;
  • YTD return is 0.35%.

VWILX expense ratio is 0.32%. 

Below is the comparison between the index fund VTIAX and VWILX.  You can get this by typing "VTIAX vs. VWILX" on Finstead.com.

#13 Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTMGX)

VTMGX seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in the major markets of Europe and the Pacific Region. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. 

VTMGX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.55%;
  • 3-month return is -4.21%;
  • 1-year return is 15.10%;
  • 3-year return is 5.73%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 6.35%;
  • YTD return is 0.44%.

VTMGX expense ratio is 0.07%. 

Some of the top holdings of this fund are: 

#Holding
1Royal Dutch Shell plc
2Nestle SA
3Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
4Novartis AG
5Roche Holding AG
6HSBC Holdings plc
7Toyota Motor Corp.
8Unilever
9TOTAL SA
10BP plc

Those holdings represent 10% of the fund value by assets. 

#14 Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares (VEMAX)

VEMAX seeks to track the performance of the FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index, that measures the return of stocks issued by companies located in emerging market countries. 

VEMAX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -2.03%;
  • 3-month return is -7.77%;
  • 1-year return is 16.84%;
  • 3-year return is 4.12%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 3.76%;
  • YTD return is -0.02%.

VEMAX expense ratio is 0.14%. 

VEMAX gives you exposure to Brazil, Russia, India, Taiwan, and China.  Some of its largest holdings are TencentAlibaba, and TSMC.  

#15 Vanguard International Explorer Fund (VINEX)

VINEX seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in the equity securities of smaller companies (which generally have market capitalizations of $2.5 billion or less at the time of investment) located outside the United States.

VINEX is a small-cap international active fund.  

VINEX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.28%;
  • 3-month return is -4.07%;
  • 1-year return is 20.40%;
  • 3-year return is 10.39%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 11.32%;
  • YTD return is 0.85%.

VINEX expense ratio is 0.38%.  

#16 Vanguard Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Fund (VTBIX)

VTBIX seeks to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, and will maintain a dollar-weighted average maturity consistent with that of the index. The Index measures investment-grade, taxable fixed income securities in the U.S. 

VTBIX  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.74%;
  • 3-month return is -1.16%;
  • 1-year return is -0.53%;
  • 3-year return is 0.88%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 1.30%;
  • YTD return is -2.34%.

VTBIX expense ratio is 0.09%. 

#17 Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBTLX)

VBTLX seeks to generate returns that track the performance of the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Float Adjusted Index, and will maintain a dollar-weighted average maturity consistent with that of the index. The Index measures investment-grade, taxable fixed income securities in the U.S.

VBTLX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.82%;
  • 3-month return is -1.21%;
  • 1-year return is -0.48%;
  • 3-year return is 0.96%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 1.38%;
  • YTD return is -2.28%.

VBTLX expense ratio is 0.05%. 

#18 Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Fund Institutional Shares (VTBNX)

VTBNX seeks to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, and will maintain a dollar-weighted average maturity consistent with that of the index. The Index measures investment-grade, taxable fixed income securities in the U.S.

VTBNX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.73%;
  • 3-month return is -1.15%;
  • 1-year return is -0.46%;
  • 3-year return is 0.95%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 1.37%;
  • YTD return is -2.32%.

VTBNX expense ratio is 0.02%.

#19 Vanguard Short-Term Investment-Grade Fund Admiral Shares (VFSUX)

VFSUX seeks a high-level of current income and capital appreciation by investing primarily in investment-grade fixed income securities that have an average maturity of one to three years.

VFSUX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.25%;
  • 3-month return is -0.40%;
  • 1-year return is 0.13%;
  • 3-year return is 1.33%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 1.48%;
  • YTD return is -0.77%.

VFSUX expense ratio is 0.1% .

#20 Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Institutional Shares (VBTIX)

VBTIX seeks to generate returns that track the performance of the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Float Adjusted Index, and will maintain a dollar-weighted average maturity consistent with that of the index. The Index measures investment-grade, taxable fixed income securities in the U.S.

VBTIX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.82%;
  • 3-month return is -1.21%;
  • 1-year return is -0.47%;
  • 3-year return is 0.97%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 1.39%;
  • YTD return is -2.28%.

VBTIX expense ratio is 0.04%.

#21 Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTABX)

VTABX seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of investment-grade bonds issued outside the United States. The Fund is designed to track the performance of the Barclays Capital Global Aggregate ex-USD Float-Adjusted Index.

VTABX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.11%;
  • 3-month return is 1.23%;
  • 1-year return is 2.58%;
  • 3-year return is 2.50%;
  • YTD return is 0.76%.

VTABX expense ratio is 0.11%.

#22 Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade Fund Admiral Shares (VFIDX)

VFIDX seeks to provide a high level of income consistent with the maintenance of principal and liquidity by investing primarily in investment grade corporate bonds with expected average maturities of 5-10 years.

VFIDX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.79%;
  • 3-month return is -1.43%;
  • 1-year return is -0.73%;
  • 3-year return is 1.62%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 2.00%;
  • YTD return is -2.60%.

VFIDX expense ratio is 0.1%.

#23 Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral Shares (VWIUX) 

VWIUX description: the Fund seeks to provide investment in municipal debt issues with average maturities of 7 to 12 years. 

VWIUX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.34%;
  • 3-month return is -0.38%;
  • 1-year return is 0.96%;
  • 3-year return is 1.97%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 2.11%;
  • YTD return is -1.41%.

VWIUX expense ratio is 0.09%.

#24 Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral Shares (VMLUX)

VMLUX description: the Fund seeks to provide investors with a high level of current income exempt from Federal income taxes primarily through investment in high-quality municipal securities with an average maturity of 2 to 5 years.

VMLUX  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.12%;
  • 3-month return is -0.20%;
  • 1-year return is 0.23%;
  • 3-year return is 0.93%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 0.98%;
  • YTD return is -0.32%.

VMLUX expense ratio is 0.09%.

#25 Vanguard Short-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral Shares (VWSUX)

VWSUX seeks to provide investors with a high level of current income exempt from Federal income taxes primarily through investment in high-quality municipal securities, with a maturity of 1 to 2 years.

VWSUX  generated the following returns:

  • 3-month return is 0.09%;
  • 1-year return is 0.56%;
  • 3-year return is 0.75%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 0.65%;
  • YTD return is 0.27%.

VWSUX expense ratio is 0.09%.

#26 Vanguard California Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral Shares (VCADX)

VCADX seeks to provide a higher level of current income than shorter-term bonds by investing primarily in high-quality municipal bonds issued by California state and local governments, but with less share-price fluctuation.

VCADX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.38%;
  • 3-month return is -0.37%;
  • 1-year return is 1.21%;
  • 3-year return is 2.07%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 2.43%;
  • YTD return is -1.33%.

VCADX expense ratio is 0.09%. 

#27 Vanguard Wellington Fund Admiral Shares (VWENX)

VWENX seeks conservation of principal, reasonable income and capital appreciation without undue risk, by investing 60% to 70% of its assets in common stocks and 30% to 40% in bonds. 

VWENX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.32%;
  • 3-month return is -4.35%;
  • 1-year return is 8.40%;
  • 3-year return is 7.22%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 8.60%;
  • YTD return is -1.59%. 

VWENX expense ratio is 0.17%. 

#28 Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund Admiral Shares (VWIAX)

VWIAX seeks to provide long-term growth of income and a high and sustainable level of current income, along with moderate long-term capital appreciation. The Fund will invest 60% to 65% of its assets in investment grade fixed income securities with the remainder in dividend-paying common stocks.

VWIAX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.47%;
  • 3-month return is -3.46%;
  • 1-year return is 4.00%;
  • 3-year return is 4.85%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 5.50%;
  • YTD return is -2.92%.

VWIAX expense ratio is 0.15%.

#29 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund (VTTVX)

VTTVX seeks capital appreciation and current income consistent with its current asset allocation. The Fund is a fund-of-funds with the asset allocation becoming more conservative over time. The allocation strategy designed is for investors planning to retire in or within a few years of 2025.

VTTVX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.11%;
  • 3-month return is -3.41%;
  • 1-year return is 8.98%;
  • 3-year return is 5.95%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 7.60%;
  • YTD return is -0.49%.

#30 Vanguard Target Retirement 2020 Fund (VTWNX)

VTWNX seeks capital appreciation and current income consistent with its current asset allocation. The Fund is a fund-of-funds with the asset allocation becoming more conservative over time. The allocation strategy designed is for investors planning to retire in or within a few years of 2020.

VTWNX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.06%;
  • 3-month return is -2.92%;
  • 1-year return is 7.85%;
  • 3-year return is 5.34%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 6.90%;
  • YTD return is -0.48%.

#31 Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Fund (VTHRX)

VTHRX seeks capital appreciation and current income consistent with its current asset allocation. The Fund is a fund-of-funds with the asset allocation becoming more conservative over time. The allocation strategy designed is for investors planning to retire in or within a few years of 2030.

VTHRX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.24%;
  • 3-month return is -3.73%;
  • 1-year return is 10.05%;
  • 3-year return is 6.46%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 8.23%;
  • YTD return is -0.33%.

#32 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund (VTTHX)

VTTHX seeks capital appreciation and current income consistent with its current asset allocation. The Fund is a fund-of-funds with the asset allocation becoming more conservative over time. The allocation strategy designed is for investors planning to retire in or within a few years of 2035.

VTTHX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.34%;
  • 3-month return is -4.09%;
  • 1-year return is 11.07%;
  • 3-year return is 6.96%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 8.85%;
  • YTD return is -0.24%.

#33 Vanguard Health Care Fund Admiral Shares (VGHAX)

VGHAX seeks capital appreciation by investing principally in the equity securities of companies in the health care industry.

VGHAX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -2.34%;
  • 3-month return is -6.85%;
  • 1-year return is 4.61%;
  • 3-year return is 3.30%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 13.38%;
  • YTD return is -2.12%.

VGHAX expense ratio is 0.32%.

#34 Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund Admiral Shares (VGSLX)

VGSLX seeks to provide a high level of income and moderate long-term capital appreciation. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the MSCI US REIT Index. The Index is composed of stocks of publicly traded equity real estate investment trusts (known as REITs).

VGSLX generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.86%;
  • 3-month return is -3.28%;
  • 1-year return is -3.82%;
  • 3-year return is 3.12%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 4.57%;
  • YTD return is -7.32%.

VGSLX expense ratio is 0.12%.

We hope this has been a comprehensive list of Vanguard mutual funds worth considering.  If you're a little overwhelmed by the amount for information you've gotten, you can always visit Finstead and compare any of those mutual funds (e.g., try "VFIAX vs. VTIAX").   

Let's now switch gears to ETFs.

TOP VANGUARD ETFs 

Here is our selection of top Vanguard ETFs

ETF CategoryBest-Performing Funds
US Large-Cap / Total MarketVTIVIG VOO, VTV, VUG                                          
US Mid-CapVO             
US Small-CapVB, VBR                         
US DividendVYM
International Equity, Total MarketVEU                     
International Equity, Developed MarketsVEA
International Equity, Emerging MarketsVWO
Fixed Income, Total MarketBND     
Fixed Income Short-TermBSV, VCSH           
Fixed Income Intermediate-Term
VCIT, BIV         
Information TechnologyVGT
Real EstateVNQ

There are many others worth considering, but should be a good starter list. 

#1 VTI: Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF

VTI is a U.S. - Total Market ETF.  Its underlying index is CRSP US Total Market Index.  

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. The Fund employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index.

VTI generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.45%.;
  • 3-month return is -5.22%;
  • 1-year return is 13.20%;
  • 3-year annualized return is 10.20%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 12.77%;
  • YTD return is -0.26%.

VTI expense ratio is 0.04%.

#2 Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG)

VIG is a U.S- Total Market ETF. Its underlying index is NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers Select Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of the Dividend Achievers Select Index that measures the investment return of common stocks of companies that have a record of increasing dividends over time.

VIG generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.93%;
  • 3-month return is -6.20%;
  • 1-year return is 11.56%;
  • 3-year annualized return is 9.93%;
  • 5-year annualized return is 10.73%;
  • YTD return is -1.50%.

VIG expense ratio is 0.08%.

#3 VOO: Vanguard S&P 500 ETF    

VOO is a U.S. Large-Cap ETF. Its underlying index is S&P 500.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of its benchmark index, the S&P 500. It attempts to replicate the target index by investing all of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index with the same approximate weightings as the Index.

VOO generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.35%.
  • 3-month return is -5.79%.
  • 1-year return is 13.24%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 10.53%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 12.92%.
  • YTD return is -0.53%.

VOO expense ratio is 0.04%.


#4 VTV: Vanguard Value ETF         

VTV is a  U.S. Large-Cap Value ETF. Its underlying index is CRSP US Large Cap Value Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization value stocks. The Fund employs a "passive management"-- or indexing --investment approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Large Cap Value Index.

VTV generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.42%.
  • 3-month return is -6.39%.
  • 1-year return is 11.37%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 9.68%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 11.85%.
  • YTD return is -1.98%.

VTV expense ratio is 0.06%.

#5 VUG: Vanguard Growth ETF             

VUG is a U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF.  Its underlying index is CRSP US Large Cap Growth Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization growth stocks. The Fund employs a "passive management"--or indexing--investment approach designed to track the performance of the  CRSP US Large Cap Growth Index.

VUG generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.27%.
  • 3-month return is -5.07%.
  • 1-year return is 15.67%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 11.20%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 14.02%.
  • YTD return is 1.41%.

VUG expense ratio is 0.06%.


#6 VO: Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF

VO is a U.S. Mid-Cap ETF. Its underlying index is CRSP US Mid Cap Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of mid-capitalization stocks. The Fund employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Mid Cap Index, a broadly diversified index of stocks of medium-size U.S. companies.

VO  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.19%.
  • 3-month return is -4.30%.
  • 1-year return is 10.83%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 7.97%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 11.84%.
  • YTD return is -0.23%.

VO expense ratio is 0.06%.

#7 VB: Vanguard Small-Cap ETF

VB is a U.S. Small-Cap ETF. Its underlying index is CRSP US Small Cap Index.

VB seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of small-capitalization stocks. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Small Cap Index, a broadly diversified index of stocks of small U.S. companies.

VB generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.37%.
  • 3-month return is -2.54%.
  • 1-year return is 11.27%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 8.81%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 11.70%.
  • YTD return is 0.09%.

VB expense ratio is 0.06%.

#8 VBR: Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF

VBR is a U.S. Small- Cap Value ETF. Its underlying index is CRSP US Small Cap Value Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of small-capitalization value stocks. The Fund employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the MSCI U.S. Small Cap Value Index.

VBR generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.40%.
  • 3-month return is -3.57%.
  • 1-year return is 7.37%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 8.56%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 11.76%.
  • YTD return is -1.71%.

VBR expense ratio is 0.07%.

#9 VYM: Vanguard High Dividend ETF

VYM is a U.S. High Dividend Yield ETF. Its underlying index is FTSE High Dividend Yield Index Net TR US RIC.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of common stocks of companies that are characterized by high dividend yield.

VYM generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.13%.
  • 3-month return is -6.66%.
  • 1-year return is 9.68%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 9.29%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 11.24%.
  • YTD return is -2.83%.

VYM expense ratio is 0.08%. 

#10 VEU: Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF

VEU is a  Global Ex-U.S. Total Market ETF. Its underlying index is FTSE All-World ex-U.S. Net TR US RIC.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks of companies located in developed and emerging markets around the world. The Fund employs a "passive management" designed to track the performance of the FTSE/(R)/ All-World ex USA Index.

VEU generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.57%.
  • 3-month return is -5.19%.
  • 1-year return is 15.14%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 5.29%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 5.68%.
  • YTD return is 0.22%.

VEU expense ratio is 0.11%.

#11 VEA: Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF

VEA is a Developed Markets Ex-U.S. - Total Market ETF. Its underlying index is FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index Net TR US RIC.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in the major markets of Europe and the Pacific Region. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index.

VEA generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.27%.
  • 3-month return is -4.29%.
  • 1-year return is 14.85%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 5.72%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 6.33%.
  • YTD return is 0.26%.

VEA expense ratio is 0.07%.

#12 VWO: Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF

VWO is an Emerging Markets - Total Market ETF. Its underlying index is FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index Net TR US RIC.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of the FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index, that measures the return of stocks issued by companies located in emerging market countries.

VWO generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -2.77%.
  • 3-month return is -8.17%.
  • 1-year return is 16.05%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 4.06%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 3.64%.
  • YTD return is -0.31%.

VWO expense ratio is 0.14%.

#13 BND: Vanguard Total Bond Markets ETF

BND is a U.S. - Broad Market Investment Grade ETF. Its underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Float Adjusted Index.

The Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF tracks a broad, market-value-weighted index of US dollar-denominated, investment-grade, taxable, fixed-income securities with maturities of at least one year.

BND generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.88%.
  • 3-month return is -1.23%.
  • 1-year return is -0.53%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 0.94%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 1.34%.
  • YTD return is -2.45%.

BND expense ratio is 0.05%.

#14 BSV: Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF

BSV is a Government/Credit Investment Grade Short-Term ETF. Its underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 1-5 Year Government/Credit Float Adjusted Index.

The Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF tracks a market-weighted index of US-government bonds, investment-grade corporate and investment-grade international dollar-denominated bonds with maturities of 1-5 years.

BSV generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.22%.
  • 3-month return is -0.29%.
  • 1-year return is -0.57%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 0.60%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 0.74%.
  • YTD return is -0.77%.

BSV expense ratio is 0.07%.

#15 VCSH: Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF

VCSH is a  Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term ETF. Its underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 1-5 Year Corporate Bond Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a market-weighted corporate bond index with a short-term dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund employs a "passive management" - or indexing - investment approach designed to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. 1-5 Year Corporate Bond Index.

VCSH generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.11%.
  • 3-month return is -0.51%.
  • 1-year return is 0.10%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 1.35%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 1.48%.
  • YTD return is -0.85%.

VCSH expense ratio is 0.07%.

#16 VCIT: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF

VCIT is a U.S. - Corporate Investment Grade Intermediate ETF.  Its underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 5-10 Year Corporate Bond Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a market-weighted corporate bond index with an intermediate-term dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund employs a "passive management - or indexing - investment approach designed to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. 5-10 Year Corporate Bond Index.

VCIT generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -1.06%.
  • 3-month return is -2.32%.
  • 1-year return is -0.79%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 1.79%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 2.20%.
  • YTD return is -3.45%.

VCIT expense ratio is 0.07%.

#17 BIV: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond ETF

BIV is a Government/Credit Investment Grade Intermediate ETF. Its underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 5-10 Year Government/Credit Float Adjusted Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a market-weighted bond index with an intermediate-term dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Barclays U.S. 5-10 Year Government/Credit Float Adjusted Index.

BIV generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -1.04%.
  • 3-month return is -1.53%.
  • 1-year return is -1.70%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 0.84%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 1.25%.
  • YTD return is -3.04%.

BIV expense ratio is 0.07%.

#18 VGT: Vanguard Information Technology ETF

VGT is a U.S. Technology ETF. Its underlying index is MSCI US Investable Market Information Technology 25/50 Index.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of information technology stocks.

VGT generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.02%.
  • 3-month return is -3.31%.
  • 1-year return is 24.45%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 18.16%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 19.94%.
  • YTD return is 4.00%.

VGT expense ratio is 0.1%.

#19 VNQ: Vanguard REIT ETF

VNQ is a U.S. Real Estate ETF.  Its underlying index is MSCI US REIT Index.

The Fund seeks to provide a high level of income and moderate long-term capital appreciation. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the MSCI US REIT Index. The Index is composed of stocks of publicly traded equity real estate investment trusts (known as REITs).

VNQ generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.82%.
  • 3-month return is -3.31%.
  • 1-year return is -3.88%.
  • 3-year annualized return is 3.09%.
  • 5-year annualized return is 4.56%.
  • YTD return is -7.42%.

VNQ expense ratio is 0.12%.

As you might have noticed, most of the funds we've discussed are index funds.  Recently there has been some talk around the risks of investing in index funds.  

In the video below, Vanguard Group Founder Jack Bogle discusses how the indexing business has changed over the years and the problem with index funds.

Feedback? Questions?  Send us an email at hi@finstead.com.

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