Best Vanguard Funds – Mutual Funds and ETFs

We’ve assembled some of the most popular Vanguard funds. This includes mutual funds – which Vanguard is the largest provider in the world – and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The funds included on this list are primarily index funds, which means they track underline markets. In compiling this list, we not only attempted to include some…
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We’ve assembled some of the most popular Vanguard funds.

This includes mutual funds – which Vanguard is the largest provider in the world – and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The funds included on this list are primarily index funds, which means they track underline markets.

In compiling this list, we not only attempted to include some of the most popular Vanguard funds, but also a mix that covers a wide range of market sectors.

That means both US and foreign stocks, large-, medium-, and small-cap stocks, a balanced fund, and even real estate.

Best Vanguard Funds Available Right Now

The first five on the list are mutual funds, and the last five are ETFs.

None of the funds charge load fees.

By adding all 10 funds to your portfolio, you’ll have the entire equity portion of your allocation covered.

However, we’ve excluded some of the biggest and most popular Vanguard funds, because they’re currently closed to new investors.

A fund manager will close a fund when it’s determined the fund has become too large to be effectively managed within its investment style.

Examples of these funds include the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VTSMX) and Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Shares (VFINX).

These would, therefore, not be available in your brokerage account or PAS account.

Vanguard STAR Fund (VGSTX)

Vanguard STAR Fund (VGSTX) is a balanced fund, that contains a mix of 60% stocks and 40% bonds, though that mix can vary somewhat.

It’s comprised of 11 different underlying actively managed Vanguard funds. Those funds are invested in domestic and international stocks as well as US bonds.

  • Type of fund: Mutual fund
  • Minimum investment: $1,000
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $26.59
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 11 different Vanguard funds
  • Fund total net assets: $22 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.31%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 9.25%

Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX)

Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX) is an index-based mutual fund that includes 500 of the largest US-based companies.

The five largest companies in the fund are Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc., and Facebook Inc.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: Mutual fund
  • Minimum investment: $3,000
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $269.80
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 509
  • Fund total net assets: $483.2 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.04%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 14.67%

Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VEXAX)

Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VEXAX) is a mutual fund specializing in small- and mid-cap stocks.

It invests in 3,000 of the largest publicly-traded companies in the US, excluding the 500 largest.

For that reason, it’s considered a companion fund to the Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares fund. The five largest holdings are ServiceNow Inc., Worldpay Inc., Workday Inc., Tesla Inc., and T-Mobile US Inc.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: Mutual fund
  • Minimum investment: $3,000
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $88.54
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 3,294
  • Fund total net assets: $69.4 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.07%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 14.66%

Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VSMAX)

Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VSMAX) is an index-based mutual fund focusing on small-cap stocks.

The five largest holdings are IDEX Corp., STERIS plc, Tableau Software Inc., Atmos Energy Corp., and Leidos Holdings Inc.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: Mutual fund
  • Minimum investment: $3,000
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $73.53
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 1,408
  • Fund total net assets: $92.9 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.05%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 14.79%

Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VIMAX)

Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VIMAX) is an index-based mutual fund focusing on broadening capitalization US equities.

The five largest holdings in the fund are Fiserv Inc., Red Hat Inc., Newmont Goldcorp Corp., Xilinx Inc., and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: Mutual fund
  • Minimum investment: $3,000
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $204.84
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 371
  • Fund total net assets: $105.5 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.05%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 15.21%

Vanguard US Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)

VTI tracks the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index.

It includes large-, mid-, and small-cap companies, generally covering the entire US market. Its five largest holdings are Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: ETF
  • Minimum investment: $0
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $148.92
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 3,627
  • Fund total net assets: $814.1 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.03%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 14.01%

Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT)

VT is an index-based ETF that tracks the FTSE Global All Cap Index. It includes stocks on markets in the US, as well as both developed and emerging markets.

The five largest holdings are Microsoft Corp., Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: ETF
  • Minimum investment: $0
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $73.38
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 8,228
  • Fund total net assets: $17.5 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.09%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 8.49% after taxes on distributions and sales of fund shares

Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA)

VEA is an index-based ETF that tracks the FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. The index tracks companies in Canada and the major markets of Europe and the Pacific region.

The five largest holdings in the fund include Nestlé SA, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Roche Holding AG, and Novartis AG.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: ETF
  • Minimum investment: $0
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $39.90
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 3,944
  • Fund total net assets: $114.8 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.05%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 5.81%

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO)

VWO is an index-based ETF that tracks the FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index.

It focuses on emerging markets like China, Brazil, Taiwan, and South Africa.

The five largest holdings in the fund include Tencent Holdings Ltd., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Naspers Ltd., and China Construction Bank Corp.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: ETF
  • Minimum investment: $0
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $40.09
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 4,743
  • Fund total net assets: $87.7 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.12%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 4.25%

Vanguard REIT Index (VNQ)

VNQ is an index-based ETF that tracks the MSCI US Investable Real Estate 25/50 Index.

The index tracks stocks issued by real estate investment trusts (REITs). REITs purchase and hold commercial real estate, including office buildings, hotels, retail space, industrial space, storage facilities and other properties.

The five largest holdings in the fund include Vanguard Real Estate II Index Fund, American Tower Corp., Crown Castle International Corp., Prologis Inc., and Simon Property Group Inc.

Specific details of the fund include:

  • Type of fund: ETF
  • Minimum investment: $0
  • Price (as of August 9, 2019): $90.89
  • Number of stocks in the fund: 189
  • Fund total net assets: $64.2 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.12%
  • 10-year average annual returns: 15.46%

Why You Should Have Vanguard Funds in Your Portfolio

Vanguard is the largest provider of mutual funds and the second-largest provider ETFs in the investment industry.

But that’s not why you should include them in your portfolio.

The main reason is that Vanguard funds are very well represented in the portfolios of both traditional investment advisors, brokerages, and robo-advisors.

Those are the people who invest money for a living, and they know it better than the average investor.

If the investment professionals are holding Vanguard funds in their portfolios, it makes good sense to do the same yourself.


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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

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