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A low-cost investment strategy that seeks to match, rather than outperform, the return and risk characteristics of an index by holding all securities that make up the index or a statistically representative sample of the index. Also known as passive management.

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A strategy intended to lower your chances of losing money on your investments. Diversification can be achieved in many ways, including spreading your investments across:

  • Multiple asset classes, by buying a combination of cash, bonds, and stocks.
  • Multiple holdings, by buying many bonds and stocks (which you can do through a single ETF) instead of just one or a few.
  • Multiple geographic regions, by buying a combination of U.S. and international investments.

Protect yourself through diversification

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Asset allocation

The way an investment portfolio is divided among various asset classes, such as cash investments, bonds, and stocks. Also known as investment mix.

Your investment success is our #1 goal

With so many priorities competing for your money, investing for longer-term goals may seem next to impossible. It doesn't have to be with Vanguard ETFs.


Competitive long-term returns

90% of Vanguard ETFs beat the returns of their peer-group averages over the past 10 years.1


Commission-free trading

Vanguard is the only place where you can buy and sell every Vanguard ETF® commission-free, regardless of how you trade.

Learn more about other conditions & costs that may apply


Lower expense ratios

The average Vanguard ETF expense ratio is 74% less than the industry average.2

Don't just take our word for it. Take theirs.

Money Magazine logo

For 19 years running, Vanguard made the grade on Money's 2019 "best of" list, claiming 20 of their top 50 ETF spots.3

Forbes logo

Forbes named Vanguard's entire suite of 80 ETFs on their overall "best" list, 17 of which made the "honor roll." 4

Kiplinger logo

Kiplinger named 4 Vanguard ETFs on their "best cheap ETFs" list.5

Vanguard ETFs transform ordinary into extraordinary

Choose the company that's dedicated to helping make money for you—not taking money from you. That might be why investors have entrusted $1 trillion of their hard-earned money to Vanguard ETFs.6

Lower taxes

Most ETFs (exchange-traded funds) distribute very few capital gains, primarily because the majority of ETFs follow an indexing strategy.


86% of all Vanguard ETFs have had no taxable capital gains distributions over the past 5 years.7

Better prices for your trades

Every brokerage firm has a legal obligation to execute their clients' trades at the best possible prices.


97.5% of all Vanguard ETF Shares bought and sold through a Vanguard account were executed at a better price than the quoted market price.8

Less risk through diversification

Most ETFs invest in hundreds or thousands of stocks or bonds. This level of diversification could help reduce your overall investment risk while making it easier to manage your portfolio.


You can build a fully diversified portfolio with just 4 Vanguard total market ETFs that spread your risk over nearly 25,000 individual stocks and bonds.

Need to know more about ETFs?

What's an ETF?

ETFs combine the diversification and tax-efficiency of index mutual funds with lower investment minimums and real-time pricing.

ETFs vs. mutual funds

Both are less risky than investing in individual stocks and bonds. But ETFs give you more control over the price of your trades, and you can buy an ETF for the price of just one share, some for as low as $50.


Ever wondered if ETFs are index funds or if ETFs are always low-cost? These 5 short videos will help answer these and other commonly asked questions.

1For the 10-year period ended September 30, 2019, 31 of 34 Vanguard stock ETFs and 4 of 5 Vanguard bond ETFs—for a total of 35 of 39 Vanguard ETFs—outperformed their Lipper peer-group averages. Results will vary for other time periods. Only ETFs with a minimum 10-year history were included in the comparison. Source: Lipper, a Thomson Reuters Company. The competitive performance data shown represent past performance, which is not a guarantee of future results. View ETF performance

2Vanguard average ETF expense ratio: 0.07%. Industry average ETF expense ratio: 0.27%. All averages are asset-weighted. Industry average excludes Vanguard. Sources: Vanguard and Morningstar, Inc., as of December 31, 2018.

3The "MONEY 50" lists published in the January/February 2019 Investor's Guide of Money magazine focus on mutual funds and ETFs that have low costs and produce long-term returns that match or beat their benchmarks. Past performance cannot be used to predict future returns. Fund share prices will fluctuate, so investors could lose money if they sell when prices have fallen.

4Forbes "Best ETFs for Investors in 2019" list included 824 ETFs with at least $10 million in assets and expense ratios no higher than 0.40%. It displayed the lowest-cost ETFs in each of 55 categories. The Honor Roll combined excellent cost efficiency with liquidity. Performance was not considered for any of the ratings. Forbes bases the rankings on data from Morningstar, Bloomberg, and fund distributors. Forbes is not affiliated with Vanguard or its ETFs. The articles mentioned here are neither offers to sell nor solicitations of offers to buy shares. For more information see Best ETFs for Investors 2019.

5Kiplinger is not affiliated with Vanguard or its ETFs. The article is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy shares.

6As of May 3, 2019.

7Source: Morningstar, Inc., as of December 31, 2018.

8Source: IHS Markit RegOne. Includes market orders entered from January 2, 2018, through December 31, 2018, during market hours with share sizes from 100 to 1,999. Excludes orders received during locked, crossed, or fast markets or during destination outages.

You must buy and sell Vanguard ETF Shares through Vanguard Brokerage Services (we offer them commission-free) or through another broker (which may charge commissions). See the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules for full details. Vanguard ETF Shares are not redeemable directly with the issuing fund other than in very large aggregations worth millions of dollars. ETFs are subject to market volatility. When buying or selling an ETF, you will pay or receive the current market price, which may be more or less than net asset value.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Bond ETFs are subject to the risk that the issuer will fail to make payments on time and that bond prices will decline because of rising interest rates or negative perceptions of an issuer's ability to make payments. Investments in stocks and bonds issued by non-U.S. companies are subject to risks including country/regional risk and currency risk.