ETF fees & minimums
If you're more interested in getting money out of your investments than paying too much money for them, you're in good company.
Fees you won't pay at Vanguard
You'll never pay a commission when you buy or sell Vanguard ETFs® (exchange-traded funds) in your Vanguard Brokerage Account.*
Broker-assisted trading fees
You won't pay any extra fees to have one of our investment professionals place a Vanguard ETF® trade for you.
Account service fees
Already have a Vanguard account? These fees are automatically waived for Voyager, Voyager Select, Flagship, and Flagship Select clients.
Minimums & account balances
No minimum initial investment requirement
You don't need thousands of dollars to start investing in an ETF. You only need enough money to cover the price of 1 share, which can generally range from $50 to a few hundred dollars.
P.S. You can only buy ETFs in full shares (not fractions).
No minimum account balance
You only need enough money in your settlement fund to cover the cost of the ETFs you want to buy.
Other costs associated with ETFs
The bid-ask spread is the difference between the bid price (the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for a specific ETF) and the ask price (the lowest price a seller is willing accept) at a specific time.
Spreads vary based on the ETF's supply and demand. For Vanguard ETFs, spreads generally range from $0.01 to $0.25, although spreads may be wider in volatile markets.
Every ETF has an expense ratio, but Vanguard's average is 68% less than the industry average.**
Expense ratios affect your bottom line
See the potential impact Vanguard's low-cost ETFs can have on your savings over time compared with the industry average. Your savings have the potential to grow even more when you're invested for longer periods of time.
All examples assume an initial investment of $50,000 earning 6% each year.
At Vanguard you could save $3,814 over 10 years based on Vanguard's average ETF expense ratio of 0.14%, which results in a cost of $1,246 in this scenario, compared with the industry average expense ratio of 0.58%, which results in a cost of $5,060.
Over 20 years, you could save $13,180 based on costs of $4,431 at Vanguard compared with $17,611 at the industry average. Stay invested for 30 years and you could save $34,165 based on costs of $11,820 at Vanguard compared with $45,985 at the industry average.
If the rate of return were altered, results would vary from the hypothetical examples provided. The final balances described are after costs. These examples do not represent any particular investment and do not account for inflation. There may be other material differences between investment products that must be considered prior to investing.
All averages are asset-weighted. Industry averages exclude Vanguard. Sources: Vanguard and Morningstar, Inc., as of December 31, 2016.
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A fee that a broker or brokerage company charges every time you buy or sell a security, like an ETF or individual stock.
A fee that's deducted from your account to cover the cost of maintaining the account.
At Vanguard, these annual fees range from $15 to $25 depending on the type of account you own.
Instead of waiting for your account documents to arrive in the mail, you can elect to receive an email from us whenever those documents become available for instant access on our secure website.
The holding place where you keep the money you need to pay for the ETF shares you want to buy and where we'll place the proceeds when you sell ETF shares.
At Vanguard, your settlement fund—sometimes referred to as a "sweep" account—isn't a cash account. Instead, it's an interest-bearing money market mutual fund—specifically, Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund.
The "bid" price is the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for a specific ETF. This is generally the price a seller receives when placing a market order—although the price could be higher or lower based on the size of the order or any price improvement provided (see "What is 'price improvement'?" below).
The "ask" price is the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for a specific ETF. This is generally the price a buyer pays when placing a market order—although the price could be higher or lower based on the size of the order or any price improvement provided.
The "bid-ask spread" is the difference between the current bid and ask prices for a specific ETF at a specific time.
How wide is the spread?
Spreads vary based on the ETF's supply and demand, otherwise known as its "liquidity." For Vanguard ETFs®, spreads generally range from $0.01 to $0.25, although they may be wider in volatile markets.
What is "price improvement"?
Price improvement occurs when your trade is executed at a price that's better than the quoted market price at the time you enter your order.
Vanguard has processes in place to get you the best price possible every time you buy and sell any Vanguard ETF®.
A reflection of how much a mutual fund or an ETF pays for portfolio management, administration, marketing, and distribution, among other expenses. You'll almost always see it expressed as a percentage of the fund's average net assets.