|Expense Ratio (net)||0.04%|
|Last Cap Gain||0.00|
|Morningstar Risk Rating||Average|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.00|
|5y Average Return||N/A|
|Average for Category||N/A|
|Inception Date||Nov 13, 2000|
Regular trading hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, but the major U.S. stock exchanges close early on certain days ahead of or just after market holidays.
The stocks market is closed on Independence Day, and trading ends early on July 3. The bond market also closes early ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
You should forget your preconceived notions and figure out whether or not a health savings account might improve your finances.
As shown in the accompanying graph, the S&P 500, including dividends, has been underperforming the so-called Total Market Index for over 18½ years. The total market in the U.S. consists of approximately 3,600 listed companies: large-cap, microcap, and everything in between. For this reason, the accompanying graph plots specific mutual funds that any investor could have easily purchased.
What contributed to Vanguard 500 Index's VFIAX 6.4% decline that month? Understanding a bond portfolio's performance drivers, on the other hand, is a much trickier undertaking. For starters, there's no widely available resource where you can look up monthly returns for individual bonds, like you can for stocks.
[Editor's note: This story was last updated in January 2019. It has since been updated and republished.]Vanguard should probably be thanking Warren Buffett.In Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK.B) 2014 shareholders letter, Buffett mentioned Vanguard funds in a big way. Specifically, he recommended that the cash left to his wife be invested 10% in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund. Not just any index fund mind you, but a Vanguard fund in particular.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 S&P 500 Dividend Stocks to Buy at Least Yielding 3% Whether it be exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds, the Oracle of Omaha believes Vanguard funds are the way to go. With that in mind, I've put together a portfolio of two ETFs, two mutual funds and a fifth wildcard. The resulting portfolio should be appropriate for Buffett's wife -- or anyone else, for that matter. Vanguard Funds Mutual Fund 1 -- Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX)Allocation: 50% of Portfolio 10-year performance: 13.96%The goal here is to keep costs to a minimum while generally sticking to Buffett's hypothesis when it comes to his wife's investments.In that case, it makes more sense for the S&P 500 investment to be a mutual fund rather than an ETF (although Vanguard Funds do offer commission-free ETFs) to avoid paying commissions on the largest segment of the portfolio. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX) charge an annual expense ratio of just 0.04%.Your annual fees would amount to a mere $20 on a $50,000 portfolio. That's hard to beat, and Buffett knows it. The largest holdings in this fund include Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG). The minimum investment is $10,000. Vanguard Funds Mutual Fund 2 -- Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VIMAX)Allocation: 20% of Portfolio 10-year performance: 14.44% The VFIAX covers the large-cap portion of the portfolio quite nicely. While Buffett might not be fond of mid-cap stocks being added to the mix, but evidence suggests mid-caps outperformed large-cap stocks over a four-year period between 2009 and 2013.In fact, John Hancock published a report in 2012 that cautions investors about underweighting mid-caps because of an assumption that a large-cap fund combined with a small-cap fund will do the job. That's simply not the case.Mid-cap stocks tend to provide an attractive combination of risk and reward. For this reason, I recommend the Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VIMAX), which tracks the CRSP Mid Cap Index, an index composed of stocks that fall between the top 70%-85% of investable market capitalization. * 7 S&P 500 Dividend Stocks to Buy at Least Yielding 3% They're big enough to survive an economic hit but small enough to still be growing. With an expense ratio of 0.05%, this entry on our list of Vanguard funds is giving you safety and performance in one. Top holdings include Moody's (NYSE:MCO) and Roper Technologies (NYSE: ROP). Vanguard Funds ETF 1 -- Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap ETF (VSS)Allocation: 10% of Portfolio 3-year performance: 4.7% Although I just said mid-caps are a key part of any portfolio and tend to outperform small caps while utilizing less risk, there is always a place for small caps in your portfolio.That's especially true when the two previous picks from Vanguard Funds are almost 100% invested in the U.S. with virtually no international exposure. For this reason, a little bit of love outside America makes total sense.My recommendation is to go with the Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap ETF (VSS), a fund that tracks the performance of the FTSE Global Small Cap ex US Index, which consists of approximately 3,050 stocks in dozens of countries. Investing in both developed and emerging markets, the fund gives you good exposure to some of the world's future stars at an annual expense ratio of just 0.12%.With such low fees, it's no wonder Vanguard Funds has $6.6 billion invested in this ETF. Vanguard Funds ETF 2 -- Vanguard Short-Term Government Bond ETF (VGSH)Allocation: 10% of Portfolio 5-year performance: 1.05% Buffett recommends that 10% of his wife's portfolio go to short-term government bonds. Vanguard Funds has an ETF that does exactly that.The Vanguard Short-Term Government Bond ETF (VGSH) invests in investment-grade U.S. government bonds with average maturities between one and three years. The risk, on a scale of one to five, is one -- meaning this Vanguard ETF is for conservative investors looking for stable share prices. * 7 S&P 500 Dividend Stocks to Buy at Least Yielding 3% And with an expense ratio of 0.07%, this ETF should give you peace of mind for your short-term needs. Vanguard Funds Wildcard -- Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC)Allocation: 10% of Portfolio 10-year performance: 12.32% On this final piece of the puzzle, I'm going defensive. The mutual fund version of the S&P 500 has less than 10% invested in consumer staples' stocks. I mean to remedy that by putting the final 10% in the Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), a collection of 109 household names including Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO).Since its inception in 2004, VDC has had but one year of negative annual total returns, and that was in 2008 when it experienced a 17% decline -- 20 percentage points better than the S&P 500. When the you-know-what hits the fan, you'll be glad you own this particular low-cost ETF (with a 0.10% expense ratio) from Vanguard Funds.It seems the "keep it simple" rule holds true, and Warren Buffett is the No. 1 follower.As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 7 S&P 500 Dividend Stocks to Buy at Least Yielding 3% * 7 Stocks to Buy That Don't Care About Tariffs * 5 Healthcare Stocks to Pick Up From the Wreckage Compare Brokers The post Take Buffett's Advice: 5 Vanguard Funds to Buy appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The stock market is closed on Memorial Day, but it's open as usual the Friday before Memorial Day. However, the bond market closes early ahead of the holiday weekend.
Vanguard is the best-known pioneer of low-cost investing, including in the exchange-traded fund space. But it's hardly alone anymore, as providers such as Schwab, iShares and SPDR have all hacked away at each other with ever-shrinking fees.Still, don't sleep on Vanguard ETFs. While Vanguard isn't always No. 1 among the cheapest index funds in every class, it's still a low-cost leader in several areas, and it's typically one of the least expensive options no matter where you look.And inexpensive does matter. Let's say an investor puts $100,000 apiece in two different funds that both gain 8% annually, but Fund A charges 1% in fees while Fund B charges 0.5%. In 30 years, Fund A will be worth a respectable $744,335 ... but Fund B will be worth $865,775. That's roughly $120,000 lost not just in fees, but also lost opportunity cost from returns that could have been reinvested in the fund.Here are eight low-cost Vanguard ETFs that investors can use as part of a core portfolio. All of these index funds are among the least expensive in their class and offer wide exposure to their respective market areas. SEE ALSO: The 19 Best ETFs for a Prosperous 2019
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[Editor's note: This story was previously published in October 2018. It has since been updated and republished. Symbols of most of the Vanguard mutual funds were updated from the original column to reflect Vanguard's change to the Admiral series of mutual funds which have lower fees. ]Vanguard index funds have long been at the forefront of passive investing and are favorites among the buy-and-hold community for building long-term portfolios.In terms of assets, two of Vanguard's funds, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (MUTF:VTSMX) and Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (MUTF:VBTLX), are respectively among the largest stock funds and bond funds in the investment universe.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsWhen investors say they want to build a "set-it-and-forget-it" portfolio or a "lazy" portfolio, they look to Vanguard's broad selection of dirt-cheap mutual funds to do the building.There are many ways to construct a portfolio, but a timeless approach is to use a core and satellite structure, which consists of one or two core holdings that receive the highest allocations and usually three to five satellite holdings that receive smaller allocations. * 7 Healthy Dividend Stocks to Buy for Extra Stability With that backdrop in mind, here are seven Vanguard index funds to build a complete portfolio: Vanguard 500 Index (VFIAX)Expenses: 0.04% Minimum Investment: $3,000To get your portfolio started with Vanguard index funds, there's arguably no better choice than Vanguard's flagship index fund, Vanguard 500 Index (MUTF:VFIAX).Although many investors and advisors might argue that the Total Stock Market fund is a better choice for a core holding because of its broader diversity, VFIAX is a smart choice for investors building a portfolio to include several funds.Since VFIAX only includes roughly the top U.S. stocks by market cap, such as top holdings Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), investors can build around this fund with another fund that holds small- and mid-cap stocks. Vanguard Extended Market Index (VEXAX)Expenses: 0.08% Minimum Investment: $3,000A perfect compliment to VFIAX is Vanguard Extended Market Index (MUTF:VEXAX), which will complete your exposure to the U.S. stock market.VEXAX tracks the S&P Completion Index, which includes small- and mid-cap U.S. stocks. Together with Vanguard's S&P 500 Index fund, an investor will capture the entire U.S. stock market. Since VEXAX provides more exposure to small- and mid-cap stocks than a total stock fund would provide, it introduces a combination of higher potential long-term returns and greater diversity to a portfolio. * 7 Healthy Dividend Stocks to Buy for Extra Stability Top holdings for VEXAX include Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW), and Worldpay (NYSE:WP). Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (VBTLX)Expenses: 0.05% Minimum Investment: $3,000Arguably the best mutual fund to buy for a fixed-income core holding, Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (MUTF:VBTLX) is an outstanding way to get cheap exposure to the entire U.S. bond market.VBTLX tracks the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Float Adjusted Index, which includes over 8,500 U.S. bonds across the spectrum of short-, intermediate-, and long-term in duration, and multiple categories of bonds, including corporate, municipal and U.S. Treasury issues.With such broad exposure to the bond market, combined with the low expenses of just 0.05%, it's no wonder that VBTLX is the largest bond fund in the world, as measured by assets under management. Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VTIAX)Expenses: 0.11% Minimum Investment: $3,000To cover the stock market outside of the U.S., you can get the job done with just one Vanguard index fund -- Vanguard Total International Stock Index (MUTF:VTIAX).This international stock index fund does cover the full range of market capitalization; however, it is cap-weighted, which means the top holdings are large-cap stocks, such as Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), Nestle (OTCMKTS:NSRGY) and Tencent Holdings (OTCMKTS:TCEHY). Vanguard FTSE Social Index (VFTSX)Expenses: 0.18% Minimum Investment: $3,000If you're looking for alternative equity core holding or a compliment to your existing stock funds, Vanguard FTSE Social Index (MUTF:VFTSX) is a good choice, especially for the socially conscious investor.On the market since 2000, VFTSX tracks the FTSE4Good US Select Index, which includes over 400 mid- and large-cap U.S. stocks like AAPL, MSFT and AMZN. * 7 Healthy Dividend Stocks to Buy for Extra Stability Investors who may be attracted to VFTSX are those that want to buy stocks of companies that have been screened for certain social, human rights and environmental criteria. However, VFTSX can be attractive to all investors for its low expenses and long-term returns that have historically outpaced the broader stock market indices. Vanguard Real Estate Index (VGSLX)Expenses: 0.12% Minimum Investment: $3,000To add diversity to a portfolio, a quality sector fund like Vanguard Real Estate Index (MUTF:VGSLX) is a smart choice.Stocks in the real-estate sector as a whole do not have a high correlation, in terms of price movement, to the major market indices, such as the S&P 500 Index. This makes VGSLX a good satellite holding in a diversified portfolio.VGSIX tracks the MSCI US Investable Market Real Estate 25/50 Index, which includes 184 holdings, most of which are REITs like American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT), Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) and Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI).As of this writing, Kent Thune did not personally hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities, although he held VBTLX in some client accounts. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Smart Money Stocks to Buy Now * The 10 Best Cheap Stocks to Buy Right Now * 7 Restaurant Stocks to Watch in 2019 Compare Brokers The post 6 Vanguard Index Funds for a Complete Portfolio appeared first on InvestorPlace.