|Expense Ratio (net)||0.04%|
|Last Cap Gain||0.00|
|Morningstar Risk Rating||Average|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.02|
|5y Average Return||N/A|
|Average for Category||N/A|
|Inception Date||Nov 12, 2000|
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are growing at an astronomical rate. U.S. assets are closing in on $4.25 trillion. The ETF share of total assets at investment firms has more than doubled to 17% from 8% at the start of the decade, while mutual funds have lost market share. The only problem with this explosive growth? The industry now boasts thousands of funds, making it difficult to determine the very best ETFs.But investors are getting smarter about how they use ETFs in their portfolios. "After a decade of market gains, ETFs now play a unique role for investors as the foundation of a portfolio and also as vehicles that enable investors to be nimble," says Kari Droller, who oversees third-party mutual funds and ETFs at Charles Schwab.We try to be nimble, too. Although a thorough review of the Kiplinger ETF 20 happens only once a year, we watch each fund closely. As you'll see below, we've noted where a couple of funds merit more scrutiny as interest rates stay steady and low. But for now, we're holding fast to our 20.Read on for more analysis of our Kiplinger ETF 20 picks, which allow investors to tackle various strategies at a low cost. SEE ALSO: The 20 Best ETFs to Buy for a Prosperous 2020
Exchange-traded funds' structural advantages make them more tax-efficient than traditional open-end mutual funds. Most of Vanguard's ETFs were established as separate share classes of the firm's mutual funds. Most of its ETFs were bolted onto existing mutual funds.
[Editor's note: This article is regularly updated to include the most relevant information available.]At their core, mutual funds should be lower-risk investments. The aim of many mutual funds is to provide broad-based exposure to a particular asset class; stocks, bonds, etc. With that diversity, at least in theory, should come to a lower risk profile for investors.According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips"All funds carry some level of risk. With mutual funds, you may lose some or all of the money you invest because the securities held by a fund can go down in value. Dividends or interest payments may also change as market conditions change…A fund's past performance is not as important as you might think because past performance does not predict future returns. But past performance can tell you how volatile or stable a fund has been over a period of time. The more volatile the fund, the higher the investment risk."Indeed, an array of low-risk mutual funds spanning multiple asset classes are currently available to investors. Still, even low-risk mutual funds are not entirely free of risk. Even those with fixed-income exposure have some risk."Bond mutual funds -- like all mutual funds -- involve investment risk, including the possible loss of principal. A fundamental principle of investing known as the risk/reward tradeoff means that when you make an informed decision to assume some risk, you also create the opportunity for reward. Investors should be aware of the risks and potential for losses associated with bond mutual fund investing," according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). * 7 Lumbering Large-Cap Stocks to Avoid Here are a few low-risk mutual funds for conservative investors to consider. Fidelity Income Conservative Bond Fund (FCONX)Source: Shutterstock Expense Ratio: 0.35% per year, or $35 on a $10,000 investment.The Fidelity Income Conservative Bond Fund (MUTF:FCONX) epitomizes "low-risk mutual fund," particularly at any time when interest rates could rise. Short-term bond funds are often among the most popular fixed-income funds due to the lower duration risk profile offered by short-dated bonds.Credit risk is benign with this Fidelity fund because its holdings are comprised primarily of sovereign debt. Over 60% of FCONX's holdings are rated AA or A. Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund (VIPSX)Source: Shutterstock Expense Ratio: 0.2%When looking for low-risk mutual funds, the Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund (MUTF:VIPSX) highlighted here is the investor class of this popular product.Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS), the bonds held by this Vanguard fund, are low-risk bonds. Reduced risk in the fixed income space usually means lower yields, and that is true of TIPS. * 7 Lumbering Large-Cap Stocks to Avoid Income on this low-risk mutual fund "can fluctuate more in this fund because payments depend on inflation changes. Investors with a long-term time horizon may wish to consider this fund as a complement to an already diversified fixed income portfolio," according to Vanguard. Vanguard Equity Income Fund (VEIPX)Source: Shutterstock Expense Ratio: 0.27%Over long holding periods, dividend stocks can reduce a portfolio's risk profile and there are plenty of dividend funds that can be classified as low-risk mutual funds, include the Vanguard Equity Income Fund (MUTF:VEIPX). VEIPX is the investor share class of this popular Vanguard offering.This low-risk mutual fund holds 97.4% stocks, and most of them have large market capitalizations. Financial services and technology stocks combine for over 28% of VEIPX's roster while the healthcare and industrial sectors combine for nearly 25% of its holdings.VEIPX does not explicitly have a dividend increase streak requirement, but this fund is home to some stocks with lengthy histories of rising payouts. Several of VEIPX's top ten holdings have dividend increase streaks that can be measured in decades. American Century Mid-Cap Value Fund (ACLAX)Expense Ratio: 1.23%Some words of advice regarding the American Century Mid-Cap Value Fund (MUTF:ACLAX). As the above expense ratio indicates, this is not a cheap fund, and that status is further cemented by a 5.75% sales load -- meaning investors considering this low-risk mutual fund should be in it for the long-term.On to better news, mid-caps have a lengthy history of outperforming large-caps while doing so with less volatility than small-cap stocks. * 7 Lumbering Large-Cap Stocks to Avoid The financial services and industrial sectors combine for nearly 40% of ACLAX's weight. None of the fund's holdings exceed a weight of 3.1% as of the start of the year. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX)Source: Shutterstock Expense Ratio: 0.04%The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (MUTF:VTSAX) is a passively managed index fund, not an active mutual fund. In the fund world, VTSAX is one of the true giants among equity products. As of the end of May, across various share classes, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, had almost $211 billion of net assets.VTSAX can be considered a low-risk mutual fund among equity funds due in part to its massive roster. This Vanguard fund is home to over 3,000 stocks, giving it a lineup that is more than six times larger than the S&P 500.VTSAX is the Admiral share class of this fund and has an annual fee that makes this fund very cheap. Fidelity Advisor Strategic Income Fund (FSTAX)Source: Shutterstock Expense Ratio: 0.98%The Fidelity Advisor Strategic Income Fund (MUTF:FSTAX) is a multi-sector bond fund, offering investors exposure to multiple corners of the fixed income universe."The fund uses a neutral mix of approximately 45% high yield, 25% U.S. Government and investment-grade, 15% emerging markets, and 15% foreign developed markets. Engaging in transactions that have a leveraging effect on the fund," according to Fidelity. * 7 Lumbering Large-Cap Stocks to Avoid The fund's managers can adjust credit and interest rate risk as market conditions. The fund has $16.94 billion of assets and has beaten its benchmark over the last three years. It has a 4% load. Invesco Global Low Volatility Equity Yield Fund (GTNDX)Source: Shutterstock Expense Ratio: 1.59%The Invesco Global Low Volatility Equity Yield Fund (MUTF:GTNDX) can be considered another low-risk mutual fund tracking the mid-cap space.Currently, GTNDX is underweight technology stocks, and overweight industrials and consumer discretionary. The latter category has kept its performance quite solid this year.This low-risk mutual fund "has dual objectives of providing income and long-term growth of capital. In addition to these objectives, the fund targets a level of total volatility that is less than that of its capitalization-weighted market index," according to the issuer.It also has a 5.5% load.As of this writing, Todd Shriber does not own any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Hot Stocks for 2020's Big Trends * 7 Lumbering Large-Cap Stocks to Avoid * 5 ETFs for Oodles of Monthly Dividends The post 7 Low-Risk Mutual Funds to Buy Now appeared first on InvestorPlace.
If you're looking to upgrade your portfolio in the new year, you'd be wise to look first at Vanguard - the proprietor of low-cost, high quality funds. The best Vanguard funds tend to have similar qualities. They're inexpensive. They're easy to understand. And when they're managed funds, they're managed well.Jack Bogle, who the world lost about a year ago, will long be remembered for his passionate advocacy of low-cost investing in general, and the index fund in particular. Pursuing those two ideas relentlessly, he built Vanguard into one of the world's largest investment companies with more than $5.5 trillion in assets.But Bogle possessed another talent that went virtually unnoticed. He was a superior judge of actively managed mutual funds.Consider: When Vanguard opened for business on May 1, 1975, Wellington Management - where Bogle had worked previously - was already on board. Vanguard's Wellington (VWELX) is now one of the nation's largest and most successful balanced funds with more than $110 billion in assets. And Wellington remains the subadvisor on several more Vanguard funds.In the mid-1980s, Bogle heard that several top managers wanted to leave the American Funds, which had a reputation of being such a good place to work that no one ever left. But those managers did leave, to start Primecap Management. Vanguard Primecap (VPMCX) and later Vanguard Primecap Core (VPCCX) were launched. They've been two of the most successful mutual funds ever.Today, however, we're going to look at the best Vanguard funds to buy for 2020. While Bogle is no longer with us, his firm still is renowned for both its skilled management and its dirt-cheap indexed products. Here, we'll look at some of each that should serve investors well in the new year. SEE ALSO: The 30 Best Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans
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 stock market is closed on Labor Day, but investors do not get an early start to the holiday weekend the Friday before Labor Day.
What a difference six months makes! As 2019 dawned, my model bucket portfolios were limping away from a lackluster 2018. In a year punctuated by dual market shocks--interest-rate-related jitters in the first quarter and tariff/recession-related worries toward year-end--the portfolios' cash holdings outperformed both the bond and stock positions.
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.
Vanguard Real Estate ETF VNQ is one of the cheapest real estate funds available, with an expense ratio of 0.12%. It features experienced management and an excellent record of tracking its index. It is a fine option in its niche, earning a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver.
If it feels like diversifying beyond a simple moderate portfolio that owns one U.S. stock index fund and one U.S. bond index fund has been a fool's errand over the past decade, there's good reason for that. Vanguard Balanced Index VBIAX had its best decade of risk-adjusted returns since it launched in 1992, and it invests in just two broad U.S. index funds. To be fair, seven of the 153 funds in the allocation--50% to 70% equity Morningstar Category had as good or slightly better risk-adjusted returns over the decade, so there was some room for improvement, but it has still been a fantastic time for simplicity.
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.