VANGUARD ETFS: Meaning & What You Should Know

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Among the classes of funds that Vanguard offers are exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offer a variety of options to meet specific investment objectives while being less risky than purchasing individual stocks and bonds. Vanguard offers both domestic and international underlying indexes, as well as industry-specific indices for the materials and energy sectors. The commission-free ETFs offered by Vanguard are managed by experienced portfolio managers. From the Vanguard ETF lineup, Vanguard dividend ETFs offer some of the highest dividends.

Read more for further insight on the best vanguard ETFs

Vanguard ETFs  

A Vanguard ETF, or Vanguard Exchange Traded Fund, is a kind of pooled investment stock that holds a variety of underlying assets while tracking the S&P Extended Market Index. It is a Vanguard ETF made up of mutual funds with a low minimum investment.

This gives you more chances to diversify your investment holdings, giving you the chance to create a portfolio with reduced risks and intra-trade flexibility. In addition to specific industries like materials and energy, their underlying indices also include domestic and international indexes.

An actively managed, fully financed section of the US stock market, the S&P® Extended Market Index, is what the Vanguard Extended Market Index ETF (Vanguard) tracks. A global equity index called the MSCI EAFE Index includes stocks from 40 different nations, including the United States (EAFE).

Understanding Vanguard ETFs

One of the largest international managers of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is the Vanguard Group, formerly known as Vanguard index participation receipts (VIPERS). Currently available Vanguard ETFs are made to offer intraday trading flexibility while closely tracking the underlying indices. In 1974, Jack Bogle, the pioneer of low-cost index fund investing, established the business. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFIAX), the company’s first index investment trust, was launched two years after it was established.

As of May 2022, Vanguard had more than $1.8 trillion in assets under management (AUM), making it the second-largest ETF issuer after Blackrock. Vanguard is on track to overtake Blackrock as the top ETF manager soon thanks to $328 billion in inflows the previous year, which would surpass Blackrock’s 20-year dominance.   

Vanguard provides more than 80 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that can be used to achieve a variety of financial objectives and investing strategies. From total market equity funds to specialized sector ETFs, there are low-cost Vanguard ETFs that can accommodate all different types of investment options. ETFs offer greater portfolio flexibility because they can contain thousands of stocks or bonds in a single fund. They provide the individual investor with more control and all the benefits of an index fund. 

Types of Vanguard ETFs

#1. U.S. Stock ETFs

A variety of ETF products with a U.S. stock focus are available from Vanguard. Further classifications of these ETFs include large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap companies as companies they target. The effectiveness of the businesses they invest in can also be analyzed in terms of these funds. Stocks with higher growth rates are the focus of growth ETF investments. Value ETFs invest in businesses with lower valuations. And lastly, blend ETFs make investments in both growth and value ETFs.

#2. International Stock ETFs

Vanguard offers global, international, and emerging market international exchange-traded funds. Global stock ETFs hold stocks from many different countries, including the United States. Aside from the United States, international stock ETFs invest in stocks from every country in the world. ETFs for emerging markets only hold stocks from developing nations.

#3. Vanguard Sector ETFs

Stock-based Vanguard sector ETFs invest in indexes that monitor particular economic sectors. Telecommunications, energy, materials, information technology (IT), and healthcare are a few of these industries. Investors can target a specific market segment with a sector-based ETF without taking on the risk and doing the necessary due diligence for picking individual companies to invest in.

#4. U.S. Bond ETFs

Investors who want to allocate their investment assets among an age-appropriate mix of stocks and bonds can choose from 15 different ETFs offered by Vanguard, most of which are primarily focused on U.S. bonds. They can be divided into four main groups: tax-exempt bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds, government bonds, and a combination of the two.

Comparing government bonds to corporate bonds, government bonds typically have lower dividend yields. On the other hand, their risk of default is considerably lower. Corporate bonds do pay relatively high-interest rates, even though they carry a higher default risk than government bonds. And finally, investors with taxable brokerage accounts and relatively high tax brackets should think about Vanguard’s tax-exempt ETF bond category.

List of Vanguard ETFs

Vanguard ETFs aim to offer investors a portfolio-level equity income option. These funds follow indices that concentrate on stocks that pay dividends and either increase those payouts over time or decrease them. The following are some examples of Vanguard ETFs: Vanguard information, Mega cap, Consume, Growth, and Utilities, among others.

Vanguard ETFs With Dividends

Investors looking for a portfolio equity income option should consider Vanguard Dividend ETFs. These funds track indices that are focused on stocks that offer dividend payments that either grows over time or currently have high yields.

The table below lists some vanguard ETFs that are currently tagged by the ETF database and that trade dividends in the United States. Please take note that the list might not include newly released ETFs: 

Note however that the list may not contain newly issued ETFs:

ETF name
Asset class 
Vanguard appreciation ETF
ETF name 


Asset class
Vanguard High Dividend yield Index ETFVanguard Dividend ETFs seek to provide investors with an equity income solution for their portfolios. These funds track indexes that focus on dividend-paying stocks that either grows these payments over time or sport a high yield today.

ETF Name
Vanguard International High Dividend Yield
ETF Name
Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation

ETF Name
Asset Class
Vanguard Total World Bond


Best Vanguard ETFs

#1. Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities ETF (VTIP)

The Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities ETF aims to provide steady returns regardless of the level of inflation. Investors seeking a highly liquid fund that preserves the purchasing power of their cash should give the fund serious consideration. 

Owning a short-duration TIPS fund like VTIP has the advantage that, in times of rising interest rates and inflation, the fund’s value rises as inflation does, reducing the impact of rising interest rate losses. Its expense ratio is 0.04%, its dividend yield is 6.33%, and its risk level is 1.

#2. Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)

The Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund ETF is a dependable index fund that tracks the S&P 500 at an incredibly low cost of just three basis points. VOO monitors the stock market activity of the 500 largest U.S. companies based on market cap. Well-known companies like Apple Inc. are among the fund’s biggest holdings. It has a dividend yield of 1.55%, an expense ratio of 0.03%, and a risk level of 4.

#3. Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSEARCA: VYM) is where this Vanguard dividend fund trades under the ticker symbol VYM. The name of this ETF suggests that it has a high dividend yield. The dividend yield is about 3%, and the annual increase typically falls between 5% and 8%. 

VYM has a reputation for having low costs. 0.60% of a ratio. This means that for every $2000 you invest in VYM for a year, Vanguard will only cost you 60 cents. VYM is regarded as the best vanguard dividend ETF due to its combination of dividend yield and dividend growth.

VYM pays close attention to the FTSE High Dividend Yield Index. According to Vanguard, VYM wants to:

  • Keep an eye on the FTSE High Dividend Yield Index’s performance, which measures the investment return of common stock issued by companies with high dividends. 
  • Offer a simple way to track the performance of stocks with forecasted dividend yields above average.

#4. Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF

This Vanguard dividend ETF is listed as VIG (NYSEARCA: VIG) on the New York Stock Exchange. This ETF is one of the best ones to invest in and hold. The Nasdaq US Dividend Achievers Select Index was previously monitored by VIG. This index consists of a group of American stocks that are known for boosting their dividends on an annual basis. They must have raised their dividend payments every year for at least ten years in a row to qualify.

The S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index was recently chosen by the fund as its tracking index. The highest dividend-paying companies are not included in this index, despite their track record of dividend growth. The VIG has several objectives, one of which is to track the S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index’s performance. a simple way to keep track of the performance of high-capitalization stocks from companies that have a track record of raising their dividends on an annual basis.

The Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF offers yields between 1% and 3%. Consequently, it is not an ETF that has a high stock dividend yield. The company is known for its dividend growth, which has been estimated to be 8% annually over time and is a haven for dividend achievers. 

Since its establishment in 2006, VIG has given dividend investors higher yearly total returns. It is a better choice for those who don’t require a quick cash reward. Similar to VYM, VIG has a 0.60% yield, which works out to a cost of sixty cents for an investment of one thousand dollars.

#5. Vanguard International High Dividend Yield ETF

This ETF holds stocks with dividend yields that are higher than average. It is a part of the FTSE World Stock Indexes collection. The FTSE All-World ex-US High Dividend Yield Index (VYMI), according to Vanguard, aims to: “Choose dividend-paying stocks to monitor their performance.” a simple method for getting exposure to multinational companies with expected dividend yields above average. 

The Vanguard International Dividend Yield ETF’s holdings include more than a thousand different dividend stocks. Yes, that is a $1,000 dividend stock that you read correctly. This means that if you make just one purchase, you will receive 1,000 dividend stocks. This ETF has notable investors like Roche Holding AG, Novartis, Toyota, and Unilever.

The most diversified Vanguard dividend fund on our list is VYMI, which has a sizable portfolio of dividend-paying stocks. In addition, it has the highest dividend yield. It usually produces 3–5%. The dividend growth rate for VYMI has been consistently high despite its recent history. Since it began operations in 2016, it has produced an average total return of 7%. 

You will spend $2.20 annually for every $1000 invested in your expense ratio is 0.22%.

#6. Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ)

In addition to serving as a form of diversification for a portfolio heavy on stocks and bonds, real estate funds can be thought of as an inflation hedge. One of the most affordable ways to gain exposure to the entire real estate market is through Vanguard’s VNQ fund, which also provides more liquidity than real estate ownership or real estate crowdfunding investments. Its expense ratio is 0.12%, its dividend yield is between 3.54% and 4.5%, and its risk level is 4.

To track the MSCI US Investable Market Real Estate 25/50 Index, it invests in stocks issued by real estate investment trusts (REITs). The REIT ETF can produce a profit as an investment because it is made up of finite assets. Similar to utility ETFs, they frequently serve as inflation hedges, but not all investors may find them suitable. Only a small portion of a larger dividend portfolio should be kept for them.

#7. Vanguard Utilities 

The Vanguard Utilities ETF tries to match the performance of the MSCI US Investable Market Index. The index includes shares of large, mid-sized, and small American utility companies. 

Are Utilities ETFS a Wise Financial Decision?

People have a defensive attitude toward the utility sector. Therefore, during a market downturn, utilities are frequently sought after. Aside from that, they offer rising stock prices and a very steady income. Utility ETFs, however, are not appropriate for all types of investors. These are specialized funds that focus on just one sector. As a result, it makes sense to allocate each asset in your portfolio to a fund that only invests in one industry, like the VPU ETF.

VPU personally owns over 65 different dividend-paying stocks in the utility sector. As a result, the dividend stocks of utility companies are all readily available for purchase. The average annual dividend growth for VPU is 4-6%. The company started operating in 2004 and, as of right now, it has an expense ratio of 1% and an average yearly return of 10%.

Vanguard ETFs vs Mutual Funds 

Vanguard offers exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds for investors to buy. Because of their differences and similarities, the two types of funds may be more or less appealing to different types of investors. Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs differ significantly in the following ways: 

#1. Trading

Similar to regular stocks, ETFs can be bought and sold at market prices throughout the trading day on an exchange. The purchase and sale of mutual funds, on the other hand, occur at their respective net asset values (NAV) at the end of each trading day.  

#2. Payment

Both ETFs and mutual funds frequently have low expense ratios, but ETFs frequently charge less than mutual funds do. ETF commission fees are another potential expense when buying and selling them.

Advantages of Vanguard ETFs

Low turnover ratios, minimal tracking errors, and minimal expense ratios are characteristics of well-liked Vanguard ETFs. Vanguard’s average ETF expense ratio is around 0.06%, which is considerably less than the industry average of 0.24%.

Additionally, Vanguard ETFs are frequently among the most affordable ETFs available. As a result, they’re frequently a fantastic choice for investors looking to benefit from the strength of ETFs.

Do All Vanguard ETFs Pay Dividends?

Vanguard offers over 70 ETFs, the majority of which pay dividends. They are renowned in the sector for having an expense ratio that is below average. The majority of Vanguard’s ETF products pay dividends quarterly; some do so yearly, while others do so monthly. \

Are Vanguard Dividend ETFS a Good Investment? 

Each investment aims to generate a sufficient return on its capital. As a result, buying Vanguard dividend ETFs is a smart move because, in addition to being a cost-effective option, they also enable you to instantly diversify your portfolio across several dividend stocks with just one investment. In addition to being a great source of passive income, they make a significant contribution to the performance of the equity market as a whole.

What Is the Minimum to Open a Vanguard ETF?

Opening a vanguard ETF requires a minimum investment of $1.

What Is the Minimum Investment for Vanguard ETF?

Since Vanguard ETF shares are traded and handled similarly to other stocks, there are no strict minimum investment requirements. The price of one share serves as their minimum investment.

What Is the Highest-Yielding Vanguard ETF?

VYMI holds the title of the vanguard ETF with the highest dividend yield thanks to its extensive portfolio of dividend-paying stocks.


ETFs provide less risk and ongoing maintenance when compared to stocks and bonds. Due to the pre-selected stock and bond combinations used by Vanguard, other stocks and bonds in the fund will likely perform better if one stock or bond does poorly. Aside from that, investors can let qualified fund managers choose their securities. Investors may find ETFs appealing due to a few of their distinctive qualities. Vanguard, for instance, offers commission-free ETFs that are managed by portfolio specialists. 

Additionally, ETFs have lower initial investment minimums. While mutual funds are only priced at the end of a trading day, they also provide real-time, intraday pricing, analyzing minute-by-minute changes, whenever they are bought and sold.

Vanguard ETFs FAQs

What is a Vanguard ETFs?

A Vanguard ETF, or Vanguard Exchange Traded Fund, is a kind of pooled investment stock that holds a variety of underlying assets while tracking the S&P Extended Market Index. It is a Vanguard ETF made up of mutual funds with a low minimum investment

What Is the Minimum Investment for Vanguard ETF?

Since Vanguard ETF shares are traded and handled similarly to other stocks, there are no strict minimum investment requirements. The price of one share serves as their minimum investment.

What are the Advantages of Vanguard ETFs

Low turnover ratios, minimal tracking errors, and minimal expense ratios are characteristics of well-liked Vanguard ETFs. Additionally, Vanguard ETFs are frequently among the most affordable ETFs available.

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