You’ll still have to decide exactly which cereal you want, but you’ve narrowed your choices considerably, giving you a good head start. We’ve done something similar when it comes to helping you choose an ETF (exchange-traded fund).

Get a leg up on selecting a Vanguard ETF®

Vanguard Select ETFs

When you start with our new short list of 13 Vanguard Select ETFs™, you can avoid getting stuck in choice overload. This carefully assembled list gives you the building blocks to create a well-diversified portfolio that could help you achieve just about any investment goal.

Why these 13 ETFs?

Every ETF on the list includes 3 of the most important characteristics in choosing an ETF:

  • Diversification. Each ETF holds a wide range of stocks or bonds that provides broad market coverage, which helps spread out overall risk. (Our focus on spreading out risk is why you won’t find sector funds on this list.)
  • Low costs. Each ETF is among the low-cost leaders within its respective peer-group category as measured by expense ratio.
  • Liquidity. Each ETF is among the more liquid options when compared with its peers.

Could 4 ETFs be enough?

To gain the broadest exposure to U.S. and international stocks and bonds, you could also combine 4 total market index ETFs. When appropriately balanced, these ETFs can work together as a complete, well-diversified portfolio, making it easier to manage your portfolio.

Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND)
Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (BNDX)
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)
Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS)

Do you prefer more choices?

If you’d like to explore more options on your own, you can always browse our longer list of low-cost Vanguard ETFs. All are commission-free* when you buy and sell them in your Vanguard Brokerage Account, and 84% of them beat the returns of their peer-group averages over the past 10 years.**

There’s no time like the present

Although choosing an ETF will never be as easy as shopping for cereal, Vanguard Select ETFs could give you the head start you need to make the choice that’s right for you.


*Commission-free trading of Vanguard ETFs applies to trades placed both online and by phone. All ETFs are subject to management fees and expenses; refer to each ETF’s prospectus for more information. Account service fees may also apply. All ETF sales are subject to a securities transaction fee. See the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules for full details.

**For the 10-year period ended December 31, 2018, 29 of 33 Vanguard stock ETFs and 3 of 5 Vanguard bond ETFs—for a total of 32 of 38 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


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.