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The Best Vanguard ETFs to Invest $50,000 in Right Now

Motley Fool - Mon Feb 26, 8:53AM CST

Investing can be hard. There are thousands of investment products -- and not all of them are very good. However, one asset class worth considering is exchange-traded funds (ETFs). For many investors, ETFs are a smart choice thanks to their diverse stock holdings, solid performance, and low fees.

Here, I'll break down a hypothetical $50,000 portfolio split equally among five different ETFs offered by Vanguard. Let's get started.

Vanguard Information Technology ETF

First up is the Vanguard Information Technology ETF(NYSEMKT: VGT). With a 10-year total return of 531% and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20%, it's hard to find a Vanguard ETF with a better performance history. The fund's top holdings are Microsoft, Apple, Nvidia, Broadcom, and Adobe.

Company NameSymbolPercentage of Assets

Data Source: Vanguard Group

Its expense ratio of 0.10% means you'll pay only $10 annually for every $10,000 you invest. Due to its heavy tech exposure, this isn't an ETF for every portfolio. But it's certainly one to consider for most investors.

Vanguard Growth ETF

Next is the VanguardGrowthETF(NYSEMKT: VUG). This ETF boasts many large-cap growth stocks, meaning it's loaded with "Magnificent Seven" stocks like Microsoft, Apple, Nvidia, Alphabet, and Amazon.

Company NameSymbolPercentage of Assets
Meta PlatformsMETA3.9%

Data Source: Vanguard Group

Given its focus on growth stocks, there's not much in the way of dividends; the ETF sports a dividend yield of only 0.6%. Performance-wise, the Vanguard Growth ETF has been above average over the last 10 years, delivering its investors a total return of 295%, which works out to a CAGR of almost 15%.

Moreover, with a tiny expense ratio of 0.05%, investors give up only $5 in fees for every $10,000 invested. To sum up, this is an ETF growth-oriented investors should strongly consider.

Vanguard S&P 500 ETF

For investors looking to duplicate the performance of the S&P 500 with a low expense ratio, the VanguardS&P 500 ETF(NYSEMKT: VOO) is a name to remember. The ETF sports a minuscule expense ratio of 0.03%.

Since it tracks the S&P 500, its weighting currently reflects the top-heavy, tech-focused nature of the S&P 500, with Magnificent Seven stocks dominating its top holdings list.

Company NameSymbolPercentage of Assets
Meta PlatformsMETA2.1%

Data Source: Vanguard Group

Yet, it also has other, more value-oriented names among its holdings. Healthcare and financial services stocks, for example, each comprise about 13% of the fund's total holdings.

You won't outperform the market with this ETF, but you will replicate its performance. And thanks to those rock-bottom fees, investors in this ETF won't give up an arm and a leg to do so.

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF

Next, there is the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF(NYSEMKT: VTI). This is the "kitchen sink" ETF. It has a little bit of everything. Sure, the Magnificent Seven stocks occupy its top holdings list, but beneath the surface, many other stocks and sectors are included.

Company NameSymbolPercentage of Assets
Meta PlatformMETA1.8%

Data Source: Vanguard Group

Consumer cyclical stocks and industrial stocks comprise 11% and 10% of its holdings, respectively. What's more, its dividend yield of 1.4%, while still modest, gives income-oriented investors something to chew on. Like other Vanguard funds, this ETF boasts a low expense ratio of 0.04%.

Vanguard Value ETF

Last, there is the VanguardValueETF(NYSEMKT: VTV). Since value stocks have underperformed growth over the last decade, this ETF's 10-year CAGR of 10% has underperformed the market as a whole. Nevertheless, its performance isn't terrible, and it is worth having some value stock exposure in just about any portfolio.

The fund holds stocks across multiple sectors. Almost 21% of its holdings are financial services stocks, with a further 18% allocated to the healthcare sector. Top holdings include BerkshireHathaway, Proctor& Gamble, ExxonMobil, Merck, and JP Morgan Chase.

Company NameSymbolPercentage of Assets
Berkshire HathawayBRK.B3.7%
JP Morgan ChaseJPM2.7%
UnitedHealth GroupUNH2.5%

Data Source: Vanguard Group

In addition to the fund's focus on value stocks, it also has the highest dividend yield of the five Vanguard ETFs covered. The fund boasts a dividend yield of 2.43%, and similar to the other Vanguard ETFs covered above, its slim 0.04% expense ratio means only a few dollars per year are lost to fees.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. JPMorgan Chase is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jake Lerch has positions in Adobe, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, and Procter & Gamble. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Adobe, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Nvidia, Vanguard Index Funds-Vanguard Growth ETF, Vanguard Index Funds-Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, Vanguard Index Funds-Vanguard Value ETF, and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. The Motley Fool recommends Broadcom and UnitedHealth Group and recommends the following options: long January 2026 $395 calls on Microsoft and short January 2026 $405 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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