We rank 40 large-company funds on their short-term holding costs.
What does it cost to pick up some stock market exposure for a short period? As little as $2 per $10,000 invested.
Our survey of trading costs looks at the expenses of maintaining a position in an exchange-traded fund for three months. Here, we score 40 funds that own either the entire U.S. stock market or the largest companies in it.
Vanguard has two big-cap funds that stand out for cost efficiency. Its giant Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) can be held for $1.79 per $10,000. Close behind is the firm’s S&P 500 ETF (VOO) at $2.
The cost is defined as the sum of the bid/ask spread, three months of overhead via the expense ratio, and three months of expense offsets from securities lending income.
Liquidity grades are based on a combination of bid/ask spreads and trading volume.
You’ll get a very different set of winners when you look for the best deals in ETFs held for a long term. Go to Best ETFs for Investors: Large-Cap to see the cost efficiency of funds held for a decade.
Links to the three-month cost rankings of funds in other categories, such as small and international stocks and bonds, can be found at Best ETFs for Trading.
|3-month Holding Cost*|
|VTI||Vanguard Total Stock Market||$1.79||A+|
|VOO||Vanguard S&P 500||2.00||A+|
|IVV||iShares Core S&P 500||2.24||A+|
|SCHB||Schwab US Broad Market||2.38||A|
|SPY||SPDR S&P 500||2.95||A+|
|SCHX||Schwab US Large-Cap||2.95||A|
|ITOT||iShares Core S&P Total US Stock Mkt||3.26||A|
|SPTM||SPDR Portfolio Total Stock Market||4.15||A|
|SPLG||SPDR Portfolio Large Cap||4.61||A|
|MGC||Vanguard Mega Cap||4.67||A|
|SCHK||Schwab 1000 Index||6.00||B|
|VONE||Vanguard Russell 1000||6.23||B|
|IWB||iShares Russell 1000||6.26||A|
|OEF||iShares S&P 100||6.76||A|
|IWV||iShares Russell 3000||7.30||A|
|XLG||PowerShares S&P 500 Top 50||7.95||B|
|IYY||iShares Dow Jones US||8.16||B|
|JKD||iShares Morningstar Large-Cap||9.43||B|
|SPYV||SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Value||3.51||A|
|IUSV||iShares Core S&P US Value||4.62||A|
|SCHV||Schwab US Large-Cap Value||4.66||A|
|DIA||SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average||5.63||A+|
|MGV||Vanguard Mega Cap Value||5.79||B|
|VLUE||iShares Edge MSCI USA Value Factor||6.18||A|
|VONV||Vanguard Russell 1000 Value||6.32||B|
|IVE||iShares S&P 500 Value||6.35||A|
|IWD||iShares Russell 1000 Value||6.39||A+|
|SCHG||Schwab US Large-Cap Growth||4.22||A|
|IUSG||iShares Core S&P US Growth||4.47||A|
|SPYG||SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth||4.59||A|
|MGK||Vanguard Mega Cap Growth||5.69||A|
|VONG||Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth||6.43||A|
|IVW||iShares S&P 500 Growth||6.66||A|
|VOOG||Vanguard S&P 500 Growth||6.96||A|
|IWF||iShares Russell 1000 Growth||7.27||A|
|IWY||iShares Russell Top 200 Growth||8.26||B|
*Cost of a $10,000 position held for three months. Reflects bid/ask spread, expense ratio and cost offset from securities lending.
Data sources: Morningstar, Bloomberg, fund distributors