While some Vanguard exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are available commission-free from third-party brokers, a large portion still bear commissions. Whether a particular ETF is commission-free depends on the investment broker platform. However, buying Vanguard ETFs through the Vanguard investment platform comes free of any trading charges.
Vanguard offers a competitive selection of ETFs with different categories and investment focuses suitable for investors interested in gaining exposure to equity and bond markets in the United States and overseas. While about half of over 60 Vanguard ETFs specialize in domestic equities, there is a significant portion of funds that invest in international equities and corporate and sovereign bonds. Vanguard ETFs have very competitive expense ratios among their peers due to superior investment selection and execution. As of Dec. 31, 2014, the average expense ratio for Vanguard ETFs is about 0.13%, which is substantially lower than the average expense ratio of 0.55% for the ETF industry.
Commissions for Vanguard ETFs
Check with an investment broker to determine whether buying a particular Vanguard ETF entails any trading commissions. Almost all investment brokers have a screener for ETFs that allows investors to quickly filter ETFs by fund family and transaction-free status. If a Vanguard fund has a no-transaction fee status, investment brokers do not charge investors any commissions to buy or sell shares of this ETF. Otherwise, standard trading fees for funds apply based on a particular broker's fee policy.
Investors who conduct their investment business through Vanguard can purchase any Vanguard ETF free of commissions. Vanguard offers competitive trading commissions for all other ETFs available through its investment platform.