DEFINITION of 'Vanguard Exchange-Traded Funds'

A class of ETFs offered by Vanguard and traded like any other share on the American Stock Exchange. There are presently 27 Vanguard ETFs with underlying indexes covering both individual sectors (such as materials and energy)as well as domestic and international indexes. Previously known as VIPERS, the ETFs are designed to track their underlying indexes as closely as possible and offer the increased flexibility of intraday trading.

BREAKING DOWN 'Vanguard Exchange-Traded Funds'

Vanguard looks to bring its leadership in the passive management market to the ETF space with this class of low-cost funds. Most of the underlying indexes are Morgan Stanley (MSCI) indexes, which cover not only equity sectors of the economy, but also small-, mid- and large-cap equity indexes. There are also ETFs for broad-based market indexes such as the Wilshire Composite (a unit of Dow Jones), which tracks more than 3,500 stocks.

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  1. Do Vanguard ETFs require a minimum investment?

    Read about Vanguard exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and how there is no minimum U.S. dollar investment for them. Learn about ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between iShares, VIPERs and Spiders?

    iShares, VIPERs and spiders each represent different exchange-traded fund (ETF) families. In other words, an individual company ... Read Answer >>
  3. What exactly is an ETF portfolio?

    Learn what exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are and their advantages to investors, what a portfolio of ETFs is, and discover ... Read Answer >>
  4. Who's in charge of managing exchange-traded funds?

    An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a security that tracks an index but has the flexibility of trading like a stock. Just like ... Read Answer >>
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