DaleM wrote:Question: Do I get an international exposure with VTI? If not, what would be a comparable international ETF to VTI (very broad based, including emerging markets, and very low cost).
It's really a good idea to get in the habit of finding some of this basic information for yourself.http://www.vanguard.com
, Go To Personal Investors' Site, type VTI into the search box, wait for the choices to drop down and click on Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) (0970). Under Product Summary, what do you see?
While you're there... why don't you look up how Vanguard classifies its risk potential, what they say that risk potential means (click on the brown text under the diagram), what its expense ratio is, and click around a few of the tabs and absorb some of the stuff. For example, what "style box" it's in.
OK, now, you've asked for a comparable international ETF, so try this: at the left side of the screen, click on "all our ETFs by fund name." Over at the left you get a chance to select filters, so click on "International" as the asset class.
So, which of those ETFs are very broad based, include emerging markets, and are very low cost? We can take a stab at eliminating the EAFE (Europe, Australasia and Far East), Europe and Pacific ETFs as they obviously only include part of the world. You probably don't want real estate, and you probably don't want Emerging Markets all by itself unless you can't find a fund that includes it and need to add it as an outrigger.
That leaves you with four candidate funds: FTSE All-World Ex-US; FTSE All-World Ex-US Small Cap; Total International Stock; and Total World Stock. There are some minor but interesting puzzles choosing between them. You can go to their web pages with summary descriptions by click on the links. You should be able to figure out very quickly what the difference between Total International and Total World is. On the other hand, you should
find it puzzling to choose between FTSE All-World Ex-US (VEU) and Total International Stock (VXUS). But you should at least be able to answer this question for yourself: does VEU include Emerging Markets? Does VXUS? Hint: after glancing at the Product Summary, try the Portfolio tab.
The reason I've put in the work writing all this down is that I really think you should take the time to try some of it out for yourself. Things you find out for yourself stick better than things someone else tells you.
And I leave you with this riddle. dbr has said, correctly, that "VTI and VXUS are a good combination." Here's the riddle: what's the difference between Total International Stock and Total World Stock?
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.