There's good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news.
Unfortunately, Vanguard offers no retail mutual funds
, in Canada. It has some funds for retirement plans, but they are unavailable to the general public. See: Vanguard launches series of 10 target retirement funds
. As a consequence, there are no really low-cost index funds in Canada. The lowest-cost
index funds are TD e-series funds
, which are difficult to buy*:
* One has to jump through hoops to open an appropriate e-series account to buy them.
Code: Select all
Fund name Fund ID MER
TD Canadian Bond Index – e TDB909 0.50
TD Canadian Index – e TDB900 0.33
TD US Index – e TDB902 0.35
TD International Index – e TDB911 0.50
The good news
is that Vanguard has started offering index ETFs in Canada in late 2011, with aggressively low management fees. As a result, the management fees of other index ETFs have significantly dropped, especially the price of some iShares index ETFs by BlackRock. We now see low fee wars between the three leading index ETF providers: iShares, BMO, and Vanguard Canada. Other smaller players in the indexing ETF space have no choice but to follow suit.
Currently, iShares/BlackRock has a new, lower fee total international ETF (XAW, 0.20%) than Vanguard Canada (VXC, 0.25%). But, as one could expect from BlackRock, they kept the fees pretty high on their older total-world ETF (XWD, 0.44%). It took them years, too, to lower the fees on their aggregate Canadian bond ETF; they just lowered the fees of XBB, from 0.30% to 0.09% a few months ago, in May 2017, to compete with Vanguard's VAB, (0.12%) and BMO's ZAG (0.09%).