Mutual funds for Bogleheads

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Flag of the United States.svg.png This article contains details specific to United States (US) investors. Acting on fund or ETF suggestions in it may have harmful US tax consequences for non-US investors.

This article provides a comparison of core mutual funds for use in Boglehead-style investing. While the choices for mutual funds depend on the brokerage you use, most modern brokerages offer access to low-cost index mutual funds, and commission-free access to all ETFs.[1] When choosing between mutual funds, the expense ratio (ER) is an important consideration. This page offers a condensed menu of low-expense-ratio funds that are commonly used as core holdings in the construction of passive — or "lazy" — portfolios. Funds available at each brokerage are compared below.

Mutual funds at Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab manages its own index mutual funds. As a broker, Schwab also provides access to other firm's mutual funds, but they are usually subject to transaction fees (unless the fund is a part of the no-transaction-fee network). The following table shows Schwab's index mutual funds, with the corresponding Vanguard fund listed for reference.

US Stocks Schwab Vanguard
Total US Market SWTSX 0.03% VTSAX 0.04%
S&P 500 SWPPX 0.02% VFIAX 0.04%
Large-Cap SNXFX 0.05% VLCAX 0.05%
Large-Cap Value SWLVX 0.035% VVIAX 0.05%
Large-Cap Growth SWLGX 0.035% VIGAX 0.05%
Mid-Cap SWMCX 0.04% VIMAX 0.05%
Small-Cap SWSSX 0.04% VSMAX 0.05%
International Stocks Schwab Vanguard
Developed Markets SWISX 0.06% VTMGX 0.07%
Bonds Schwab Vanguard
Total Bond SWAGX 0.04% VBTLX 0.05%
Short-Term Bond SWSBX 0.06% VBIRX 0.07%
Intermediate TIPS SWRSX 0.05% VAIPX
[note 1]
0.10%
Balanced Schwab Vanguard
Target date SWYOX 0.08% VLXVX 0.15%

Charles Schwab offers access to:

  • Eight index stock mutual funds,[2] with low expense ratios ranging from 2 to 6 basis points.[note 2] The Schwab 1000 (SNXFX) index mutual fund is benchmarked to a proprietary index created by Schwab. The total stock market index is benchmarked to the Dow Jones US Total Stock Market Index.
  • Three indexed bond funds: a total bond market index fund (SWAGX), a short-term aggregate bond fund (SWSBX) and an intermediate TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Security) fund (SWRSX).[3]
  • Tax-free bond funds: A national Tax-Free Bond Fund (SWNTX) and the California Tax-Free Bond Fund (SWCAX).[3]
  • Target date index funds with an expense ratio of 8 basis points.[4]

All ETFs are commission-free at Schwab, enabling use of low-cost index ETFs. See the ETFs for Bogleheads article for a comparison of core ETFs.

Mutual funds at E*TRADE

All ETFs are commission-free at E*TRADE, enabling use of the entire ETF lineup from Vanguard and iShares.[5]

For mutual fund investors, the following tables show the low-cost, no transaction fee mutual funds available at E*TRADE.

All Vanguard and Schwab funds listed below are available without fees or loads.

US Stock Fund 1 Fund 2
Total US Market VTSAX 0.04% SWTSX 0.03%
S&P 500 VFIAX 0.04% SWPPX 0.02%
Large-Cap VLCAX 0.05% SNXFX 0.05%
Large-Cap Value VVIAX 0.05%
Large-Cap Growth VIGAX 0.05%
Mid-Cap VIMAX 0.05%
Mid-Cap Value VMVAX 0.07%
Mid-Cap Growth VMGMX 0.07%
Small-Cap VSMAX 0.05% SWSSX 0.04%
Small-Cap Value VSVAX 0.07%
Small-Cap Growth VSGMX 0.07%
International Stock Fund 1 Fund 2
Total International VTIAX 0.11%
Developed Markets VTMGX 0.07% SWISX 0.06%
Emerging Markets VEMAX 0.14%
International Large-Cap VFWAX 0.11%
International Small-Cap VFSAX 0.16%
Global Stock Fund 1
Total World VTWAX 0.10%
US Bond Fund 1 Fund 2
Total Bond VBTLX 0.05% SWAGX 0.04%
Short-Term Bond VBIRX 0.07%
Intermediate Bond VBILX 0.07%
Long-Term Bond VBLAX 0.07%
Short-Term Treasury VSBSX 0.07%
Intermediate Treasury VSIGX 0.07%
Long-Term Treasury VLGSX 0.07%
Short-Term TIPS VTAPX 0.06% SWRSX 0.05%
Intermediate TIPS[note 3] VIPSX 0.20%
Municipal bond VTEAX 0.09%
International Bond Fund 1
Total International Bond VTABX 0.11%
Emerging Markets Bond VGAVX 0.25%
Balanced Funds
Target date VLXVX – VTINX 0.15%
Fixed allocation VASIX, VSCGX,
VSMGX, VASGX
0.11% – 0.14%
  • In order to see the NTF (No Transaction Fee) Mutual Fund selection, visit this page, then perform a search using the "Expense Ratio < 0.5%" and "No Load No Transaction Fee" criteria.
  • To discourage short-term trading, E*TRADE charges an Early Redemption Fee of $49.99 if NTF Mutual Funds are sold within 90 days of purchase.[5]

Mutual funds at Fidelity

All ETFs are commission-free at Fidelity. See ETFs for Bogleheads for a comparison of low-cost index ETFs.

For mutual fund investors, the following tables show the rough correspondence between Vanguard Admiral Class funds and low-cost no transaction fee mutual funds available at Fidelity. In many cases they track similar indexes from different providers.

Stock funds

US stock

Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked No. of holdings
[note 4]
Total US Stock Market Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund VTSAX 0.04% CRSP Total Market Index ~ 3900
Fidelity Total Market Index Fund FSKAX 0.015% Dow Jones US Total Stock Market Index ~ 3700
Fidelity ZERO Total Market Index Fund[note 5] FZROX 0.00% Fidelity U.S. Total Investable Market Index ~ 2700
By size
Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked No. of holdings
[note 4]
S&P 500 / Large-Cap Vanguard 500 Index Fund VFIAX 0.04% S&P 500 ~ 500
Fidelity 500 Index Fund FXAIX 0.015% S&P 500 ~ 500
Fidelity ZERO Large Cap Index Fund FNILX 0.00% Fidelity U.S. Large Cap Index ~ 500
Extended Market Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund VEXAX 0.08% S&P Completion Index ~ 3500
Fidelity Extended Market Index Fund FSMAX 0.045% Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market Index[7] ~ 3400
Fidelity ZERO Extended Market Index Fund FZIPX 0.00% Fidelity U.S. Extended Investable Market Index ~ 2100
Mid-Cap Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund VIMAX 0.05% CRSP US Mid Cap Index ~ 400
Fidelity Mid Cap Index Fund FSMDX 0.025% Russell Mid Cap Index ~ 800
Small-Cap Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund VSMAX 0.05% CRSP US Small Cap Index[8] ~ 1500
Fidelity Small Cap Index Fund FSSNX 0.025% Russell 2000 Index ~ 2000
By style
Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked
Large-Cap Growth Vanguard Growth Index Fund VIGAX 0.05% CRSP US Large Cap Growth Index
Fidelity Large Cap Growth Index Fund FSPGX 0.035% Russell 1000 Growth Index
Large-Cap Value Vanguard Value Index Fund VVIAX 0.05% CRSP US Large Cap Value Index
Fidelity Large Cap Value Index Fund FLCOX 0.035% Russell 1000 Value Index
Mid-Cap Growth Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth Index Fund VMGMX 0.07% CRSP US Mid Cap Growth Index
Fidelity Mid Cap Growth Index Fund FMDGX 0.05% Russell Midcap Growth Index
Mid-Cap Value Vanguard Mid-Cap Value Index Fund VMVAX 0.07% CRSP US Mid Cap Value Index
Fidelity Mid Cap Value Index Fund FIMVX 0.05% Russell Midcap Value Index
Small-Cap Growth Vanguard Small-Cap Growth Index Fund VSGAX 0.07% CRSP US Small Cap Growth Index
Fidelity Small Cap Growth Index Fund FECGX 0.05% Russell 2000 Growth Index
Small-Cap Value Vanguard Small-Cap Value Index Fund VSIAX 0.07% CRSP US Small Cap Value Index
Fidelity Small Cap Value Index Fund FISVX 0.05% Russell 2000 Value Index
Real Estate Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund VGSLX 0.12% MSCI US Investable Market Real Estate 25/50 Index
Fidelity Real Estate Index Fund FSRNX 0.07% Dow Jones U.S. Select Real Estate Securities Index

International stock

Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked No. of holdings
[note 4]
Total International
Stock Market
Vanguard Total International Stock Index VTIAX 0.11% FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index ~ 7600
Fidelity Total International Index Fund FTIHX 0.06% MSCI ACWI ex USA IMI Index ~ 4800
By size/style
Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked No. of holdings
[note 4]
International Large-Cap Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index VFWAX 0.11% FTSE All-World ex US Index ~ 3500
Fidelity Global ex US Index Fund FSGGX 0.055% MSCI ACWI ex USA Index ~ 2400
Fidelity ZERO International Index Fund FZILX 0.00% Fidelity Global ex US Index ~ 2400
Developed Markets[note 6] Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund VTMGX 0.07% FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index ~ 4000
Fidelity International Index Fund FSPSX 0.035% MSCI EAFE Index (excludes small caps) ~ 900
Emerging Markets Vanguard Emerging Markets Index Fund VEMAX 0.14% FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index ~ 5200
Fidelity Emerging Markets Index Fund FPADX 0.08% MSCI Emerging Markets Index (excludes small caps) ~ 1500

Bond funds

US bond

Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked
Total US Bond Market Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund VBTLX 0.05% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Float Adjusted Index
Fidelity U.S. Bond Index Fund FXNAX 0.025% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index
Government
Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked
Short-Term Treasury Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index Fund VSBSX 0.07% Bloomberg Barclays US Treasury 1–3 Year Bond Index
Fidelity Short-Term Treasury Bond Index Fund FUMBX 0.03% Bloomberg Barclays 1-5 Year U.S. Treasury Index
Intermediate Treasury Vanguard Intermediate-Term Treasury Index Fund VSIGX 0.07% Bloomberg Barclays US Treasury 3–10 Year Bond Index
Fidelity Intermediate Treasury Bond Index Fund FUAMX 0.03% Bloomberg Barclays 5-10 Year U.S. Treasury Bond Index
Long-Term Treasury Vanguard Long-Term Treasury Index Fund VLGSX 0.07% Bloomberg Barclays US Long Treasury Bond Index
Fidelity Long-Term Treasury Bond Index Fund FNBGX 0.03% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Long Treasury Index
TIPS Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund[note 7] VAIPX 0.10% Not an index fund
Fidelity Inflation-Protected Bond Index Fund FIPDX 0.05% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. TIPS Index
Municipal Bond Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund VTEAX 0.09% S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index
Fidelity Municipal Bond Index Fund FMBIX 0.07% Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index
Corporate
Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked
Short-Term Aggregate Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund VBIRX 0.07% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 1-5 Year Government/Credit Float Adjusted Index
Fidelity Short-Term Bond Index Fund FNSOX 0.03% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 1-5 Year Government/Credit Bond Index

International bond

Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked
Total International
Bond Market
Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund VTABX 0.11% Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Float-Adjusted Index (Hedged)
Fidelity International Bond Index Fund FBIIX 0.06% Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Float Adjusted RIC Diversified Index (USD Hedged)

Balanced funds

Fund class Fund name Ticker ER Index tracked
Target-date funds Vanguard Target Retirement Funds Various 0.13% - 0.15%
Fidelity Freedom® Index Funds Various 0.12%
Fixed allocation funds Vanguard LifeStrategy VASIX, VSCGX, VSMGX, VASGX 0.11% - 0.14% 20/80 to 80/20 allocations
Fidelity Four-in-One Index Fund FFNOX 0.11% 85/15 index fund

Notes

  • Fidelity also provides a comparison of its funds to Vanguard.
  • See the appropriate asset class article in index returns for historical return comparisons among various indexes.
  • Fidelity offers no-commission trades on individual stocks and ETFs. As of August 1, 2018, Fidelity no longer lists a charge for short-term sales of its funds. Note that there is a standard SEC fee[9] charged by all brokers, including Vanguard and Fidelity, for sales of stocks and ETFs. Fidelity refers to this as an activity assessment fee, and it ranges from $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal.[10]
  • Fidelity offers 22 Fidelity Index Funds (formerly called Spartan funds). These are Fidelity's counterpart to Vanguard, very-low-expense-ratio index funds. Effective August 1, 2018, Fidelity eliminated the minimum investment requirement on all these funds, and adjusted all funds to match the former Institutional Premium class funds. The various classes of each fund were merged in November, 2018. This change results in individual investors having access to funds with extremely low expense ratios, well below what is available to individual investors at Vanguard, even compared to the $3,000-minimum Admiral Class shares.
  • On August 3, 2018, Fidelity began offering two new Fidelity ZERO Index Funds with a 0.00% expense ratio, the Fidelity ZERO Total Market Index Fund and the Fidelity ZERO International Index Fund. These funds track proprietary Fidelity indexes covering the total US stock market and the global ex-US mid-/large-cap markets respectively. As of January 2019, Fidelity offers four Zero Index Funds, with the addition of Fidelity Large Cap Zero Index Fund (FNILX) and Fidelity Extended Market Zero Index Fund.
  • Fidelity mutual funds do not share the same structure that allows Vanguard mutual funds to avoid distributing capital gains, which may have tax consequences for investors. Those investing in taxable accounts may wish to consider using the Vanguard or iShares ETFs instead.
  • Note that all Fidelity funds are listed with the ticker that will remain active after the asset classes are merged in November 2018. Other tickers can be found in the appendix to the press release announcing the fund changes.
  • The transaction fees to buy Vanguard mutual funds at Fidelity are quite high --$75 for the first purchase, but subsequent purchases can be $5 per purchase if you set up an automatic investment plan. Admiral Class shares are not available for purchase at Fidelity. Vanguard has ETF equivalents for most of its index funds. Like other stocks and ETFs, Vanguard ETFs can be bought and sold at Fidelity commission free. If you want to use actual Vanguard products, using Vanguard ETFs is probably the cheapest way to do so at Fidelity.
  • Fidelity offers individual treasury bonds (both nominal and TIPS) at auction free of commission or any markup or fees if you place your orders online. There is no limit on account size. No separate account is needed. The minimum purchase is $1,000.

Mutual funds at Vanguard

Vanguard's mutual fund lineup is detailed at Vanguard fund info.

See also

Notes

  1. Not an index fund. The admiral share class VAIPX requires a $50,000 minimum investment. There is an investor share class VIPSX with a higher ER of 0.20%, but lower minimum ($3,000).
  2. A basis point is 1/100th of 1 point (1 percent). 100 bps = 1%.
  3. Not an index fund.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The number of holdings of a mutual fund depends on how it tracks its index. A fund can mirror the index by holding all its constituents: this is known as index replication. Alternatively, it may use sampling techniques: a smaller number of securities may be used to match the return of the index. This can increase the risk of tracking error.
  5. Fidelity ZERO funds are not recommended for use in taxable accounts due to their lack of portability. When transferring to a different brokerage, the fund will have to be liquidated, thereby creating a taxable event.[6]
  6. FTSE classifies Korea as a developed market, while MSCI classifies it as emerging. Canada is not included in EAFE indexes.
  7. Admiral Shares class fund has a $50,000 minimum investment. Investor-class fund VIPSX has a 0.20% ER and a $3,000 minimum

References

  1. "Battle for client assets heats up as brokers cut fees to zero". CNBC. October 13, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Schwab Funds® - Index Funds". Charles Schwab. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Schwab Funds® - Bond Funds". Charles Schwab. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  4. "Schwab Target Index Funds". Charles Schwab Asset Management. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Pricing and Rates". E*TRADE. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  6. Bogleheads® forum topic: Portability of Fidelity ZERO. November 13, 2018
  7. See, Dow Jones US Total Stock Market Indexes Literature.
  8. Vanguard also offers the Vanguard Russell 2000 ETF.
  9. "Fee Rate Advisory #2 for Fiscal Year 2021". SEC. January 15, 2021.
  10. "Commissions, Margin Rates, and Fees". Fidelity. March 18, 2020.

External links