The Kiplinger ETF 20 — Our Best Exchange-Traded Fund Picks for Every Investor

The Kiplinger ETF 20 Our Favorite Exchange-Traded Funds for Every Investor

These days, investors can choose from about 2,000 exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You dont need most of them. Weve picked 20 ETFs to help you reach your investing goals from funds that give you a broad exposure to the stock market to narrower slices that can help you fill specific gaps in your portfolio.

In the tables below, see the funds in the Kiplinger ETF 20 and their one-year, and annualized three-, five-, 10-year returns, along with their expense ratios. Click the ticker symbol to see each funds daily market snapshot

Best ETFs for Your Investment Portfolios, Built from the ETF 20

WisdomTree Global ex-U.S. Quality Dividend Growth

PIMCO Enhanced Low Duration Active Exchange-Traded Fund

Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund ETF Shares

An ETF, or exchange-traded fund, is a bundle of securities such as stocks and bonds. Investors buy units (essentially shares) of ETFs that provide access to the performance of all the funds holdings, in exchange for a small annual fee thats automatically taken out of the ETFs returns. Exchange-traded funds are similar to mutual funds in that theyre pooled investments; however, ETFs trade on exchanges (just like stocks), so their prices change throughout the day; mutual fund prices do not.

ETF fees are taken out of the funds returns, so naturally the lower the fees, the more money the investor keeps. Fees are small often measured in basis points (1/100th of a percent) but can add up to big costs over time. Consider a $50,000 investment in a fund that charges 0.5% and returns 7% annually over 30 years will eventually generate $327,473 in returns. The same investment in a fund with similar performance but a 1% fee would generate $281,539 thats almost $46,000 lost to both fees and opportunity cost (the extra returns you would have generated had money spent on expenses been invested instead).

Basic online ETF screeners can help you sort funds by cost, allowing you to find the absolute cheapest funds on the market. But not all cheap ETFs are good ETFs. If youre looking for low cost and quality,check out the Kip ETF 20 a group of 20 exchange-traded funds selected by Kiplinger for their ability to deliver inexpensive exposure to a wide array of investing approaches, from broad-market stock indexes to tactical fixed-income strategies.

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