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The Best Vanguard Funds

These top-rated Vanguard ETFs and mutual funds are excellent choices to buy and hold in 2024 and beyond.

Mutual funds artwork
Securities In This Article
Vanguard Total World Stock Index Admiral
Vanguard Wellington™ Inv
Vanguard Interm-Term Tx-Ex Adm
Vanguard Long-Term Corporate Bd ETF
Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF

With more than $7 trillion in assets, Vanguard dominates the mutual fund and exchange-traded fund landscape in the United States. Vanguard’s ETFs and mutual funds are go-to choices for long-term investors for many reasons:

  • Vanguard funds tend to be low in cost. Vanguard has built its reputation as a low-cost asset manager, and it remains one of the industry’s lower-cost providers.
  • Vanguard funds generally pursue simple, reliable strategies. Vanguard’s brand is synonymous with index funds, which, by their very nature, are uncomplicated in their approaches and reliable in their performances.
  • Long-term investors can easily build well-diversified portfolios composed exclusively of top-rated Vanguard ETFs or mutual funds. Vanguard covers the bases with excellent choices among the three main asset classes: US stocks, international stocks, and bonds. It also excels in more tightly defined strategies, boasting highly rated style-specific, dividend-stock, real estate, and inflation bond funds.

Morningstar’s list of the best Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs for long-term investors to buy and hold in 2024 features top-rated funds that we expect to outperform their competitors over a full market cycle. Investors can confidently buy and hold these funds in a long-term portfolio.

Best Vanguard Index Funds to Buy: Stocks

These Vanguard index mutual funds and ETFs investing in stocks have at least one share class that earns a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Gold with 100% analyst coverage as of May 14, 2024.

  1. Vanguard 500 Index Admiral/ETF VFIAX VOO
  2. Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index/ETF VDADX VIG
  3. Vanguard European Stock Index/FTSE Europe ETF VEUSX VGK
  4. Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index/ETF VFWAX VEU
  5. Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small Cap ETF VSS
  6. Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF VGK
  7. Vanguard Growth Index/ETF VIGAX VUG
  8. Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index/ETF VHYAX VYM
  9. Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation Index/ETF VIAAX VIGI
  10. Vanguard Large Cap Index/ETF VLCAX VV
  11. Vanguard Mid-Cap Index/ETF VIMAX VO
  12. Vanguard Mid-Cap Value Index/ETF VMVAX VOE
  13. Vanguard Real Estate Index/ETF VGSIX VNQ
  14. Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth Index/ETF VRGWX VONG
  15. Vanguard Russell 1000 Index VRNIX
  16. Vanguard Russell 1000 Value Index VRVIX
  17. Vanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF VOOG
  18. Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index/ETF VSPMX IVOO
  19. Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Value Index VMFVX
  20. Vanguard S&P Small Cap 600 Value Index VSMVX
  21. Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index/ETF VSGAX VBK
  22. Vanguard Small Cap Index/ETF VSCIX VB
  23. Vanguard Small-Cap Value Index/ETF VSIAX VBR
  24. Vanguard Total International Stock Index/ETF VGTSX VXUS
  25. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index/ETF VITSX VTI
  26. Vanguard Total World Stock Index/ETF VTWAX VT
  27. Vanguard Value Index/ETF VVIAX VTV

This list of Vanguard’s top index funds to buy that invest in stocks includes a good deal of variety. Some of the funds invest around the globe, while others favor US stocks. Others track indexes based on market capitalization (mid- or small-cap stocks) or investment style (growth stocks or value stocks)—or both. To fully understand a fund’s strategy, be sure to read its Morningstar Analyst Report. All the building blocks are there to create a well-diversified, buy-and-hold, low-cost equity portfolio.

Vanguard Makes Bigger Push into Active Bond ETFs

The two exchange-traded funds could serve as core-type bond holdings.

Best Vanguard Index Funds to Buy: Bonds

These Vanguard index mutual funds and ETFs investing in bonds have at least one share class that earns a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Gold with 100% analyst coverage as of May 14, 2024.

  1. Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond Index/ETF VICSX VCIT
  2. Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index/ETF VBLLX BLV
  3. Vanguard Long-Term Corporate Bond Index/ETF VLTCX VCLT
  4. Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index/ETF VSTBX VCSH
  5. Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index/ETF VTAPX VTIP
  6. Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index/ETF VSBSX VGSH
  7. Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond ETF VTEB
  8. Vanguard Total Bond Market Index/ETF VBTIX BND

Vanguard’s top bond index funds to buy for the long term run the gamut, with solid choices investing in taxable bonds of varying types and maturities—and even include tax-free and inflation-protected bond funds. Here, too, most investors will find the low-cost building blocks they need to balance an equity-heavy portfolio.

Best Vanguard Active Funds to Buy and Hold

These Vanguard active funds investing in stocks, bonds, or some combination of the two have at least one share class that earns a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Gold with 100% analyst coverage as of May 14, 2024.

  1. Vanguard California Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt VCADX
  2. Vanguard California Long-Term Tax-Exempt VCLAX
  3. Vanguard Capital Opportunity VHCOX
  4. Vanguard Dividend Growth VDIGX
  5. Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt VWALX
  6. Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt VWIUX
  7. Vanguard Long-Term Tax-Exempt VWLUX
  8. Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt VMLUX
  9. Vanguard Primecap Core VPCCX
  10. Vanguard Primecap VPMCX
  11. Vanguard Tax-Managed Capital Appreciation VTCLX
  12. Vanguard Ultra Short-Term Tax-Exempt VWSUX
  13. Vanguard Wellesley Income VWIAX
  14. Vanguard Wellington VWELX

Although Vanguard may be best known today for its comprehensive and highly rated suite of index funds, the asset manager lays claim to several excellent actively managed funds, too, across all asset classes.

Vanguard’s active funds to buy and hold are managed by various well-respected subadvisors, including Primecap and Wellington Investment Management, among others. Like Vanguard’s passive funds, the highly rated members of this active fund lineup charge modest fees.

How to Find More Top Vanguard Funds to Buy and Hold

Of course, focusing only on Vanguard funds that earn a Gold rating may be too limiting for some long-term investors. Those who’d like to consider Vanguard funds beyond our top rating can:

  • Visit Morningstar’s asset-management company hub for Vanguard. Once there, review lists of Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs, and segment those lists by criteria such as active or passive, stock or bond, and more.
  • Build your own Vanguard mutual fund and ETF screen using the Morningstar Investor Screener tool. Beneath Investment Type, choose either mutual fund or ETF; type Vanguard as the keyword. Then drill down further based on asset class, Morningstar Category, ratings, and other metrics that matter to you.

The author or authors own shares in one or more securities mentioned in this article. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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