ETFs to Buy: Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTI)
Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTI) is where I would begin.
Simply put, few investments outperform the stock market over the very long term. Thus, the broad exposure of the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF assures that you will reap the benefits of that long-term exposure to the entire American stock market.
VTI’s top holdings reads very similarly to the S&P 500′s, with Apple (AAPL) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) earning the greatest weights. But the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF also has exposure to small- and midcap stocks, which has helped it outperform the S&P 500. That’s because these smaller stocks have more room for growth than the more mature large-cap peers.
VTI also is extremely friendly to the beginner investor because of its bargain-basement expense ratio of 0.05%, or just $5 annually for every $10,000 invested. The fund’s 1.8% in dividends will more than cover your costs.