Best ETFs

U.S. News has identified exchange-traded funds best suited for long-term investors seeking low-cost, diversified portfolios. Our rankings compare the cost and structure of hundreds of ETFs. Read more about our Best Fit ranking methodology.

Basic Materials

#1

Vanguard Materials Index Fund (VAW)

Performance (1-YR): 28.66% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

#2

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME)

Performance (1-YR): 23.20% Expense Ratio: 0.35%

#3

Materials Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLB)

Performance (1-YR): 29.19% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

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Capital Appreciation

#1

Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA)

Performance (1-YR): 17.29% Expense Ratio: 0.12%

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Consumer Goods

#1

Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Consumer Staples ETF (RHS)

Performance (1-YR): 15.54% Expense Ratio: 0.50%

#2

Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund (VDC)

Performance (1-YR): 12.13% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

#3

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP)

Performance (1-YR): 10.41% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

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Consumer Services

#1

Vanguard Consumer Discretionary Index Fund (VCR)

Performance (1-YR): 23.25% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

#2

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY)

Performance (1-YR): 21.29% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

#3

SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT)

Performance (1-YR): 17.39% Expense Ratio: 0.35%

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Emerging Markets Debt

#1

iShares Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond ETF (LEMB)

Performance (1-YR): 4.04% Expense Ratio: 0.60%

#2

Market Vectors Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond ETF (EMLC)

Performance (1-YR): 9.10% Expense Ratio: 0.49%

#3

iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB)

Performance (1-YR): 2.47% Expense Ratio: 0.60%

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Emerging Markets

#1

Schwab Emerging Markets Equity ETF (SCHE)

Performance (1-YR): 2.14% Expense Ratio: 0.15%

#2

BLDRS Emerging Markets 50 ADR Index Fund (ADRE)

Performance (1-YR): 3.69% Expense Ratio: 0.30%

#3

iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG)

Performance (1-YR): 3.71% Expense Ratio: 0.18%

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Financial Services

#1

Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF)

Performance (1-YR): 23.02% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

#2

Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Financials ETF (RYF)

Performance (1-YR): 23.45% Expense Ratio: 0.50%

#3

SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (KIE)

Performance (1-YR): 21.58% Expense Ratio: 0.35%

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Flexible Portfolio

#1

IQ Hedge Multi-Strategy Tracker ETF (QAI)

Performance (1-YR): 4.84% Expense Ratio: 0.75%

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Gold Oriented

#1

iShares COMEX Gold Trust (IAU)

Performance (1-YR): 5.32% Expense Ratio: 0.25%

#2

PowerShares DB Gold Fund (DGL)

Performance (1-YR): 6.51% Expense Ratio: 0.50%

#3

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

Performance (1-YR): 5.52% Expense Ratio: 0.40%

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Growth & Income

#1

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTI)

Performance (1-YR): 23.27% Expense Ratio: 0.05%

#2

iShares Conservative Allocation ETF (AOK)

Performance (1-YR): 5.80% Expense Ratio: 0.30%

#3

iShares Growth Allocation ETF (AOR)

Performance (1-YR): 12.48% Expense Ratio: 0.32%

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Growth

#1

SPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF (SPYG)

Performance (1-YR): 22.44% Expense Ratio: 0.20%

#2

SPDR S&P 400 Mid Cap Growth ETF (MDYG)

Performance (1-YR): 20.85% Expense Ratio: 0.25%

#3

SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap Growth ETF (SLYG)

Performance (1-YR): 29.84% Expense Ratio: 0.25%

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Health/Biotechnology

#1

Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Health Care ETF (RYH)

Performance (1-YR): 26.73% Expense Ratio: 0.50%

#2

Vanguard Health Care Index Fund (VHT)

Performance (1-YR): 22.72% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

#3

Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV)

Performance (1-YR): 21.54% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

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Income

#1

Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD)

Performance (1-YR): 19.64% Expense Ratio: 0.07%

#2

Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index Fund (VYM)

Performance (1-YR): 18.64% Expense Ratio: 0.20%

#3

WisdomTree Total Dividend Fund (DTD)

Performance (1-YR): 18.46% Expense Ratio: 0.28%

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Industrials

#1

SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN)

Performance (1-YR): 37.50% Expense Ratio: 0.35%

#2

Vanguard Industrials Index Fund (VIS)

Performance (1-YR): 31.97% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

#3

Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLI)

Performance (1-YR): 31.96% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

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Infrastructure

#1

iShares Global Infrastructure ETF (IGF)

Performance (1-YR): 16.47% Expense Ratio: 0.48%

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Large-Cap

#1

Vanguard Russell 1000 ETF (VONE)

Performance (1-YR): 22.68% Expense Ratio: 0.12%

#2

iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT)

Performance (1-YR): 22.60% Expense Ratio: 0.07%

#3

iShares Dow Jones U.S. ETF (IYY)

Performance (1-YR): 22.51% Expense Ratio: 0.20%

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Long/Short Equity

#1

PowerShares S&P 500 BuyWrite Portfolio (PBP)

Performance (1-YR): 9.55% Expense Ratio: 0.75%

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Micro-Cap

#1

iShares Micro-Cap ETF (IWC)

Performance (1-YR): 31.78% Expense Ratio: 0.68%

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Mid-Cap

#1

Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 ETF (IVOO)

Performance (1-YR): 22.89% Expense Ratio: 0.15%

#2

iShares Russell Mid-Cap ETF (IWR)

Performance (1-YR): 24.24% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

#3

iShares S&P MidCap Fund (IJH)

Performance (1-YR): 22.99% Expense Ratio: 0.15%

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Municipal Debt

#1

iShares 2017 AMT-Free Muni Term ETF (MUAF)

Performance (1-YR): 0.26% Expense Ratio: 0.30%

#2

iShares California AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (CMF)

Performance (1-YR): 2.28% Expense Ratio: 0.25%

#3

iShares 2015 AMT-Free Muni Term ETF (MUAD)

Performance (1-YR): 0.29% Expense Ratio: 0.30%

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Natural Resources

#1

Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Energy ETF (RYE)

Performance (1-YR): 27.27% Expense Ratio: 0.50%

#2

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (XES)

Performance (1-YR): 26.82% Expense Ratio: 0.36%

#3

Vanguard Energy Index Fund (VDE)

Performance (1-YR): 26.87% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

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Real Estate

#1

Schwab U.S. REIT ETF (SCHH)

Performance (1-YR): 3.02% Expense Ratio: 0.07%

#2

Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ)

Performance (1-YR): 2.90% Expense Ratio: 0.10%

#3

SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF (RWR)

Performance (1-YR): 2.83% Expense Ratio: 0.25%

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Science & Technology

#1

Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK)

Performance (1-YR): 23.98% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

#2

Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Technology ETF (RYT)

Performance (1-YR): 33.16% Expense Ratio: 0.50%

#3

Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund (VGT)

Performance (1-YR): 29.12% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

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Small-Cap

#1

SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF (SLY)

Performance (1-YR): 29.61% Expense Ratio: 0.20%

#2

Vanguard Russell 2000 ETF (VTWO)

Performance (1-YR): 26.37% Expense Ratio: 0.15%

#3

Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF (SCHA)

Performance (1-YR): 28.68% Expense Ratio: 0.08%

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Specialty: Equity

#1

FlexShares Morningstar US Market Factors Tilt Index Fund (TILT)

Performance (1-YR): 24.89% Expense Ratio: 0.27%

#2

iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (DSI)

Performance (1-YR): 22.58% Expense Ratio: 0.50%

#3

iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF (KLD)

Performance (1-YR): 20.32% Expense Ratio: 0.50%

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Telecommunication

#1

Vanguard Telecommunication Services Index Fund (VOX)

Performance (1-YR): 14.14% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

#2

iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF (IGN)

Performance (1-YR): 21.96% Expense Ratio: 0.48%

#3

iShares Global Telecom ETF (IXP)

Performance (1-YR): 13.45% Expense Ratio: 0.48%

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U.S. Mortgage

#1

SPDR Barclays Mortgage Backed Bond ETF (MBG)

Performance (1-YR): 0.25% Expense Ratio: 0.20%

#2

Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities ETF (VMBS)

Performance (1-YR): 0.50% Expense Ratio: 0.15%

#3

iShares MBS ETF (MBB)

Performance (1-YR): 0.22% Expense Ratio: 0.34%

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Utility

#1

Vanguard Utilities Index Fund (VPU)

Performance (1-YR): 11.36% Expense Ratio: 0.14%

#2

Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU)

Performance (1-YR): 10.75% Expense Ratio: 0.21%

#3

iShares U.S. Utilities ETF (IDU)

Performance (1-YR): 11.69% Expense Ratio: 0.48%

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Value

#1

SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap Value ETF (SLYV)

Performance (1-YR): 30.09% Expense Ratio: 0.25%

#2

SPDR S&P 500 Value ETF (SPYV)

Performance (1-YR): 21.89% Expense Ratio: 0.20%

#3

iShares Russell 3000 Value ETF (IWW)

Performance (1-YR): 22.45% Expense Ratio: 0.26%

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Updated 04.16.2014

Top Performing ETFs As of 03.05.2014

iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN (JO)

Commodity | Agriculture Funds

Total Return: 44.79%

iPath Pure Beta Coffee ETN (CAFE)

Commodity | Agriculture Funds

Total Return: 41.65%

iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRN)

Commodity | Commodities Funds

Total Return: 30.40%

Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN)

Global Equity | Natural Resources Funds

Total Return: 164.18%

Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT)

Global Equity | Natural Resources Funds

Total Return: 118.46%

First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (QCLN)

Equity | Natural Resources Funds

Total Return: 94.83%

Guggenheim S&P Smallcap 600 Pure Value ETF (RZV)

Equity | Value Funds

Total Return: 40.35%

PowerShares NASDAQ Internet Portfolio (PNQI)

Equity | Science & Technology Funds

Total Return: 39.43%

Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Value ETF (RPV)

Equity | Value Funds

Total Return: 39.20%

* Annualized