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15 Best Low Cost ETFs

In this article, we discuss 15 best low cost ETFs. If you want to see the top 5 low cost ETFs, head directly to 5 Best Low Cost ETFs.

Beginner investors usually go for passive investing, with a focus on consistently increasing wealth over the long term with lower fees and reduced risk. In contrast, investors with more experience may have an inclination towards active investing, seeking to profit from short-term shifts in the market. Passive investment plans normally involve investing in a range of stocks, bonds, and other assets to achieve easy diversification. This approach helps in lessening the impact of market volatility as the investment is spread across different assets. Passive funds, like low-cost ETFs or passively managed mutual funds, offer affordable investment choices with lower management fees and less trading activity. It is also relatively easier to maintain them as they do not require as much ongoing research as active funds do. On the other hand, active investing allows portfolio managers to select investments based on their own judgment rather than following a specific index or predetermined portfolio. This flexibility allows them to respond to real-time market conditions and potentially surpass short-term market benchmarks. Active investing often involves active trading strategies like short-selling and hedging to maximize short-term price movements. However, active fund managers generally charge higher fees due to the higher frequency of trading and specific expertise required for this strategy.

In 2023, global passive equity funds became more popular than active funds for the first time. This shift was driven by investors seeking lower-cost options that follow broad market indices. Passive equity funds reached $15.1 trillion in net assets by December, surpassing the $14.3 trillion held by active funds. This trend towards passive funds began after the 2008 financial crisis as investors sought safer investments during uncertain times, as reported by Reuters. In 2023, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) attracted the most inflows, bringing in $52.83 billion. The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:IVV) and Fidelity 500 Index (NASDAQ:FXAIX) followed closely, attracting $38.1 billion and $24.79 billion, respectively. Geoffrey Strotman, senior vice president at Segal Marco Advisors, believes that the increasing popularity of passive funds could lead to pricing discrepancies. This could create opportunities for active managers to buy stocks at lower prices and sell them at higher prices. Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of wealth management at UBS AG, predicts a comeback for active funds in 2024. He expects Federal Reserve rate cuts to lower borrowing costs, benefiting small-cap companies more than larger ones.

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) suggests that investors consider using actively managed strategies more often. They believe that with higher interest rates, ongoing inflation, and increased geopolitical risks, active managers and hedge funds have better chances to outperform simple buy-and-hold portfolios. In the decade leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, stocks and bonds in developed markets exceeded cash by about 10 and 2 percentage points, respectively, according to BlackRock analysts. Despite this, many investors have been moving away from actively managed funds, with over half of mutual fund and ETF assets in passive products since late last year. At the end of last year, BlackRock managed about $10 trillion in client assets, with $2.6 trillion in active equity, bond, and other strategies, and $6.6 trillion in index and ETF assets. The analysts at BlackRock point out that switching between indexes is a type of active management, enabling investors “to exploit their skill in timing markets and their ability to consistently pick exposure to the right sectors, regions and styles.”

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In this article, we discuss the best low cost ETFs, which offer investors exposure to stocks like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), and Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA).

Our Methodology

We used an ETF screener and filtered out funds with an annual expense ratio of 0.10% and under. We got 44 ETFs which were listed on NYSE and NASDAQ. Then, we manually checked the share price performance for the resultant funds and chose the top 15. We have mentioned the 5-year share price performance of each ETF as of April 15, 2024, ranking the list in ascending order of the share price performance. It is important to note, however, that not all ETFs have been trading for 5 years. We have also discussed the top holdings of the ETFs to offer better insight to potential investors.

15 Best Low Cost ETFs
15 Best Low Cost ETFs

Image by Sergei Tokmakov Terms.Law from Pixabay

Best Low Cost ETFs

15. Amplify Cash Flow Dividend Leaders ETF (NASDAQ:COWS)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 15.60%

The Amplify Cash Flow Dividend Leaders ETF (NASDAQ:COWS) ranks 15th on our list of the best low cost ETFs. It focuses on investing in companies with a combination of high trailing and future free cash flow yields, which also have a track record of increasing dividends. The fund seeks to mirror the performance of the Kelly US Cash Flow Dividend Leaders Index. Launched on September 13, 2023, the ETF manages assets amounting to $16.05 million as of April 12, 2024, with a net expense ratio of 0.00%. Its portfolio consists of 55 stocks.

FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) is one of the largest holdings of the Amplify Cash Flow Dividend Leaders ETF (NASDAQ:COWS). The company offers e-commerce, transportation, and business services in the US and globally. On March 21, FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) announced results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2024.The company reported a non-GAAP EPS of $3.86, beating estimates by $0.38, and a revenue of $21.7 billion, falling short of estimates by $380 million.

According to Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 70 hedge funds were bullish on FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), compared to 67 funds in the previous quarter. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust held the largest position in the company, comprising 1.53 million shares valued at $388.15 million.

In addition to Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), and Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) is one of the best stocks to monitor.

Artisan Value Fund stated the following regarding FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“Other Q4 laggards were global reinsurer Arch Capital and shipping company FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX)—holdings that pulled back following large gains. Back in September 2022, FedEx was selling for less than 8X our estimate of normalized earnings due to substantial pessimism. Although the demand environment remains challenging globally, particularly in the Express segment, the company is delivering solid earnings growth driven by cost savings initiatives. FedEx’s DRIVE program, which seeks to deliver $4 billion in permanent cost reductions by creating an integrated air-ground network similar to that of rival UPS, is showing progress, and workforce reductions have also been enacted. While operating results can be choppy, FedEx’s longer term business economics are highly favorable given the global shipping industry’s consolidated structure and massive barriers to entry that afford operators with pricing power to counter cost inflation and earn respectable returns on capital over the business cycle.”

14. iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (NYSE:IJR)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 31.15%

Next on our list of the best low cost ETFs is the iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (NYSE:IJR), which aims to reflect the performance of the S&P SmallCap 600 Index, which includes small-cap US stocks. The fund is known for its low cost and tax efficiency. It was launched on May 22, 2000. As of April 12, 2024, the ETF has net assets amounting to $76.13 billion, with a portfolio consisting of 604 stocks. It has an expense ratio of 0.06%.

The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) is among the top holdings of the iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (NYSE:IJR). Headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, California, the company offers skilled nursing, senior living, and rehabilitation services. On March 22, The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) declared a $0.06 per share quarterly dividend, in-line with previous. It is to be paid on April 30, to shareholders on record as of March 31.

According to Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 15 hedge funds were bullish on The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG), compared to 18 funds in the preceding quarter. Philip Timon’s Owls Nest Partners is the largest position holder in the company, with 363,449 shares valued at $40.78 million.

Wasatch Global Investors made the following comment about The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

“Another of the strategy’s top contributors was The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENSG), an operator of skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities. The company’s business is seen as having a relatively low degree of vulnerability to slowing economic growth, which helped it outperform despite the weakness in the broader market. Ensign was one of the strategy’s largest holdings at the end of September.”

13. iShares Morningstar Mid-Cap Value ETF (NASDAQ:IMCV)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 31.83%

The iShares Morningstar Mid-Cap Value ETF (NASDAQ:IMCV) aims to replicate the performance of the Morningstar US Mid Cap Broad Value Index, which includes mid-sized US companies that display value characteristics. It is one of the best low cost ETFs. Introduced on June 28, 2004, the ETF holds net assets totaling $597.06 million as of April 12, 2024, with a portfolio of 310 stocks. It has an expense ratio of 0.06%.

PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ:PCAR) is the top holding of the iShares Morningstar Mid-Cap Value ETF (NASDAQ:IMCV). The company manufactures, builds, and delivers commercial trucks of different sizes. On January 23, PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ:PCAR) announced a Q4 GAAP EPS of $2.70 and a revenue of $9.08 billion, outperforming Wall Street estimates by $0.53 and $780 million, respectively.

According to Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 38 hedge funds were bullish on PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ:PCAR), up from 35 funds in the prior quarter. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management is the top shareholder of the company, with 4.91 million shares worth $479.5 million.

Madison Investors Fund made the following comment about PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ:PCAR) in its second quarter 2023 investor letter:

“In the second quarter, the top five contributors to performance were Alphabet, Copart, Alcon, Parker-Hannifin, and PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ:PCAR). At truck manufacturer PACCAR, operating margins remain strong, supported by new truck models, improved manufacturing efficiency, and a growing aftermarket parts division.”

12. Strive 500 ETF (NYSE:STRV)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 34.31%

The Strive 500 ETF (NYSE:STRV) tracks 500 of the top publicly traded US stocks, providing broad market exposure, making it one of the best low cost ETFs. The fund's index changed from the Solactive GBS United States 500 Index to the Bloomberg US Large Cap Index on January 26, 2024. The ETF launched on September 15, 2022, and it manages net assets worth $487.57 million as of April 12, 2024, with an expense ratio of 0.055%.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the largest holding of the Strive 500 ETF (NYSE:STRV). On March 30, news came forward that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and OpenAI are discussing investing up to $100 billion in a data center project. This project will include a supercomputer, the largest in a series of installations the two firms intend to set up over the next six years.

As per Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 302 hedge funds were bullish on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), compared to the last quarter when 306 funds had invested in the stock.

Carillon Eagle Growth & Income Fund stated the following regarding Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) performed well after reporting strong earnings supported by accelerated growth from Azure. The cloud business is seeing consistent trends from optimization while AI has contributed strongly to its growth.”

11. Vanguard Russell 1000 Value Index Fund ETF (NASDAQ:VONV)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 36.83%

The Vanguard Russell 1000 Value Index Fund ETF (NASDAQ:VONV) invests in stocks from the Russell 1000 Value Index, which mainly includes value stocks of large US companies, offering strong potential for investment growth. It is ranked 11th on our list of the best low cost ETFs. The ETF was introduced on September 20, 2010, and it manages net assets totaling $9.9 billion as of March 31, 2024, with a portfolio of 847 stocks. It has an expense ratio of 0.08% as of December 22, 2023.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B) is the top holding of the Vanguard Russell 1000 Value Index Fund ETF (NASDAQ:VONV). On February 24, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B) reported a 28% increase in its Q4 operating earnings compared to the previous year. This growth was attributed to upgraded insurance underwriting and investment income.

As per Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 117 hedge funds were bullish on Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B). 116 funds had invested in the stock in the previous quarter. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust held the top position in the firm, with 19.92 million shares valued at $7.1 billion.

Here is what Black Bear Value Fund has to say about Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

“Going forward I expect Berkshire to compound at above average returns from this price. BRK is a collection of high-quality businesses, excellent management, and a good amount of optionality in their cash position. If the cash were to be deployed accretively, the true value would be greater than an 8% premium (as mentioned above). The combination of a pie that is growing, an increasing share of said pie due to stock buybacks, upside optionality from cash and a tight range of likely business outcomes that span a variety of economic futures gives me comfort in continuing to own Berkshire.

10. Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund ETF (NYSE:VO)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 44.92%

The Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund ETF (NYSE:VO), one of the best low cost ETFs, aims to mirror the CRSP US Mid Cap Index, which tracks the performance of mid-cap stocks. Launched on January 26, 2004, the ETF manages net assets amounting to $166.7 billion as of March 31, 2024, with a portfolio of 328 stocks. It has an expense ratio of 0.04% as of April 28, 2023.

Amphenol Corporation (NYSE:APH) is the largest holding of the Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund ETF (NYSE:VO). It is involved in designing, manufacturing, and selling electrical, electronic, and fiber optic connectors worldwide. On February 1, Amphenol Corporation (NYSE:APH) declared a $0.22 per share quarterly dividend, in-line with previous. The dividend was paid to shareholders on April 10.

According to Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 41 hedge funds were bullish on Amphenol Corporation (NYSE:APH), same as the last quarter. Robert Joseph Caruso’s Select Equity Group held the largest position in the company, with 4.16 million shares worth $412.19 million.

TimesSquare U.S. Mid Cap Growth Strategy made the following comment about Amphenol Corporation (NYSE:APH) in its Q4 2022 investor letter:

“More positive was the 14% rise by Amphenol Corporation (NYSE:APH), a producer and supplier of electrical and fiber optic connectors. Third quarter earnings surpassed expectations, with strong demand across nearly all end markets. Despite signs of macroeconomic weakness, management increased its quarterly dividend while continuing the share repurchase program.”

9. iShares Core S&P U.S. Value ETF (NASDAQ:IUSV)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 52.74%

Ranked 9th on our list of the best low cost ETFs, the iShares Core S&P U.S. Value ETF (NASDAQ:IUSV) aims to replicate the performance of the S&P 900 Value Index, which includes large and mid-cap value US stocks. The ETF was introduced on July 24, 2000, and it manages net assets of $16.54 billion as of April 12, 2024, with a portfolio of 739 stocks. It features an expense ratio of 0.04%.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is one of the top holdings of the iShares Core S&P U.S. Value ETF (NASDAQ:IUSV). On March 19, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) declared a $1.15 per share quarterly dividend, an increase of 9.5% from the previous dividend of $1.05. The dividend is payable on April 30, to shareholders on record as of April 5.

According to Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 103 hedge funds were bullish on JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), in contrast to the last quarter when 109 funds had invested in the firm.

Carillon Eagle Growth & Income Fund stated the following regarding JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“PNC Financial and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) performed well due to more benign inflation data, which the market likely interpreted as a sign that a recession is now less likely to occur. Recall that historically speaking, banks are hyper-cyclical stocks and typically will trade lower if investors foresee a recession, because recessions tend to trigger loan losses.”

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

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 68.58%

iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (NYSE:ITOT) aims to reflect the performance of the S&P Total Market Index, which includes a range of American stocks from large to small companies. Introduced on January 20, 2004, the ETF holds net assets amounting to $52.73 billion as of April 12, 2024, with a portfolio of 2,506 stocks. The fund offers an expense ratio of 0.03%, making it one of the best low cost ETFs.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of the top holdings of the iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (NYSE:ITOT). On March 24, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s CEO Tim Cook announced that the company's mixed-reality headset, Vision Pro, will be available in mainland China this year.

As per Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 131 hedge funds were bullish on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), compared to 134 funds in the prior quarter. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is the largest position holder in the firm, with 905.56 million shares worth $174.35 billion.

Orbis Global Equity Strategy stated the following regarding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“Never before has following the crowd made so much money. Nor, in our estimation, so little sense. But just look at the opportunities the crowd has left for those of us willing to take a different view. We could wax lyrical about the glaring difference in value between Korean banks priced at 4 times earnings, versus Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at 28 times, despite diverging fundamentals—Apple is increasingly at risk of bans in China, while Korean banks could double their dividends.”

7. Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF (NYSE:SCHB)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 68.70%

The Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF (NYSE:SCHB) aims to closely mirror the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Broad Stock Market Index. It is a simple, cost-effective fund that offers potential tax efficiency. The ETF was launched on November 3, 2009. As of April 12, 2024, the fund holds net assets of $27.25 billion. Its portfolio includes 2,411 stocks as of April 15, 2024 and the ETF offers an expense ratio of 0.03%. The Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF (NYSE:SCHB) ranks 7th on our list of the best low cost ETFs.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) is among the largest holding companies of the Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF (NYSE:SCHB). On March 22, it was reported that CoreWeave, supported by NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), is discussing raising equity capital in a deal that could value the specialized cloud provider at $16 billion.

According to Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 173 hedge funds were bullish on NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), in contrast to the previous quarter when 180 funds had invested in the stock. Rajiv Jain’s GQG Partners held a significant position in the company, with 13.9 million shares worth $6.89 billion.

Orbis Global Equity Strategy stated the following regarding NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“Never before has following the crowd made so much money. Nor, in our estimation, so little sense. But just look at the opportunities the crowd has left for those of us willing to take a different view. We could wax lyrical about the glaring difference in value between Korean banks priced at 4 times earnings, versus Apple at 28 times, despite diverging fundamentals—Apple is increasingly at risk of bans in China, while Korean banks could double their dividends.

Or how the thick margin of safety at Intel, backed by listed stakes and real saleable assets, compares to the slim margin for error at NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), trading at 13 times next year’s projected revenue. That revenue that could be competed away over time, while Intel’s semiconductor “fabs” in the US are increasingly valuable as the east and the west drift further apart.”

6. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF (NYSE:VTI)

5-Year Share Price Performance as of April 15: 68.92%

The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF (NYSE:VTI) is one of the best low cost ETFs. It aims to replicate the CRSP US Total Market Index's performance, which covers large, mid, and small-cap equities diversified across growth and value styles. Launched on May 24, 2001, the ETF has net assets totaling $1.6 trillion as of March 31, 2024, with a portfolio of 3676 stocks. It offers an expense ratio of 0.03% as of April 28, 2023.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is among the top holdings of the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF (NYSE:VTI). On March 27, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that it increased its investment in the generative AI startup Anthropic by an additional $2.75 billion, bringing its total investment in the company to $4 billion.

According to Insider Monkey’s fourth quarter database, 293 hedge funds were bullish on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), an increase from 286 funds in the prior quarter.

Like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), and Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is one of the best stocks to buy.

Alger Spectra Fund stated the following regarding Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is a well-known online retailer and cloud computing leader. The company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) business provides utility-scale cloud offerings that facilitate corporate America’s transition to digital systems. During the quarter, shares contributed to performance as Amazon reported strong fiscal third quarter results, where the company beat sales and earnings estimates. Moreover, AWS growth remained steady. contributing to Amazon’s better-than-expected operating income despite concerns around cloud cost optimizations, showing signs of increasing net new cloud workloads. While management noted that customers remain price-conscious and focused on deals, demand remains strong across all segments, leading the company to raise their fiscal fourth quarter revenue and operating income guidance.”

 

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Disclosure: None. 15 Best Low Cost ETFs is originally published on Insider Monkey.