Investing, Stock Market

Best Vanguard All-In-One ETFs For 2023

Vanguard, BMO, iShares, Horizons, and Fidelity are some of the top providers of all-in-one ETFs in Canada.

As expected, each of these companies has its pros and cons. But Vanguard competes significantly by providing some of the best all-in-one ETFs in Canada

Vanguard is a US-based asset manager that has been in existence since 1975. The company expanded to Canada in 2011 and has since generated over $17 billion in assets under management.

This article discusses the best Vanguard all-in-one ETFs in Canada based on their returns and other characteristics.

Photo credit: Vanguard

Let’s go there!

Best Vanguard All-in-one ETFs  

Vanguard provides Canadians with ETFs and mutual funds that are actively and passively managed.

In this section, we’re going to look at the best Vanguard all-in-one ETFs that are actively managed.

Note that Vanguard Canada ETFs are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Data expressed below are valid as of March 31, 2023, except otherwise stated.

1.  VCIP

Full nameVanguard Conservative Income ETF Portfolio 
TickerVCIP
Inception dateJanuary 29, 2019
Assets allocation79.70% bonds, 20.23% stocks, and 0.07% short-term reserves 
Management fee0.22%
MER0.24%
Price $24.77 (as of April 24, 2023)
Number of underlying holdings32,000
AUM$218.51 million 
Last dividend yield2.48%
Distribution frequencyQuarterly 
Annualized return since inception+1.91%
Risk levelLow

The Vanguard Vanguard Conservative Income ETF Portfolio (VCIP) is a low-risk all-in-one ETF that seeks to provide long-term capital growth using a multi-asset strategy.

As you can see in the above table, the ETF invests more in bonds and less in stocks and short-term reserves. This informs the low-risk rating of the ETF and the low annualized return since inception.

But the interesting thing is that this ETF has a competitive dividend yield with the last yield being 2.48%.

2. VCNS

Full nameVanguard Conservative ETF Portfolio 
TickerVCNS
Inception dateJanuary 25, 2018
Assets allocation59.74% bonds, 40.17% stocks, and 0.09% short-term reserves
Management fee0.22%
MER0.24%
Price $26.35 (as of April 24, 2023)
Number of underlying holdings32,000
AUM$489.07 million 
Last dividend yield2.46% 
Distribution frequencyQuarterly
Annualized return since inception+3.09%
Risk levelLow

VCN is a conservative ETF that invests in bonds and stocks to provide income and moderate long-term capital growth.

Due to its high stock allocation, the ETF has competitive returns compared to other conservative ETFs.

While VCN has a low-risk rating and 59% bond allocation, the 40%+ stock allocation is something to consider if you’re concerned about market volatility.

Notwithstanding, VCN has impressive returns and dividend yields that are needed in achieving the objective of the ETF.

3. VRIF

Full nameVanguard Retirement Income ETF Portfolio 
TickerVRIF
Inception dateSeptember 09, 2020
Assets allocation66.89% bonds, 33.00% stocks, 0.11% short-term reserves 
Management fee0.29%
MER0.32%
Price $23.70 (as of April 24, 2023)
Number of underlying holdings32,701
AUM$318.55 million 
Last dividend yield4.38%
Distribution frequencyMonthly
Annualized return since inception+1.84%
MonthlyLow

As the name implies, VRIF is a retirement-based all-in-one ETF that seeks to provide long-term income and capital appreciation by investing in equity and fixed income.

With a low-risk level and a monthly dividend distribution schedule, this ETF is widely recommended for retirement investing.

While VRIF has low returns, its last dividend distribution is one of the highest among all-in-one ETFs in Canada.

The main drawback of VRIF is that it has a higher management fee and MER compared to other Vanguard ETFs. 

4. VBAL

Full nameVanguard Balanced ETF Portfolio 
TickerVBAL
Inception dateJanuary 24, 2018
Assets allocation60.41% stocks, 39.51% bonds, and 0.08% short-term reserves
Management fee0.22%
MER0.24%
Price $28.28 (as of April 24, 2023)
Number of underlying holdings32,000
AUM$2.38 billion 
Last dividend yield2.38%
Distribution frequencyQuarterly 
Annualized return since inception+4.39%
Risk levelLow to medium 

VBAL is a popular all-in-one ETF in Canada with over $2 billion in assets under management. The ETF seeks to provide long-term capital growth and moderate income by investing in equity and bonds.

With 60.41% stocks and 39.51% bonds, XBAL poses a low-medium risk to investors. However, the last returns and dividend yields of the ETF are competitive.

So if you’re looking for a portfolio with long-term capital growth and moderate income, VBAL may be what you need. 

Learn more:

5. VGRO

Full nameVanguard Growth ETF Portfolio 
TickerVGRO
Inception dateJanuary 25, 2018
Assets allocation80.14% stocks, 19.75% bonds and 0.11% short-term reserves
Management fee0.22%
MER0.24%
Price $30.23 (as of April 24, 2023)
Number of underlying holdings32,000
AUM$3.97 billion 
Last dividend yield2.31%
Distribution frequencyQuarterly
Annualized return since inception+5.64%
Risk levelLow to medium 

Like other growth ETFs, VGRO seeks to provide long-term capital growth by investing in equity and fixed income securities.

The ETF is one of the popular all-in-one ETFs in Canada with $3.97 billion in assets under management.

Based on the since inception return of VGRO, we can see that the higher equity allocation reflected positively.

However, higher equity allocation exposes the ETF to higher market volatility. So you need to have above-average risk tolerance to invest in VGRO.

Related:

6. VEQT

Full nameVanguard All-Equity ETF Portfolio 
TickerVEQT
Inception dateJanuary 29, 2019
Assets allocation99.86% stocks and 0.14% short-term reserves 
Management fee0.22%
MER0.24%
Price $34.66 (as of April 24, 2023)
Number of underlying holdings13,666
AUM$2.59 billion 
Last dividend yield1.98%
Distribution frequencyAnnually 
Annualized return since inception+9.30%
Risk levelMedium 

The last but not the least best Vanguard all-in-one ETF on my list is VEQT.

This ETF seeks to provide long-term capital growth by investing all funds in stocks. With this target, you should expect the ETF to have a higher risk level.

But we can see how the higher risk of the ETF pays off in the since-inception-return. Also, the last dividend yield of the ETF outshines those of other all-equity ETFs in Canada.

The main drawback is that VEQT distributes dividends annually to investors. As such, you can’t rely on the ETF for regular income.

Related: ZEQT Review 

How to Choose the Best Vanguard All-In-One ETF 

From the above review, you may be confused about which of the ETFs to choose. But you don’t have to be once you already understand your investment objective and risk tolerance.

Since the above ETFs are tailored to different investors, you must first understand your need and situation to choose the perfect one.

For instance, if you are looking to invest for retirement, the Vanguard Retirement Income ETF Portfolio (VRIF) could be what you need.

And if you have a low-risk tolerance and are looking to invest in a dividend-paying ETF, you can choose VCIP or VCNS.

The bottom line is, you can’t go wrong with any of the above Vanguard all-in-one ETFs so long as you choose the ETF that aligns with your risk tolerance and investment objective.

When looking to narrow your ETF selection, you should always consider the following factors:

  • Assets allocation
  • Past returns 
  • Dividend yield and distribution frequency
  • Management fee and MER

You should read the quote of your favorite ETF carefully before investing. You should also compare the ETF with similar ETFs to have a better understanding of how the ETF performs.

Depending on the Vanguard ETF you’re going with, you can compare:

  • VCNS vs XCNS vs ZCON
  • VGRO vs XGRO vs ZGRO
  • VBAL vs XBAL vs ZBAL
  • VEQT vs XEQT vs ZEQT

How to Buy Vanguard All-In-One ETF

Upon determining your favorite Vanguard ETF, the next step is to invest in the ETF. All the above ETFs are available for trading through the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

You can either invest via TSX yourself or through a third party. To invest yourself, you need to sign-up with an online self-directed brokerage like Qtrade, Wealthsimple Trade, or Questrade

After that, you can fund your account and start trading your favorite Vanguard all-in-one ETF directly on your self-directed brokerage dashboard.

The following table shows the pros and cons of investing in yourself.

Pros of DIY Investing Cons of DIY Investing 
-Full control of your portfolio-No management fee-Time-consuming-More costly if you don’t have the required skills

The second option of investing through TSX is to use a robo-advisor. A robo-advisor is simply a robot that invests on your behalf through a predesigned portfolio. 

To invest with a robo-advisor, you need to sign-up with one such as Wealthsimple InvestVirtualwealth, or Questwealth Portfolios. 

During the registration process, you will be required to fill out a questionnaire, and your responses which will be used to match you with a predesigned portfolio that suits your risk tolerance and investment objective.

With a robo-advisor, you will only be required to provide your personal details and funds and have everything done on your behalf. Below are the main pros and cons of investing with a robo-advisor.

Pros of Robo-advisor Cons of Robo-advisor 
-Time-saving-Takes the stress of investing away-Fewer investment errors-Management fees could eat from your returns-Restricts you from making investment decisions
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About John Adebisi

John Adebisi is a CPA, FCCA and MBA holder with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting & Finance. He has over a decade of experience in writing personal and business finance content for audiences across North America, Europe, the UK and Africa. In addition to his writing experience, he also has a strong background in financial research and analysis, giving him a unique perspective of the financial markets. John derives pleasure in helping people make smart financial decisions, and he believes that knowledge and experience can be valuable resources for anyone who wants to learn how to manage their money.

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