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Should You Invest in the Vanguard Financials ETF (VFH)?

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Launched on 01/26/2004, the Vanguard Financials ETF (VFH - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to provide a broad exposure to the Financials - Broad segment of the equity market.

Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Additionally, sector ETFs offer convenient ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Financials - Broad is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 8, placing it in top 50%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Vanguard. It has amassed assets over $7.79 billion, making it one of the largest ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Financials - Broad segment of the equity market. VFH seeks to match the performance of the MSCI US Investable Market Financials 25/50 Index before fees and expenses.

The MSCI US Investable Market Index (IMI)/Financials 25/50 measures the investment return of stocks in the financial sector.


Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.10%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.51%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Financials sector--about 100% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B - Free Report) accounts for about 8.67% of total assets, followed by Jpmorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) and Bank Of America Corp. (BAC - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 22.88% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, VFH has lost about -8.13%, and is down about -19.30% in the last one year (as of 03/23/2023). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $74.44 and $96.44.

The ETF has a beta of 1.11 and standard deviation of 27.69% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 378 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Vanguard Financials ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, VFH is an outstanding option for investors seeking exposure to the Financials ETFs segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

IShares U.S. Financials ETF (IYF - Free Report) tracks Dow Jones U.S. Financials Index and the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF - Free Report) tracks Financial Select Sector Index. IShares U.S. Financials ETF has $1.82 billion in assets, Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF has $29.13 billion. IYF has an expense ratio of 0.39% and XLF charges 0.10%.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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