The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective

Published on by on May 1, 2013 | Updated February 25, 2014

The exchange traded world burst onto the investing scene in the ’90s, bringing with it a new way to think about asset allocation. The products were transparent, able to be traded intraday, and best of all, cheap. ETF expenses have been one of the biggest draws for many, as a number of funds compete to offer investors the lowest fees around. As such, there is something of a cost-cutting culture when it comes to ETF investing, as there is often a cheaper alternative for whatever investment objective you may have [see also 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn].

Below, we outline the cheapest ETFs for some of the most popular investment objectives:

Equity

Bonds

Other

Cheapest Africa ETF
EZA
0.60%
Average
0.75%

Cheapest All Cap Equity ETF
SCHB
0.04%
Average
0.48%

Cheapest Asia ETF
VPL
0.12%
Average
0.64%

Cheapest Australia ETF
AUNZ
0.45%
Average
0.58%

Cheapest BRIC ETF
BIK
0.50%
Average
0.60%

Cheapest Brazil ETF
BRF
0.59%
Average
0.84%

Cheapest Canada ETF
CAD
0.45%
Average
0.62%

Cheapest China ETF
CHNA
0.50%
Average
0.69%

Cheapest Consumer Discretionary ETF
FDIS
0.14%
Average
0.52%

Cheapest Dividend ETF
SCHD
0.07%
Average
0.52%

Cheapest EAFE ETFs
VEA
0.12%
Average
0.53%

Cheapest Energy ETF
FENY
0.12%
Average
0.50%

Cheapest Emerging Markets ETF
SCHE
0.15%
Average
0.64%

Cheapest Europe ETF
VGK
0.12%
Average
0.54%

Cheapest Health Care ETF
FHLC
0.12%
Average
0.44%

Cheapest Financials ETF
XLF
0.18%
Average
0.46%

Cheapest Frontier Markets ETF
FRN
0.65%
Average
0.68%

Cheapest Global Equity ETF
VEU
0.16%
Average
0.52%

Cheapest Growth ETF
SCHG
0.07%
Average
0.51%

Cheapest India ETF
INDA
0.65%
Average
0.83%

Cheapest Industrials ETF
FIDU
0.12%
Average
0.46%

Cheapest Japan ETF
DXJ
0.48%
Average
0.55%

Cheapest Materials ETF
FMAT
0.12%
Average
0.44%

Cheapest Russia ETF
RBL
0.59%
Average
0.72%

Cheapest S&P 500 ETF
VOO
0.05%
Average
0.07%

Cheapest Small Cap Blend ETF
SCHA
0.10%
Average
0.36%

Cheapest Consumer Staples ETF
FSTA
0.12%
Average
0.50%

Cheapest Technology ETF
FTEC
0.12%
Average
0.51%

Cheapest Utilities ETF
FUTY
0.12%
Average
0.55%

Cheapest Value ETF
SCHV
0.07%
Average
0.39%

Cheapest Build America Bonds ETF
BAB
0.35%
Average
0.38%

Cheapest Bank Loans ETF
SNLN
0.55%
Average
0.74%

Cheapest Emerging Market Debt ETF
VWOB
0.35%
Average
0.53%

Cheapest Floating Rate ETF
FLRN
0.15%
Average
0.18%

Cheapest German Bond ETF
GGOV
0.45%
Average
0.59%

Cheapest International Corporate ETF
IHY
0.40%
Average
0.48%

Cheapest International Treasury ETF
IGOV
0.35%
Average
0.53%

Cheapest Junk Bonds ETF
XOVR
0.30%
Average
0.55%

Cheapest Long-Term Treasuries ETF
BLV
0.11%
Average
0.49%

Cheapest Money Market ETF
BIL
0.13%
Average
0.23%

Cheapest Municipal Bond ETF
SMB
0.20%
Average
0.36%

Cheapest Preferred & Convertable ETF
PFXF
0.40%
Average
0.54%

Cheapest Short-Term Treasuries ETF
SCHO
0.08%
Average
0.33%

Cheapest TIPs ETF
SCHP
0.07%
Average
0.30%

Cheapest Total Bond Market ETF
SCHZ
0.05%
Average
0.24%

Cheapest Active ETF
IELG
0.18%
Average
0.77%

Cheapest Agriculture ETF
TAGS
0.32%
Average
0.78%

Cheapest Alternative Energy ETF
ICLN
0.48%
Average
0.60%

Cheapest Broad Commodity ETF
DJCI
0.50%
Average
0.85%

Cheapest Emerging Market Dividends ETF
DVYE
0.49%
Average
0.64%

Cheapest Gold Miners ETF
RING
0.39%
Average
0.73%

Cheapest Physical Gold ETF
IAU
0.25%
Average
0.36%

Cheapest Hedge Fund ETF
CSLS
0.45%
Average
0.78%

Cheapest Industrial Metals ETF
UBM
0.65%
Average
0.75%

Cheapest Mortgage-Backed Securities ETF
VMBS
0.12%
Average
0.24%

Cheapest MLP ETF
MLPA
0.45%
Average
0.80%

Cheapest Multi-Asset ETF
TZV
0.29%
Average
0.71%

Cheapest Nuclear ETF
NUCL
0.48%
Average
0.54%

Cheapest Leveraged Equity ETF
SDYL
0.30%
Average
0.91%

Cheapest Low Volatility ETF
USMV
0.15%
Average
0.25%

Cheapest Oil & Gas ETF
USO
0.45%
Average
0.79%

Cheapest Real Estate ETF
SCHH
0.07%
Average
0.42%

Cheapest Retirement ETF
TZV
0.29%
Average
0.42%

Cheapest Silver ETF
SIVR
0.30%
Average
0.87%

Cheapest Volatility ETF
TRSK
0.85%
Average
1.03%