This ETF is one of several funds offering exposure to the U.S. materials sector, a corner of the market that may be appealing for investors looking to gain indirect exposure to commodity prices through the stocks of companies engaged in the extraction or production of natural resources. Because the materials sector often accounts for a small portion of broad-based benchmarks, VAW may be a useful tool for long-term investors looking for more balanced exposure to the U.S. equity market. It can also be handy for those looking to implement a shorter-term tilt towards the materials sector. The most appealing attributes of VAW are the depth of holdings (more than 125 individual stocks) and low fees, though there are some big allocations in a few of the larger names and XLB and FBM are both cheaper from an expense ratio perspective. This ETF is also available for commission free trading in Vanguard accounts, potentially increasing the appeal to cost-conscious investors. Those seeking more balanced materials exposure may prefer RTM, while those looking to avoid U.S. stocks completely have IRV as an option.