This Vanguard ETF offers exposure to the domestic utilities sector, a corner of the U.S. market that has historically exhibited low volatility and often features an attractive distribution yield. As a sector-specific ETF, VPU is probably more appealing to investors looking to establish a shorter-term tactical tilt or make a sector rotation play than it is to those building a long-term, buy-and-hold portfolio (though utilities generally receive a relatively small weight in broad-based equity ETFs, meaning that a complementary holding could result in more balanced sector weightings).
Like most Vanguard ETFs, VPU is among the cheapest options available for investors seeking exposure to the asset class represented (XLU and FUI are also low cost options for utilities exposure). This ETF may be available for commission free trading in Vanguard accounts, potentially increasing the appeal to cost conscious investors. Another noteworthy element of this ETF is the impressive depth of holdings; VPU has considerably more individual stocks than XLU. This ETF does a relatively good job of offering up balanced exposure; though a few stocks account for significant chunks of assets, the concentration is not as significant as in some other products (those seeking to avoid cap-weighting might prefer RYU as a tool for achieving access to the utilities sector).