VXUS vs VTI: Which Is The Best Vanguard ETF? (Full Comparison)

We will explore the difference between Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS) vs Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI).

There is no shortage of options for investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Choosing between two funds can be difficult, but I will make it easy for you to decide between VXUS and VTI.

VXUS vs VTI Graphic



The primary difference between VXUS and VTI is the asset allocation of the exchange-traded fund (ETF).  VXUS is a collection of stocks from companies worldwide except for the United States.  VTI holds almost all U.S based companies.

Another significant difference is the number of stocks in each, with VTI having 3,535 different companies in the index compared to 7,765 with VXUS.


  • Tracks the CRSP US Total Market Index
  • Expense Ratio: 0.03%
  • No Minimum Investment
  • Holds 3,535 Stocks


  • Tracks the FTSE Global All Cap ex-US Index
  • Expense Ratio: 0.07%
  • No Minimum Investment
  • Holds 7,765 Stocks


VXUS vs VTI Performance

Vanguard's VXUS and VTI have performed very differently over the last 10 years, with VTI beating VXUS by 8% annually.

VXUS vs VTI Performance Chart

That is a significant difference, especially considering compound interest on those returns.

As you can see, VTI has significantly outperformed VXUS over the years.  However, this doesn't necessarily mean this trend will continue.

Similarities between VXUS and VTI:

  • Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
  • Low Expense Ratios


VXUS and VTI Differences

The main difference between VXUS and VTI is that VTI holds almost all U.S.-based companies, while VXUS holds a collection of stocks from companies around the world except for the United States.  VTI also has fewer holdings in the index compared to VXUS.

VXUS vs VTI Comparison Table

By investing in an ETF with more holdings, you are helping diversify your portfolio and minimize risk.

Differences between VXUS and VTI:

  • Different Number Of Holdings (7,765 vs 3,535)
  • Expense Ratio (0.07% vs 0.03%)
  • Level Of Diversification


VTI Description

  • Fund Inception: 2000
  • Tracks the CRSP US Total Market Index
  • Expense Ratio: 0.03%
  • Vanguard ETF
  • No Minimum Investment
  • Number Of Stocks: 3,535
  • Admiral Shares (VTSAX)

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) represents nearly 100% of the U.S. equity market.

It also tracks the CRSP U.S. Total Market Index.

Vanguard's VTI has an expense ratio of 0.03%.

This implies that the fund has limited exposure to several international stocks.

Yet, this does not affect the companies represented in the fund.

Moreover, these stocks have a significant international presence.


VTI Performance

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) is famous for many reasons, of which consistent returns are a significant part.

VTI Performance Chart

Its risk level is similar to that of the S&P 500.

VTI vs S&P 500 Performance Chart


VTI Holdings

Vanguard's VTI comprises Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Tesla and provides exposure to over 3500 stocks.

Here are the top 10 holdings for VTI:

VTI Top Holdings

Major sectors in the index include:

  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Consumer Services
  • Financials
  • Industrials

The top 10 holdings make up 25% of its total net assets.


No Minimum Investment

VXUS and VTI are exchange-traded funds (ETFs), so there is no minimum investment.  Investors looking to buy fractional shares can use platforms like M1 Finance.  (Get $100 When You Use This Link)

Typically, fractional shares are not available for ETFs, but with M1 Finance, you can purchase fractional shares with no commission.

Buying fractional shares allows you to maximize your investment.

You no longer have to keep your money idle until you have enough to purchase a total share.

This is especially beneficial regarding VTI shares due to its high prices per share (~$238/Share).

I also use Personal Capital to track my investment fees. They have a free Retirement Fee Analyzer that tells you the future impact of fees on your portfolio.

Personal Capital Retirement Fee Analyzer

Personal Capital's free tools allow you to easily find which of your investments has high fees so you can switch them to low-cost options.  (Get a $20 Amazon Gift Card with this link when you add at least one investment account containing a balance of more than $1,000 within 30 days)


VXUS Profile

  • Fund Inception: 2011
  • Expense Ratio: 0.07%
  • Number Of Stocks: 7765
  • Top 10 Holdings: 9%

The Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS) provides investors with exposure to developed and emerging non-U.S. equity markets.

The ETF comprises companies in Emerging Markets, Europe, and the Pacific Markets.

VXUS was created in 2011 and has an expense ratio of 0.07%, making it a low-cost ETF.  However not as low as VTI (0.03% expense ratio).

However, the cost of owning VXUS over VTI won't likely make a significant difference to an investor since they are both low-cost ETFs.

More important is achieving the asset allocation you desire as an investor (international vs. domestic).


VXUS Performance

Vanguard's VXUS seeks to replicate the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex-US Index.

Performance for international equities has lagged U.S. stocks over the last 10 years:

VXUS Performance

Over the last 10 years, VXUS has underperformed the S&P 500 with an average return of 4.12% per year compared to 12.12% from the S&P 500.

It has underperformed over the last 10 years, but there is no guarantee that the next 10 years will look the same.


VXUS Holdings

Moving on, here are the top 10 holdings for VXUS:

VXUS Top 10 Holdings

VXUS comprises Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Tencent Holdings, Nestle, Samsung, and ASML Holding.

VXUS has $385 billion in net assets.


Which Is Better VXUS or VTI?

VXUS and VTI are different investments.  VXUS offers more diversification since it holds about twice as many stocks.  However, this has decreased performance over the last 10 years.

Even so, I would say both are excellent options for long-term investors.

If having an asset allocation that includes international stocks at the lowest fees helps you sleep at night, VXUS would be a great option.

If you are looking for only U.S.-based companies, then VTI allows you to easily invest in all of them at a very low cost.

I think VXUS and VTI can be in a long-term investment portfolio.

Lastly, it's important to consider costs and fees because they can add up in the long run.

That's why purchasing and selling your shares commission-free is essential.

Again a great way to do this is with M1 Finance or using the Vanguard platform directly for these ETFs.

You can purchase fractional shares for free with M1 Finance, allowing you to buy VTI, VXUS, and thousands of other stocks/ETFs.

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Is VXUS or VTI Better for Financial Independence?

VTI and VXUS can get you to Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE).  They both have performed great and have low expense ratios.

Being part of the FIRE community, we aim for the lowest fees possible and are big fans of Vanguard.


VXUS vs VTI Winner

My Winner: VTI

If I have to choose one winner, it's VTI for its diversification, lower expense ratio, and because of books like The Simple Path To Wealth.

However, as I mentioned, you can invest in both depending on your desired asset allocation.

Lastly, both ETFs are Vanguard funds which likely means they will continue to offer low-cost ETFs.

If you like comparisons like these, you can also look at other popular ones like VTI vs VOO, VGT vs QQQ, VTI vs VUG, and VTI vs QQQ.