7 Best Long-Term ETFs to Buy and Hold


Many investors foolishly believe they are smarter than the rest of Wall Street. It doesn’t matter how many times investing gurus like Warren Buffett warn against this kind of hubris, or how many sets of data are published to prove how hard it is. Consider that in 2021, a staggering 80% of all U.S. active money managers underperformed a key performance benchmark.

If eight in 10 stuffed shirts with MBAs can’t figure out the market, what makes regular folks think they can do it? Rather than strive to be smarter than the Wall Street sharks, most investors should instead take a long-term approach that doesn’t involve trading in and out of assets – and underperforming as a result.

The following seven exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are all good long-term investments you can have confidence in this year, next year and beyond.

Though the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is the oldest and most popular S&P 500 index fund out there, VOO remains a more attractive option for most long-term investors, despite only launching in 2010, thanks to a lower cost structure. Specifically, SPY charges 0.095% annually vs. just 0.03% for VOO.

Both options are elegantly simple, tracking the S&P 500 index of the largest U.S. companies such as Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). And right now, with a massive $270 billion in assets, it can hardly be called an also-ran even if that’s behind the flagship SPY’s tally. All things being equal, a lower cost structure over the very long term will serve you well – and that gives this Vanguard S&P 500 ETF the edge.

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