10 Best ETFs To Buy for Long-Term Growth 

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If you’re a long-term investor looking to diversify your growth portfolio, there are a number of exchange-traded funds that can help you reach your goals. Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are like mutual funds in that they hold multiple securities, but they trade on an exchange like a stock. This makes them very easy to buy and sell, and they generally have low internal expenses as well.

With a single purchase, you can track any number of different sectors or market indices, from international small-cap or dividend stocks to the entire U.S. stock market. While there are literally thousands of ETF options, here are 10 that do a great job of covering popular areas of the stock market.

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)

  • Price as of April 17: $220.67

The Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF is one of the most popular and well-known growth ETFs available. The ETF tracks the CRSP U.S. Total Market index, owning over 4,000 stocks spanning large-, mid- and small-cap categories. Top holdings currently include such well-known names as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook. With total fund assets of $1.3 trillion, the ETF is able to keep expenses extremely low, at just 0.03% of assets annually. Over the last 10 years, the ETF has delivered average annual returns of 14.25%.

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iShares Core S&P US Growth ETF (IUSG)

  • Price as of April 17: $99.33

The iShares Core S&P U.S. Growth ETF is another popular market-tracking ETF, with $12.41 billion in assets under management. The ETF tracks U.S. mid- and large-cap growth stocks, selecting equities based on sales growth, price-to-earnings ratio changes and momentum. This fund has a low 0.04% expense ratio, and its 10-year returns are near the top of the list at 15.94%.

Invesco S&P 500 GARP ETF (SPGP)

  • Price as of April 17: $90.92

The Invesco S&P 500 GARP ETF tracks S&P 500 stocks and makes selections according to growth, quality and value, weighted by growth. This is a small fund, with just 76 holdings and $852.44 million in assets under management. However, it was established in 2011, which means it has a solid track record, and it has returned an average of 16.74% per year over the last 10 years.

Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ)

  • Price as of April 17: $108.74

The Vanguard Real Estate ETF is not what one would call a “core” holding, but it can be a great diversifier for a portfolio dedicated entirely to growth stocks. Real estate is commonly viewed as a hedge against inflation, and real estate ETFs can also add some income to a growth portfolio. That’s evident here, as VNQ has grown 21.42% over the last year while most growth ETFs are down. The Vanguard Real Estate ETF currently pays an unadjusted effective yield of 2.56% as of April 17 and has returned 9.69% annually over the past 10 years. The ETF is designed to track the return of the MSCI US Investable Market Real Estate 25/50 Index and owns names such as the Vanguard Real Estate II Index Fund, American Tower, Public Storage and Prologis Inc.

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Schwab US Large-Cap Growth ETF (SCHG)

  • Price as of April 17: $70.20

The Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF offers exposure to a diverse selection of large-cap equities. Holdings include picks from the 750 largest companies by market cap. The top 10, which make up over half of the fund’s assets, include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, Alphabet, Meta, Nvidia, United Health and Visa. Selections are based on factors like projected earnings growth, trailing revenue and earnings growth. The fund has a low 0.04% expense ratio and a 10-year annualized return of 16.86%.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK)

  • Price as of April 17: $150.27

If you’re looking for a little more punch in your growth stock portfolio, take a look at the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund. Unlike some of the other ETFs on this list, this ETF is dedicated to a specific sector of the market rather than tracking a broad market index. As a more narrowly focused ETF, this fund can be more volatile than the broader index funds, but it may also offer the potential for greater returns.

Over the past 10 years, the performance of the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund has been nothing short of spectacular, posting an annualized return of 19.87% over 10 years. However, investors should note that the fund is top-heavy, with just two stocks, Apple and Microsoft, now comprising over 40% of the ETF’s portfolio.

iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFG)

  • Price as of April 17: $92.87

For a little more diversification to your growth portfolio, consider an international ETF. The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF owns large- and mid-cap stocks from developed nations spanning Europe, Australia, Asia and the Far East, with Japanese equities making up over 20% of holdings. Since it can be hard for American investors to get enough information to make qualified judgments on individual foreign stocks, owning an ETF can be a great way to get some international exposure without having to make blind guesses about specific companies.

The MSCI EAFE ETF has returned an average of 7.17% per year for the last 10 years. It owns over 800 stocks, including many names that are familiar to Americans, from Nestle and AstraZeneca to Unilever and LVMH, which is the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate and the parent company of Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Dior and Tiffany.

iShares Core US Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG)

  • Price as of April 17: $103.94

Over the last few years, up until the end of 2021, stocks soared, and until earlier this year, interest rates remained at record lows. But pandemic-related inflation has proven to be less fleeting than expected, and the Federal Reserve has begun inching up rates to help keep it in check. That move makes bonds worth a closer look for diversifying your portfolio.

The iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF tracks the Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index, which includes the total U.S. investment-grade bond market. The ETF has returned a respectable 2.18% over the last 10 years.

Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM)

  • Price as of April 17: $112.36

The Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF tracks the FTSE High Dividend Yield Index, which looks at the performance of stocks from companies that pay high dividend yields. Among its holdings are dividend aristocrats like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and ExxonMobil. Over the last 10 years, the ETF has produced annualized returns of 12.22%.

iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF (IWO)

  • Price as of April 17: $294.34

The iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF tracks a select group of stocks in the Russell 2000 index, which includes the 2,000 smallest publicly traded companies in the Russell 3000 index. Fund managers screen Russell 2000 stocks for those most likely to grow at a faster rate than the overall market. As of April 17, the ETF has 1,239 holdings. The diversity among small-cap holdings and the selection process can offset some of the risk of small-cap investing, as evidenced by IWO’s 11.26% annual gains over 10 years.

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

Data is accurate as of April 17, 2022, and is subject to change.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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