Vanguard All-In-One ETF Series (Aug 2022): 6 One-Decision Assets

Although ETFs usually cover a specific theme, all-in-one solutions do exist and are great to consider if you are looking to simplify your investment approach.

All-In-One ETFs save the do-it-yourself investor from having to figure out:

  • Diversification
  • Asset Allocation
  • Risk

While there are many asset managers in Canada, Vanguard is one of the top ETF providers in the world. Because of this, they have put together a very versatile Canadian ETF shelf for investors.

Understanding Asset Allocation

One-ticket solutions are typically differentiated by their allocation to equities and to fixed income. Across most all-in-one solutions, the ETFs have different stock and bond weightings based on the fund’s advertised risk profile.

All-in-one ETFs have fairly generic names and usually look something like this (from low to high risk):

  • Very Conservative
  • Conservative
  • Balanced
  • Growth
  • Maximum Growth

 A very conservative ETF will likely be close to 100% invested in fixed income. A maximum growth ETF will be closer to a 100% investment in stocks. All-in-one ETFs rarely diversify outside of stocks and bonds into other investments such as alternatives.

We’ll review Vanguard’s all-in-one ETF series below, and discuss some features of the different options that are available to you as an investor.

All-In-One ETFAdvertised Risk RatingMEREquity/Fixed Income %
VCIPLow0.24%20/80
VCNSLow0.24%40/60
VBALLow-to-Medium0.24%60/40
VGROLow-to-Medium0.24%80/20
VEQTMedium0.24%100/0
VRIFLow-to-Medium0.32%50/50

Vanguard All-In-One ETF Series

1. Vanguard Conservative Income ETF Portfolio

Vanguard Logo Transparent
  • Ticker: VCIP.TO
  • Inception Date: January 29, 2019
  • Assets under Management: $209.77 million
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.24%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Annualized Yield: 1.86%
  • Stock Price: $25.02
  • YTD Return: -8.89%

VCIP is Vanguard’s most conservative all-in-one ETF solution.  The ETF targets a 20% equity and 80% fixed income allocation, which is fairly standard for a conservative asset allocation.

VCIP has a fairly recent inception date and is a large ETF in terms of assets. It comes with a low MER when compared to most other ETFs and mutual funds.

The ETF offers a decent dividend yield and pays distributions on a quarterly basis. Vanguard labels its ETF as being low risk, which is a fair assessment of risk based on the ETF’s asset allocation.

VCIP is fairly standard in terms of features when compared to other all-in-one conservative ETFs. Its low cost and large size make it a great option.

2. Vanguard Conservative ETF Portfolio

Vanguard Logo Transparent
  • Ticker: VCNS.TO
  • Inception Date: January 25, 2018
  • Assets under Management: $517.68 million
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.24%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Annualized Yield: 1.85%
  • Stock Price: $26.31
  • YTD Return: -9.15%

The Vanguard conservative ETF portfolio is next on our list. Trading under the ticker VCNS, this ETF targets a 40% equity and 60% fixed income allocation.

VCNS has a slightly longer performance track record than VCIP and is much larger in assets as well. It’s offered at the same MER as VCIP.

VCNS offers a lower yield than VCIP and also pays distributions on a quarterly basis. Vanguard labels its conservative ETF portfolio as low risk. Since the portfolio is composed of 40% stocks, its riskiness is likely closer to being low to medium. 

Again, Vanguard keeps its conservative portfolio in line with other conservative all-in-one ETFs. It’s a great option if you are looking for an option with more growth potential than VCIP.

3. Vanguard Balanced ETF Portfolio

Vanguard Logo Transparent
  • Ticker: VBAL.TO
  • Inception Date: January 25, 2018
  • Assets under Management: $2.19 billion
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.24%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Annualized Yield: 1.79%
  • Stock Price: $27.91
  • YTD Return: -9.4%

Vanguard’s balanced ETF is next on our list, trading under the ticker VBAL. VBAL aims for a 60% equity and 40% fixed income allocation.

The ETF has a short performance track record but is massive in terms of assets under management. It has an identical MER to the other ETFs on our list until now.

VBAL pays a decent yield, but it’s relatively lower than VCNS and VCIP. Distributions for VBAL are paid quarterly. Vanguard labels VBAL as being low-to-medium risk, which is a fair risk assessment.

With a 60% allocation to equities, VBAL is on the more aggressive end of the balanced fund spectrum. Balanced funds typically have an equity allocation between 50% and 60%.

VBAL remains a good option for a balanced all-in-one ETF as we move up the risk spectrum. You can read the full VBAL review here.

4. Vanguard Growth ETF Portfolio

Vanguard Logo Transparent
  • Ticker: VGRO.TO
  • Inception Date: January 25, 2018
  • Assets under Management: $3.49 billion
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.24%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Annualized Yield: 1.75%
  • Stock Price: $29.53
  • YTD Return: -9.74%

VGRO is the next ETF on the shelf from Vanguard. The ETF aims for an 80% equity and 20% fixed income allocation.

The ETF has the same inception date as the conservative and balanced ETFs. It is a massive ETF, with the largest asset size of the ETFs covered from Vanguard so far. Vanguard also labels VGRO as low-to-medium risk, which understates the actual risk of the fund.

VGRO pays a lower yield because of the reduced fixed income allocation. It pays out distributions on a quarterly basis. VGRO’s MER is the same as the other ETFs on the list so far.

As a growth all-in-one ETF, VGRO is a great option to consider. Be mindful that an 80% allocation to equities is likely considered to be a higher risk than what Vanguard indicates. You can read the full VGRO review here.

5. Vanguard All-Equity ETF Portfolio

Vanguard Logo Transparent
  • Ticker: VEQT.TO
  • Inception Date: January 29, 2019
  • Assets under Management: $2.06 billion
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.24%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Annualized Yield: 1.32%
  • Stock Price: $33.64
  • YTD Return: -10.02%

VEQT is the highest-risk option on the Vanguard all-in-one ETF shelf. As the name suggests, the ETF targets a 100% allocation to equities.   

The all-equity portfolio has a shorter track record than most of the other ETFs on our list. VEQT has attracted a lot of capital and is another very large ETF by assets.

Vanguard labels VEQT as medium risk, which is a fair assessment considering that stocks are generally considered medium risk.

The lack of fixed income brings the yield of VEQT to the lowest on our list. The ETF pays distributions on an annual basis, which is different from the other all-in-one ETFs covered so far.

VEQT comes with the same MER as Vanguard’s other all-in-one ETFs covered so far.

If you are looking for a well-diversified, 100% equity all-in-one ETF, VEQT is a great choice. Read our full VEQT review here.

6. Vanguard Retirement Income ETF Portfolio

Vanguard Logo Transparent
  • Ticker: VRIF.TO
  • Inception Date: September 9, 2020
  • Assets under Management: $323.12 million
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.32%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Stock Price: $23.84
  • YTD Return: -9.5%

The last Vanguard ETF on the list is unique because it targets a high yield, paid monthly to investors. The ETF trades under the ticker VRIF on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has a 50% equity and 50% fixed income allocation.

The main purpose of VRIF is a high monthly income stream, which makes it especially attractive for retirees or investors looking for high cash flows.

VRIF has the shortest performance track record out of all of Vanguard’s all-in-one ETFs. It is also relatively smaller, likely due to the more recent inception date. Vanguard labels VRIF as being low-to-medium risk, which is a fair assessment.

The ETF offers a fantastic yield, paid out on a monthly basis.

If you are looking for an all-in-one ETF solution that is focused exclusively on monthly income, VRIF is a fantastic solution. You can read the full VRIF review here.

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Conclusion

If you are looking for a one-ticket solution to hold in your account, Vanguard is an excellent investment manager. While their MERs are marginally higher than some other all-in-one ETFs in Canada, Vanguard offers a very robust shelf.

Each all-in-one ETF rebalances to its target allocation over time, saving investors some work when markets are volatile.

Which all-in-one ETF to purchase depends on your specific goals and objectives. Remember to perform thorough due diligence to make sure a fund’s risk is not being understated.

Equities are generally considered medium-risk, and bonds are generally considered low-risk. These risk ratings can vary as the features of the stocks and bonds change.

Vanguard is not the only asset manager in Canada to offer all-in-one ETFs. Several great all-in-one options exist, so make sure to compare the ETFs across investment managers as well.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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