VCN Review 2022: Vanguard Canada All-Cap ETF

Looking for an easy way to invest in a broad range of Canadian companies? Then take a look at perhaps buying an all-cap Canadian ETF.

ETFs like Vanguard VCN simplifies investing for Canadians.

Let’s take a closer look at this Vanguard VCN review to see if it would be a good fit for you.

Our Verdict
Vanguard VCN ETF
9/10Our Score

Vanguard VCN ETF

Canada All-Cap ETF

Vanguard VCN is a low-fee ETF for Canadian all-cap exposure.


Pros

  • Low-cost Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)
  • Simple and effective ETF
  • Excellent Canadian diversification

Cons

  • Does not offer exposure to international companies

What is Vanguard FTSE Canada All-Cap Index ETF

Vanguard VCN is a low-cost index fund that Vanguard Canada started offering on August 2, 2013. It is one of Canada’s most popular ETFs.

VCN.TO is currently trading at close to $38.82.

VCN Key Facts

As of June 24, 2022:

  • Ticker Symbol: VCN.TO
  • Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Assets Under Management: $4.476 Billion
  • MER: 0.05%
  • 12-Month Trailing Yield: 2.59%
  • Currency Traded: CAD
  • Eligible Accounts: Most registered (TFSA, RRSP, etc) and non-registered available

VCN Vanguard FTSE Canada All-Cap Index ETF MER

Vanguard VCN has a very low Management Expense Ratio (MER) of 0.05%. It is a very impressive figure, considering that the average mutual fund fees can be higher than 2%. VCN also has a lower MER compared to many other ETFs like VFV, which has an MER of 0.09%. 

The low MER is a very good reason why so many Canadians leave the longstanding mutual fund products and migrate to ETFs as the preferred hands-free investment tool.

VCN Vanguard FTSE Canada All-Cap Index ETF Dividend

As of close May 31, 2022:

  • 12-Month Trailing Yield: 2.59%
  • Distribution Yield: 3.04%
  • VCN Dividend schedule: Quarterly

Vanguard VCN offers a decent overall dividend yield that it disburses in quarterly payments to investors.

VCN Vanguard FTSE Canada All-Cap Index ETF Performance

Vanguard VCN tracks the benchmark FTSE Canada All-Cap Index very closely through its passively managed strategy. The benchmark does not offer the geographical diversity in VCN that many other ETFs can provide, but it provides investors with decent returns.

Here is a look at its performance as of June 30, 2022.

Showing 31 Aug 2013 – 30 Jun 2022:

Fund TypeMonth EndYTD1YR3YR5YR10YRSince Inception
VCN (Market Price)−8.75%−9.87%−3.79%+7.87%+7.33%+ 7.48%
VCN (NAV)−8.60%−9.76%−3.70%+7.87%+7.36%+ 7.50%
Benchmark−8.60%−9.73%−3.66%+7.90%+7.41%+7.98%+ 7.57%
Source: Vanguard.ca

Go to the Vanguard website for real-time performance numbers of VCN.

What Does Vanguard FTSE Canada All-Cap Index ETF Invest in?

Vanguard VCN is a fund that seeks to track the performance of a broad Canadian equity index called the FTSE Canada All-Cap Domestic Index. VCN uses its funds to directly or indirectly invest in large, mid, and small-market capitalization stocks of companies operating domestically in Canada.

The fund employs a passively managed strategy that tries to fully replicate, to the extent possible, the performance of Canadian companies. It uses cost-effective and efficient index management techniques to track performance.

Vanguard VCN is an excellent passive investing solution for investors who want to leverage domestic Canadian companies’ performance across various market capitalization ranges. 

It provides diversification across all sectors of the Canadian economy. Its performance depends on the overall performance of large-, mid-, and small-capitalization companies.

The FTSE Canada All-Cap Domestic Index that Vanguard VCN tracks are considered to be an excellent measure of how the performance of Canadian large-, mid-, and small-capitalization companies.

Vanguard uses a rigorous process to screen, evaluate, and select its benchmarks to provide best-in-class ETFs.

Vanguard VCN has a diversified portfolio of equities, but it has a significant weighting of companies in the financial sector. 

VCN Market Allocation

As of May 31, 2022:

CountryRegionFundBenchmark
CanadaNorth America100.0%100.0%
Total100.0%100.0%
Source: Vanguard.ca

VCN Portfolio Characteristics

As of May 31, 2022:

FundamentalsFundBenchmark
Number of Stocks185181
Median Market Cap$59.9 B$59.9 B
Price / Earnings Ratio 13.5 x13.5 x
Price / Book Ratio 2.0 x2.0 x
Return on Equity 11.9%11.9%
Earnings Growth Rate 12.5%12.5%
Source: Vanguard.ca

VCN Market Capitalization

As of May 31, 2022:

CapitalizationFundBenchmark
Large78.06%78.07%
Medium/Large2.98%2.98%
Medium10.84%10.84%
Medium/Small5.05%5.05%
Small3.07%3.06%
Total100.00%100.00%
Source: Vanguard.ca

VCN Vanguard FTSE Canada All-Cap Index ETF Sector Weighting

In this section of my Vanguard VCN review, I will discuss the weighting of the fund. While many benchmarks include assets diversified across sectors and different countries, Vanguard VCN follows the FTSE Canada All-Cap Index. Therefore, VCN comprises of only Canadian companies.

There is a good mixture of companies across various sectors in this ETF, from financials to health care. Here is a look at how Vanguard VCN allocates the funds.

As of May 31, 2022:

SectorFund
Financials32.9%
Energy18.8%
Basic Materials12.0%
Industrials9.1%
Utilities6.0%
Consumer Discretionary5.5%
Technology5.3%
Telecommunications5.2%
Consumer Staples2.4%
Real Estate2.4%
Health Care0.2%
Total100.0%
Source: Vanguard.ca

As you can see from the weighting above, VCN allocates almost a third of its funds to the financial sector. The basic materials and oil & gas sectors come after that. 

The health care sector gets the least weightage in the fund with a meagre 0.4% allocation of Vanguard VCN funds. Besides being more inclined towards the finance industry, Vanguard VCN offers plenty of diversity to investors in different sectors.

VCN Vanguard FTSE Canada All-Cap Index ETF Holdings

The top 10 holdings of Vanguard VCN show a decent level of diversity in the companies across various sectors. 

As of May 31, 2022:

Holding Name% of Market ValueSector
Royal Bank of Canada6.49%Banks
Toronto-Dominion Bank6.06%Banks
Enbridge Inc.4.07%Pipelines
Bank of Nova Scotia3.58%Banks
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.3.35%Oil: Crude Producers
Bank of Montreal3.15%Banks
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Class A2.93%Asset Managers and Custodians
Canadian National Railway Co.2.93%Railroads
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.2.88%Railroads
Suncor Energy Inc.2.52%Integrated Oil and Gas
Source: Vanguard.ca

Some investors might not like the lack of geographical diversity of Vanguard VCN. Many other ETFs also expose investors to companies in the US through various benchmarks.

VCN depends solely on the performance of some top industries in the country. However, its top 10 holdings show that the ETF provides investors with exposure to leading companies across various reliable sectors.

VCN Risk And Volatility

As of June 30, 2022:

Fund TypeR-SquaredBETAALPHAStandard DeviationSharpe Ratio
Fund1.001.00− 0.0016.20%0.71
Benchmark16.22%0.71
Source: Vanguard.ca

How to Buy Vanguard VCN ETF

The cheapest way to buy ETFs is from discount brokers. My top choices in Canada are:

Readers Choice
Qtrade
Qtrade
  • 105 commission-free ETFs to buy and sell
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Low Fees
Wealthsimple Trade
Wealthsimple Trade
  • Stock and ETF buys and sells have $0 trading fees
  • Desktop and mobile trading
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Well-Rounded
Questrade
Questrade
  • ETF buys have $0 trading fees
  • Excellent market research tools
  • Most types of registered accounts available

To learn more, check out my full breakdown of the best trading platforms in Canada.

Conclusion

To round off my Vanguard VCN review, I would highly recommend it. The ETF is a simple and effective fund offered by Vanguard. It is a low-cost ETF that focuses on a variety of Canadian companies.

VCN provides you with diverse exposure to dependable companies across various sectors of the Canadian economy.

Learn more about Vanguard ETFs here.

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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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