There are broad market exchange traded fund alternatives to the S&P 500 and in good news for frugal investors, some of those ETFs can be accessed at rock bottom prices.

Consider the case of the popular Vanguard Total Market ETF (NYSEArca: VTI). With annual fees of just 0.05%, VTI is cheaper than 95% of ETF’s with comparable holdings, according to Vanguard.  Frankly, VTI is one of the cheapest ETFs around. Period.

With over $37.9 billion in assets under management, VTI also ranks as the seventh-largest U.S.-listed ETF. VTI and related total market ETFs represent compelling alternatives to the cap-weighted S&P 500 “because a total-market index holds more small and midsize companies, and over the long term those stocks have performed better than big-company stocks. Over the past 15 years, including so far in 2013, the Wilshire 5000 Total Market index, the best-known of the broad-market indexes, has beaten the S&P 500 11 times,” reports Kaitlin Pitsker for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Year-to-date, VTI has slightly outpaced its S&P 500 rival, the Vanguard S&P 500 (NYSEArca: VOO).  Over the past three years, the difference if 50 basis points in the favor of VTI. [Build a Diversified Portfolio With Six ETFs]

VTI lives up to its billing as a broad market fund with 3,622 holdings. The top-10 include Apple (NasdaqGM: AAPL), Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), Google (NasdaqGM: GOOG) an Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). VTI’s top-10 holdings represented 14.5% of the fund’s total weight.

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