Additionally, these traditional beta-indexing ETFs are also slightly top heavy since they follow market capitalization-weighted indices. For example, the total market ETFs includes about 70% of their portfolio in mega- and large-cap companies.

“The main takeaway is that a total stock market ETF or mutual fund such as VTI is dirt-cheap and a great way for many investors to gain broad market exposure in an easy-to-own package,” Zoll said. “But if you want a little more control over your portfolio, you’ll probably have to pay a little more and spend a little more time managing your portfolio by owning multiple ETFs or mutual funds.”

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF

For more information on ETFs, visit our ETF 101 category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.