These days, investors can choose from about 2,000 exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You don’t need most of them. We’ve picked 20 ETFs to help you reach your investing goals — from funds that give you a broad exposure to the stock market to narrower slices that can help you fill specific gaps in your portfolio. In the tables below, see the funds in the Kiplinger ETF 20 and their one-year, and annualized three-, five-, 10-year returns, along with their expense ratios. Click the ticker symbol to see each fund’s daily market snapshot Best ETFs for Your Investment Portfolios, Built from the ETF 20 Data through January 31, 2020Core Stock Funds FUND NAME SYMBOL 1-YRRETURN 3-YRRETURN 5-YRRETURN 10-YRRETURN EXPENSE RATIO Invesco S&P SmallCap Low VolXSLV9.90%7.76%10.95%—%0.25% iShares Core S&P 500IVV21.6514.5012.3313.910.04 iShares Core S&P Mid-CapIJH11.217.658.6312.680.07 Vanguard Total International StockVXUS9.207.265.125.310.08 Vanguard Total Stock MarketVTI20.3713.8211.8213.820.03 Data through January 31, 2020Dividend Stock Funds FUND NAME SYMBOL 1-YRRETURN 3-YRRETURN 5-YRRETURN 10-YRRETURN EXPENSE RATIO Schwab U.S. Dividend EquitySCHD17.93%12.76%11.34%—%0.06% Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETFVIG22.6815.3212.1312.950.06 WisdomTree Global ex-U.S. Quality Dividend GrowthDNL24.6813.107.765.920.58 Data through January 31, 2020Strategic Stock Funds FUND NAME SYMBOL 1-YRRETURN 3-YRRETURN 5-YRRETURN 10-YRRETURN EXPENSE RATIO Ark InnovationARKK20.91%34.60%22.40%—%0.75% Fidelity MSCI Industrials IndexFIDU16.5910.3810.63—0.08 Financial Select Sector SPDRXLF18.0810.7712.0311.960.13 Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Health CareRYH12.6913.519.1815.060.40 iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USAUSMV23.6015.8813.05—0.15 iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETFSUSA22.7114.6211.8212.740.25 Data through January 31, 2020Core Bond Funds FUND NAME SYMBOL 1-YRRETURN 3-YRRETURN 5-YRRETURN 10-YRRETURN EXPENSE RATIO Pimco Active BondBOND9.34%4.91%3.26%—%0.73% SPDR® DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETFTOTL7.403.96——0.55 Data through January 31, 2020Opportunistic Bond Funds FUND NAME SYMBOL 1-YRRETURN 3-YRRETURN 5-YRRETURN 10-YRRETURN EXPENSE RATIO Invesco Senior LoanBKLN5.81%3.46%3.23%—%0.64% iShares Ultra Short-Term Bond ETFICSH3.072.371.70—0.08 PIMCO Enhanced Low Duration Active Exchange-Traded FundLDUR4.752.852.61—0.79 Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund ETF SharesBNDX8.815.393.80—0.08 What is an ETF? An ETF, or exchange-traded fund, is a bundle of securities such as stocks and bonds. Investors buy “units” (essentially shares) of ETFs that provide access to the performance of all the fund’s holdings, in exchange for a small annual fee that’s automatically taken out of the ETF’s returns. Exchange-traded funds are similar to mutual funds in that they’re pooled investments; however, ETFs trade on exchanges (just like stocks), so their prices change throughout the day; mutual fund prices do not. Why are ETF fees so important? ETF fees are taken out of the fund’s returns, so naturally the lower the fees, the more money the investor keeps. Fees are small – often measured in basis points (1/100th of a percent) – but can add up to big costs over time. Consider a $50,000 investment in a fund that charges 0.5% and returns 7% annually over 30 years will eventually generate $327,473 in returns. The same investment in a fund with similar performance but a 1% fee would generate $281,539 – that’s almost $46,000 lost to both fees and opportunity cost (the extra returns you would have generated had money spent on expenses been invested instead). How do I find the best cheap ETFs? Basic online ETF screeners can help you sort funds by cost, allowing you to find the absolute cheapest funds on the market. But not all cheap ETFs are good ETFs. If you’re looking for low cost and quality, check out the Kip ETF 20 – a group of 20 exchange-traded funds selected by Kiplinger for their ability to deliver inexpensive exposure to a wide array of investing approaches, from broad-market stock indexes to tactical fixed-income strategies.