Once you’ve identified a portfolio that meets your needs, the next step is to purchase index funds that track the necessary assets. The Fund Finder scans the most popular ETF providers, screens for funds in your region that match the desired assets, ranks them by expense ratio, and finds the least expensive option. Use this to select your favorite ETFs, calculate portfolio costs, and build an actionable and affordable asset allocation.
/// How Index Funds Work ///
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Once you fill out the initial asset allocation settings with your home country and desired portfolio percentages, the Fund Finder isolates each individual asset and studies them one by one to find real-world ETF options. The default selections represent the least expensive ETFs for every asset, but you can also view and select any of the top-5 cheapest options using the dropdown menus. The tool also calculates the total weighted expense ratio for the portfolio as a whole using the specific ETFs you select.
Each asset has its own unique interface that looks like this:
Asset : The Portfolio Charts asset code from the portfolio settings. The first initials represent the market and the last initials represent the asset class. /// More Info ///
% : The percent of the asset in the overall portfolio. The value and color corresponds to the same asset in the main asset allocation interface.
Issuer : The ETF provider that offers the fund. These are well-known names like Vanguard, iShares, and Xtrackers. Note that this field contains a dropdown list where you can select other options. The list prioritizes funds on local exchanges, sorts them by expense ratio, and shows the top-5 options. When there’s a tie in costs, it displays the funds in alphabetical order.
ER : The expense ratio of the fund. This is the percentage of your investment that the issuer deducts every year as a fee. A value of 0.15 means that the ER is 0.15% (not 15%).
ETF Identifier : This is the unique code for the specific ETF from the selected issuer that you can look for at your brokerage. Countries like the US and Canada display short ticker names, while European countries show longer ISIN codes. In some cases, multiple ETFs may be recommended to achieve the desired asset as a group.
In addition to the core pieces of information, individual assets may also include notes to help explain special situations.
The recommended funds will change significantly based on the home country you select. This is due to differences in fund offerings across various stock exchanges.
The tool separates each country into one of 5 home regions: Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States. Funds in the local region are always prioritized over other options, and funds on foreign exchanges are designated with a * next to the issuer name. It’s still possible to purchase these funds depending on your brokerage, but it may require special access in your account. Contact your brokerage for more info.
When looking at funds for European countries, the tool considers any fund listed on a major European exchange to be a local option. Most European ETFs are listed on a variety of different exchanges around Europe (under different ticker names but the same ISIN code). It’s possible, however, that not all listed funds in the Fund Finder are available for you based on variations in coverage for both the fund and your brokerage. So if you have trouble finding one of the funds at your personal brokerage, try looking for others on the list.
Accumulating, Distributing, and Currency Variations
Some fund providers offer different versions of the same fund based on things like currency or the dividend distribution method. For example, Canadian funds may have versions in CAD and USD. And fund providers in Europe often offer different funds with unique ISIN codes depending on whether they are accumulating or distributing.
The Fund Finder lists only one option, but other variations of a fund should perform just the same in terms of final performance as reported in the charting tools. So it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Be sure to research the specific fund you’re interested in and look for any variations that may make more sense for your personal situation. The fund listed is just a starting point for exploration, not the final say.
Hedged vs. Unhedged Funds
All Portfolio Charts data is based exclusively on unhedged funds, and the Fund Finder should only offer unhedged options. While hedged funds are popular in bonds and useful for some people, they (by design) have much different returns than unhedged versions of the same fund. Never assume that the charting tools accurately describe the performance of a hedged fund.
The Fund Finder works best when you select the asset allocation first before changing any of the fund choices. Doing it this way will ensure that the displayed funds are accurate. Once you change a fund choice, however, it will not immediately update if you then go back and tweak the asset allocation. When this happens, the ETF identifier will tell you to “Select new fund”. If you prefer it to automatically select the cheapest fund, just refresh your browser to start over.
Suggest a Fund
Compiling the fund database is a huge manual effort, and it’s possible I missed something or made a mistake. If you see a listing that looks incorrect or think there’s a better option than the one I listed, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It’s a team effort!
The Fund Finder is my personal effort to help fellow DIY investors find index funds that they can purchase to manage their own portfolios. However, always remember:
I am not a financial adviser
I’m just a random stranger on the internet doing the best I can to lend a hand, and the information here is for educational purposes only. Never purchase a fund just because it’s on the list, as I do occasionally make mistakes. Do your own research, make your own decisions, and when in doubt seek professional help from someone who knows the details of your personal situation and home market. That’s definitely not me!
While I’ve done my best to assemble fund options from most of the largest ETF providers, the list is NOT all-inclusive of every option. Some providers offer several good funds that track the same basic asset, and I only list one of them per provider. So just because a fund is not on the list does not mean it’s a poor choice. Always do your own research and use good judgment.
Long story short — nothing here should be considered personal advice, and the responsibility for making investing decisions is yours alone.
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Insights that reference the Fund Finder