The Vanguard Total Market ETF (AMEX:VTI) stands out in an increasingly crowded ETF field. For one thing, it's hard to find lower fees, with expenses of just 0.07% dwarfing even those of other ETFs. Part of what keeps these expenses so low is the fund's low turnover rate, at just 4%. Vanguard Total Market also offers one of the most diversified portfolios in the fund universe, which is another reason to consider this ETF. Many investors have already voted with their pocketbooks, as the fund has $8.5 billion in assets.

Solid history
Vanguard Total Market tracks the performance of the MSCI U.S. Broad Market index, which represents 99.5% of the U.S. equity market capitalization and clearly doesn't leave much on the table. The fund itself has more than 3,500 securities, easily meeting the definition of a broadly diversified fund. As you'd expect, the fund's holdings track the sector and stock weightings of the overall market, so the consumer discretionary, energy, and consumer staples sectors lead the way for the fund. Roughly 15% of assets are invested in the fund's top 10 holdings, with the largest part of that in three well-known stocks: ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), GE (NYSE:GE), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Having started in 2001, this fund is a graybeard in the ETF world, and that means there is some historical performance to look at. The record is solid, with one-, three-, and five-year annualized returns of 15.3%, 13.2%, and 13.1%, respectively.

A fund for the long haul
Two important criteria for long-term investors are expenses and performance. With extremely low costs and market-tracking performance, Vanguard Total Market covers both of these hurdles very well. If you're looking for a very well-diversified fund and you're a long-term investor, you should take a look at this fund.

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Fool contributor Zoe Van Schyndel lives in Miami and enjoys the sunshine and variety of the Magic City. She does not own any of the funds or securities mentioned in this article. Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.