Vanguard has announced additions to its tax-friendly family of Viper exchange-traded funds, bringing the total number to 20.

The introduction of exchange-traded versions of four sector index funds – Vanguard REIT Vipers, Vanguard Energy Vipers, Vanguard Industrials Vipers, and Vanguard Telecommunication Services Vipers – has many benefits for investors, including low expense ratios that range from just 0.18% to 0.28%.

Since 2001, when Vanguard launched the Total Stock Market Index Viper fund, it has developed 11 additional ETFs for specific sectors and nine for diversified sections of the market. The Viper shares possess almost $4 billion in assets today.

Valley Forge, Pa.-based Vanguard said that since the Vipers are in a separate class from existing Vanguard funds, they are advantageous for tax reasons, trackability, and the use of Morgan Stanley Capital Inc.’s benchmarks.

CIO Gus Sauter said that the sector Vipers allow institutional investors and investment advisors to employ sophisticated strategies, "from hedging to long-term investing for portfolio completion."

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