Originally Posted by nerdlet
...but I chose ETFs since the expense ratios seem to be much lower (VTI has an expense ratio of 0.09% versus 0.18% for the mutual fund counterpart VTSMX).
ETFs have other costs to you that the funds do not.
1. Commissions (unless you use WellsFargo or other free broker)
2. Bid/ask spreads of 1 to 4 cents for highly liquid ETFs and more for less liquid ones.
3. The premium/discount to NAV.
4. Dividend re-investment does not happen at the NAV either.
If you at the difference you showed 0.18% - 0.09% = 0.09%, at $30 a year (and thus no trades) for a VBS account you would need $30.00 / 0.0009 = $33,333 before the ETF expense ratio was cheaper for you.
In essence, you have been fooled.
Mutual funds do seem a bit easier to manage/maintain, but I'm somewhat reluctant to sell my ETFs and move to mutual funds since I invested my money right before the 2008 crash and haven't quite broke even yet.
This attitude doesn't make sense at all for a couple of reasons. First, if this is a taxable account, if you sell at a loss you get a tax deduction. Second, if you don't sell and wait for recovery, then the mutual fund you would buy is going to be exactly the same amount higher in price as well. If you make the switch now, you will buy the replacement mutual fund at a corresponding lower price as well.
You have fallen into the behavioral finance trap of "loss aversion". That is not good.
Just sell now, use mutual funds*. From the info you posted it was a mistake to get into ETF in your case. Fix your mistake now before it costs you more money.
*Be sure to avoid the wash sale rule if you can.