Accounts & Plans

Individual and joint accounts

Saving for something other than retirement or college? You can set up an account with shared ownership or create one in your name alone.

Saving for a big event or your rainy day fund?

Take advantage of opportunities to grow that money until you need it.

Things you should know before you get started

You'll need $3,000 to buy most Vanguard mutual funds, though there are some with lower or higher minimums.*

And you can invest in any ETF (exchange-traded fund) for the price of 1 share, which will vary throughout the day.

Find details in each fund's profile

Other companies' funds may have different minimums, so be sure to check their prospectuses. And like ETFs, minimums for individual stocks, certificates of deposit (CDs), and bonds are based on their current market prices.

Your investment earnings—the money your money makes—will likely be taxed at the federal, state, and sometimes local levels. The tax rate depends largely on your income and how long you hold the investment.

You could shrink that tax bill by choosing tax-efficient investments.

Learn how to become a tax-savvy investor

Trying to find the fastest road to riches could put your hard-earned savings at risk just as quickly.

Particularly when making a shorter-term investment—less than 7–10 years, for example—you'll want to choose the combination of bonds and stocks that strikes the right balance between risk and reward.

Some investments have obvious costs—like trading commissions and service fees. But keep a keen eye on expense ratios too. While they don't show up on your statement as a debit, they can take a serious bite out of your savings.

Other investment costs: At Vanguard, you'll enjoy no commission to trade ETFs, stocks, and Vanguard mutual funds online. Our account service fees are avoidable,** and our expense ratios are 83% less than the industry average.† Put it all together, and you keep more of your money in your account, where it belongs.

Review our commission schedule for details

See the difference low costs can make

Get it done in 4 easy steps

It's easy to open joint accounts and individual accounts online, and it takes just a few minutes.

Step 1

Choose your account type & tell us about yourself

You can choose an individual account (in your name only) or a joint account (with multiple equal owners), or you can open other types of taxable accounts.

You'll also be asked to provide your name, the name of any joint account owners, or the name of your organization, along with:

  • From a nonretirement account, you received any dividend, short-term capital gains, or long-term capital gains distributions.
  • From a retirement account (including IRAs), you took any withdrawals.
  • You had any federal income tax withheld from those withdrawals (referred to as nonresident alien withholding).
  • If you haven’t provided Vanguard with a completed Form W-8BEN to certify your foreign status, you may instead receive a 1099-B or 1099-DIV to report these activities.

Step 2

Select your investments

Choose from more than 150 Vanguard mutual funds and 70 Vanguard ETFs®.

Browse a list of all Vanguard mutual funds & ETFs

You can also complement your portfolio with funds and ETFs from hundreds of other companies, as well as individual stocks, CDs, and bonds.

Check out all the investment products we offer

Step 3

Tell us where the money's coming from

If it's coming from your bank, provide your bank account and routing numbers for an electronic transfer or your bank name and wire date for a wire transfer.

If it's coming from another investment company …

Step 4

Review & sign your application

You can either electronically sign your application or print, sign, and mail the form to us.

Then what?

Once your account is set up, there are a few things you can do to control your costs and make your investments easier to manage.

Save money, time & paper with e-delivery

Connect your bank account to your Vanguard account

Put your savings on autopilot with automatic investments (log in required)

Tap into your investments with Vanguard mobile

Ready to open an account?

Tax-saving alternatives for retirement and college

Size up the basic IRA types

Compare Roth vs. traditional IRAs for your retirement savings

Compare savings

Get a retirement plan

Explore SEPs, SIMPLEs & i401(k)s for small-business retirement plans 

Explore plans

529 savings plans

See how a 529 plan makes saving for college easy

Learn more

Ready to invest in a fund?

New to Vanguard or looking to consolidate your savings?

Already a Vanguard client? Log in and add a plan to your account.

Ready to invest in a fund?

New to Vanguard or looking to consolidate your savings?

Already a Vanguard client? Log in and add a plan to your account.

*Minimum initial investment requirements for most mutual funds range from $1,000 to $100,000 depending on the fund and the share class, but some may be higher. Details are provided in each fund profile.

**A $25 annual account service fee is charged for all Vanguard Brokerage Accounts, as well as for each fund held in a legacy mutual fund-only account by clients with less than $5 million in qualifying Vanguard assets. For brokerage clients, Vanguard Brokerage doesn't charge the fee to clients who elect e-delivery of statements and the annual privacy policy notice; confirmations; reports, prospectuses, and proxy materials; and notices, amendments, and other important account updates. In addition, Vanguard Brokerage doesn't charge the fee to clients with at least $5 million in qualifying Vanguard assets. See the full commission and fee schedules for details on additional exclusions.

†Vanguard average ETF and mutual fund expense ratio: 0.08%. Industry average ETF and mutual fund expense ratio: 0.47%. All averages are asset-weighted. Industry average excludes Vanguard. Sources: Vanguard and Morningstar, Inc., as of December 31, 2022.

You must buy and sell Vanguard ETF Shares through Vanguard Brokerage Services (we offer them commission-free) or through another broker (which may charge commissions). See the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules for limits. Vanguard ETF Shares are not redeemable directly with the issuing fund other than in very large aggregations worth millions of dollars. ETFs are subject to market volatility. When buying or selling an ETF, you will pay or receive the current market price, which may be more or less than net asset value.

Investments in Target Retirement Funds are subject to the risks of their underlying funds. The year in the fund name refers to the approximate year (the target date) when an investor in the fund would retire and leave the workforce. The fund will gradually shift its emphasis from more aggressive investments to more conservative ones based on its target date. An investment in a Target Retirement Fund is not guaranteed at any time, including on or after the target date.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

Tax rates will vary based on the individual and on changing tax rates. You may wish to consult a tax advisor about your situation.