Ways to invest

Don't wait to invest in your future

You've got all the makings of a successful investor. We're here to support you.

Use our Quick Start tool to discover resources tailored to your goal


Prepare for the golden years of your life after working.

General investing

Save for a home, a car, or other life milestones or expenses.

Emergency fund

Don't get caught off guard. Prepare for a rainy day.

Potential growth tool

Does investing work? Don't take our word for it. See how $10,000 has historically performed in the market compared with not investing at all. Past performance doesn't guarantee future performance, but the results speak for themselves.

Explore more from Vanguard

We're known for offering high-quality, low-cost ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and mutual funds that are recommended by analysts time and time again. As a Vanguard client, you have access to dozens of these ETFs, and our product comparison tools can help you select the right funds for you.

What do our investors have to say about us?

Listen to candid reviews from real Vanguard investors and hear what they have to say about their investing journey with us.

Keys to successful DIY investing

Asset allocation: Key to your investment climate

Asset allocation: Key to your investment climate
As you decide which investments to buy, start with the big picture, not the details.

Vanguard portfolio allocation models

Investment portfolios: Asset allocation models
How do you choose how much you want to invest in stocks or bonds? Asset allocation models can help you understand different goal-based investment strategies. To find the asset allocation that's right for your investment portfolio, it's important to have a clear understanding of your goals, time frame, and risk tolerance.

What to do when interest rates rise

What to do when interest rates rise
Learn more about rising interest rates and how they can affect the markets and your investments.

Save for retirement

IRAs offer an opportunity to save for retirement and benefit from long-term tax advantages.

Learn more

Start a college fund

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged account for education savings. You can save for your child, another family member, or even for yourself.

Learn more

Get help choosing investments

The investments you choose for your portfolio should depend on your goals and investing style. Here's how to decide.

Learn more

4 principles are at the heart of Vanguard's investing philosophy

There are 4 core investing principles at the heart of Vanguard's philosophy: goals, balance, controlling costs, and discipline.

Learn more

Understand our costs and fees

Our commissions and fees lead with low costs no matter what you trade.

Learn more

Keep up with market news and trends

Stay informed on market trends and news with insights from our experts.

Market volatility

News & perspectives

Vanguard's low fees can help you save * -


Average investment firm -

*As of December 31, 2023, Vanguard's average mutual fund and ETF expense ratio is 0.08%. Industry average mutual fund and ETF expense ratio: 0.44%. All averages are asset-weighted. Industry averages exclude Vanguard. Sources: Vanguard and Morningstar, Inc., as of December 31, 2023. This is a hypothetical calculation that does not represent any particular investment and does not account for inflation. Results shown are not guaranteed. There may be other material differences between investment products that must be considered prior to investing.

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Frequently asked questions

The type of account you open will depend on several factors, including your investment goals and overall financial situation. Understanding your investment goals is important because certain accounts are geared toward specific goals and may have different tax implications or penalties. Common account types include general investing, retirement, and higher-education savings.

Read more about account types at Vanguard or use our Quick Start tool to help you decide.

You'll never pay a fee to open your account or a commission to buy or sell Vanguard mutual funds or ETFs in your Vanguard account. There's a $20 annual fee for each brokerage and mutual fund-only account, but you can easily avoid this fee.

Most Vanguard mutual funds have a $3,000 minimum, but you can invest in any Vanguard Target Retirement Fund or Vanguard STAR® Fund with as little as $1,000. (Some funds have minimums greater than $3,000 to protect the funds from short-term trading activity.)

The minimum investment for Vanguard ETFs® is $1. The minimum investment for non-Vanguard ETFs or other individual securities, like stocks and bonds, is the market price of 1 share.

Get more details about our account fees and minimums

A mutual fund is a pooled collection of assets, like stocks, bonds, and other securities, priced once per business day.

An ETF is also a pooled collection of securities but trades on an exchange, like the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq, and changes price throughout the business day.

See more differences between mutual funds and ETFs

At Vanguard, you can invest in many different investment products, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks, bonds, CDs, and money market funds.

Learn more about these investment choices

Start with a goal. Once you know what you're saving for, it's easier to develop a game plan. You can have short- or long-term investing goals like saving for a wedding, a car, a home, or retirement.

Along with your goal, your portfolio asset allocation and the cost of the investment will influence the type of account you should open and which investments to pick.

Get more details on how to begin

Opening a Vanguard investing account is free, easy—and fast! (It should only take around 5–10 minutes.) Start by choosing Open an account from the menu, then select Start your new account.

Most investors fund their new accounts with an electronic bank transfer. If you choose this option, make sure you have your bank account and routing numbers readily available.

Get more details on how to begin

See other information you might need to open an account

We believe you should consider your overall asset allocation (i.e., your mix of investment types) before picking individual investments for your portfolio.

By mixing different types of investments, you can help lower your overall portfolio risk since different types of assets usually perform differently at any one time. It doesn't mean you can't lose money—it just means you may not lose as much.

Also, including riskier investments, like stocks, allows your portfolio to grow at a higher rate than a portfolio with less risky investments, like cash. It's all about finding the right balance for you.

 Get some tips on picking an asset mix appropriate for your situation.

Sharp drops in the market can be hard to stomach and it may feel difficult to stay invested. However, market increases since 1980 have compensated investors well for the risk they take on by investing in stocks.**

Read more about navigating in a down market

Learn more about Vanguard's view on market volatility

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For more information about Vanguard mutual funds or ETFs, obtain a mutual fund or ETF prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are contained in the  prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing.

*Vanguard is owned by its funds, which are owned by Vanguard's fund shareholder clients.

**Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. The performance of an index is not an exact representation of any particular investment, as you cannot invest directly in an index.

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

Commission-free trading of Vanguard ETFs applies to trades placed both online and by phone. Commission-free trading of non-Vanguard ETFs excludes leveraged and inverse ETFs and applies only to trades placed online; most clients will pay a commission to buy or sell non-Vanguard ETFs by phone. It also excludes leveraged and inverse ETFs, which can't be purchased through Vanguard but can be sold with a commission. Commission-free trading of non-Vanguard ETFs also excludes 401(k) participants using the Self-Directed Brokerage Option; see your plan's current commission schedule. Vanguard Brokerage reserves the right to change the non-Vanguard ETFs included in these offers at any time. All ETFs are subject to management fees and expenses; refer to each ETF's prospectus for more information. Account service fees may also apply. All ETF sales are subject to a securities transaction fee. See the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules for full details.

Enrollments in Vanguard Digital Advisor require at least $3,000 in each Vanguard Brokerage Account. For each taxable account you wish to enroll, the entire balance must be in the brokerage account's settlement fund. For each traditional, Roth, or rollover IRA you wish to enroll, the entire balance must be in certain investment types (based on eligibility screening by Digital Advisor at the time of enrollment) and/or the brokerage account's settlement fund. The Vanguard Digital Advisor service is offered through Vanguard Advisers, Inc. ("VAI"), a federally registered investment advisor.

Vanguard's advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. ("VAI"), a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company ("VNTC"), a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.

The services provided to clients will vary based upon the service selected, including management, fees, eligibility, and access to an advisor. Find VAI's Form CRS and each program's advisory brochure here for an overview.

VAI and VNTC are subsidiaries of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and affiliates of Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Neither VAI, VNTC, nor its affiliates guarantee profits or protection from losses.