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How to invest

Decide what to hold in your 529 savings account

You've chosen an account and now you need investments to put in it.
3 minute read

What's "risk" and why do you need to think about it?

It's true in many parts of life: no guts, no glory; no pain, no gain. And when it comes to investing, it's hard to get much reward without taking some investment risk.

But how much? Depending on the investments you choose, your account could take on a little bit of risk or a lot. Ultimately, what matters most is what you're comfortable with.

You should also keep in mind the difference between investing for college and investing for K–12 tuition expenses. College goals have a longer time horizon, so you may be able to take on more risk.

Learn more about investing for K–12 goals

How do you think about investing and risk?

If you think …

Fluctuations in the market are bad, no matter how long your investment time horizon.

You're more comfortable with investments that have a little more price stability, even if they may provide lower returns.

If you think …

You can deal with some market fluctuations.

Mixing different asset classes feels comfortable to you, because if one temporarily loses value, the other can help offset the decline in your account balance.

If you think …

Market fluctuations aren't a big deal.

You'd rather have the potential for higher returns, even at a higher risk of losing money.

Use your "risk tolerance" to choose your investments

If you're saving for education and you've decided which risk tolerance feels the most comfortable for you, we recommend that you consider a Target Enrollment Portfolio that matches the year in which your beneficiary will enroll in school.

Not only will enrollment-year options save you some time now, they'll require less of your time on an ongoing basis because they're managed for you, based on when your child starts school.

Learn more about Target Enrollment Portfolios for your education savings

We're here to help

Talk with one of our education savings specialists.

Call 866-734-4533

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time

Open a Vanguard 529 account

Open a Vanguard 529 account

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