An older woman is staring at something in front of her while resting her chin on her hand.

Pick investments for your IRA

Keep it simple with an "all in one" fund that does some of the work for you, or customize your own portfolio.
5 minute read

Two things you should consider when making your investment choices:

  • How many years until you retire.
  • How much risk you're comfortable taking.

Your IRA's rate of return will then be based on the investments you choose—or more specifically, on how much you invest and in what securities you invest and how those markets are doing.

How do you want to pick your IRA investments?

"I want a complete portfolio in a single, all-in-one fund."

Based on your age or years until retirement, you might consider broadly diversified Vanguard Target Retirement Fund that comes with a preset, professionally managed investment mix.

Each of these funds automatically rebalances itself and gradually becomes more conservative as your retirement date approaches.

See which Target Retirement Fund fits your timeline

"I want some help making my decision."

Want to build your own portfolio but need some ideas for taking the right approach to ensure it's balanced and diversified?

Define your goals & have a plan for achieving them

See how 9 model portfolios have performed in the past


See the difference low costs can make

"I'd like to talk with an expert."

If you'd like a more personal approach, one of our investment professionals can review your options with you, discuss your overall retirement portfolio, or direct you to one of our professional advice services.

Call us at 855-850-6972 for details.

"I want to see a list of all Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds)."

If you've already decided which types of investments you want, go straight to our detailed fund list to choose funds for your IRA.

Browse all Vanguard funds that are suitable for IRAs

Other investment options

With a Vanguard Brokerage Account, you can also enjoy low commissions when you buy and sell:

A note of caution

If you're also investing in a retirement plan where you work—like a 401(k) or 403(b)—think about how the funds you choose for your IRA will affect the risk level of your overall retirement portfolio.

See how your asset allocation can help reduce investing risk

We're here to help

Have questions? Contact us

Open your IRA today

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

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. Be aware that fluctuations in the financial markets and other factors may cause declines in the value of your account. There is no guarantee that any particular asset allocation or mix of funds will meet your investment objectives or provide you with a given level of income. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.