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Understanding investment types

Explore different types of mutual funds

Make confident investment decisions by getting to know which funds may be right for you.
3 minute read

Build a portfolio that can help you meet your goals

Get help & advice

Whether you want to do the research yourself, get some recommendations online, or talk directly with a financial advisor, we can help.

Get help & advice to narrow your options


ETFs combine the diversification of mutual funds with lower investment minimums and real-time pricing. All Vanguard clients pay $0 commission to trade ETFs online.

See if an "all in one" fund is right for you

No matter what your goals are...

  • Saving for retirement.
  • Investing for other goals.
  • Getting retirement income.
  • Saving for college.

...we can help you get there with a single fund.

Get a complete portfolio with an all-in-one fund

Build a customized portfolio

Understanding how to put different types of investments to work for you is essential.

First, get to know the most common fund types—money market, bond, balanced, stock, international, and sector—and how they can be combined to create a well-balanced portfolio. Then look for the specific funds that could help you reach your goals.

Get details on specific categories of funds

Browse Vanguard's complete fund lineup


We introduced the first index funds for individual investors, and we've been the voice of indexing ever since.

Vanguard is designed to be different: our funds own our company, and investors like you own our funds. This means that as new economies of scale help us lower costs, those benefits are passed directly to you.

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For more information about Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs, visit Vanguard mutual fund prospectuses or Vanguard ETF prospectuses to obtain a 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 investor-owned, meaning the fund shareholders own the funds, which in turn own Vanguard.

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 full 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.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.