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Vanguard mutual fund fees & minimums

Find out how much you'll need to open an account and how much—or how little—you'll pay.

Mutual fund fees and expenses at a glance

Expense ratios

On average, Vanguard mutual fund expense ratios are 82% less than the industry average.*

Account service fees

Account service fees are automatically waived when you register for secure access to our website and let us send account documents to you electronically. They're also waived for all Voyager, Voyager Select, Flagship, and Flagship Select Services clients.

If none of these apply, a $20 fee will be charged annually for each fund account in which you have a balance of less than $10,000.

Purchase and redemption fees

Very few Vanguard funds charge fees when you buy and sell shares. The fees are designed to help those funds cover higher transaction costs and protect long-term investors by discouraging short-term, speculative trading.

Fees vary between 0.25% and 0.50% of the amount of the transaction.

Fees you won't pay at Vanguard

  • Front-end or back-end loads or other sales commissions.
  • Marketing and distribution fees, also known as "12b-1" fees.

Minimum investment requirements

The following minimums apply to individual and joint accounts, Roth and traditional IRAs, UGMA/UTMA accounts, and most other account types.

Investor Shares

  • $1,000 for Vanguard Target Retirement Funds and Vanguard STAR® Fund.
  • $3,000 for most other Vanguard funds.**

Admiral Shares

  • $10,000 for most index funds and tax-managed funds.
  • $50,000 for most actively managed funds.
  • $100,000 for certain sector-specific index funds.
Open your account online

We're here to help

If you're new to Vanguard:

Call 800-252-9578

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

If you're already a Vanguard client:

Call 800-888-3751

Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern time

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern time


ETF Shares are available for more than 60 Vanguard funds through a Vanguard Brokerage Account.

Institutional Shares are available primarily for companies and organizations and require a minimum investment of $5 million.


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Expense ratio

A mutual fund's annual operating expenses, expressed as a percentage of the fund's average net assets. It's calculated annually and removed from the fund's earnings before they're distributed to investors, directly reducing investors' returns.

An expense ratio includes management, administrative, marketing, and distribution fees. It doesn't include loads or purchase or redemption fees.

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Front-end load

A sales fee that's charged when you buy fund shares. Fees can be as high as 8.5% of your purchase amount—which would reduce a $100,000 investment to $91,500.

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Back-end load

A sales fee that's charged when you sell fund shares. Fees can start as high as 5% to 7% but typically decline each year you're invested in the fund, ultimately disappearing after 5 to 10 years.

This may also be referred to as a "contingent deferred sales charge."