Give your money a chance to grow over the long term
Get higher potential for investment growth
Stock mutual funds aim to provide long-term growth, unlike bond funds, which focus on income. In exchange for more growth, however, you're likely to experience more ups and downs in the value of your investment.
Increase diversification in your portfolio
A stock fund could give you access to hundreds—sometimes thousands—of stocks, which spreads out risk more than owning individual stocks.
Get broad exposure to the stock markets
You can use just a few funds to complete the stock portion of your portfolio. Each of these index funds gives you access to a wide variety of stocks in a single, diversified fund.
- Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund holds more than 3,000 domestic stocks.
- Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund holds more than 5,500 non-U.S. stocks.
How to choose a stock fund
Here are a few questions to ask yourself while you're considering the right Vanguard stock fund for your portfolio:
How do stock mutual funds differ from one another?
When looking for a stock fund, consider these two characteristics:
Do I want domestic or international stocks?
Investing in both U.S. and international stock funds can add another level of diversification to an already well-balanced portfolio.
Would I prefer index or active funds?
Do you feel more comfortable tracking the market, or would you rather try to beat it?
- Index funds try to track the performance of a specific market benchmark.
- Actively managed funds are steered by our expert portfolio managers who select specific securities for the fund. While actively managed funds give you a chance to beat the benchmark, they can also underperform.
Should I focus on a specific industry?
You can choose a fund that invests solely in a specific sector of the market, like health care, technology, or telecommunications.
But remember, these funds have a very narrow focus and expose you to more risk. Sector and specialty funds should only be used to supplement an already diversified portfolio.
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LEARN ABOUT OTHER FUND TYPES
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Stock mutual funds invest in securities that represent part ownership in publicly traded companies.
A mutual fund that focuses on stocks from companies that are typically found in low-growth or mature industries, often produce higher and more regular dividend income, and sell at discounted prices.
A mutual fund that focuses on stocks from companies that are expected to experience higher-than-average profitable growth because of their strong earnings and revenue potential.
Growth stocks typically produce lower dividend yields because they prefer to reinvest those earnings into research and development to help grow these companies and increase their profitability.
An unmanaged group of securities whose overall performance is used as a standard to measure investment performance.