Author Topic: getting started with vanguard?  (Read 13404 times)

mindaugas

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getting started with vanguard?
« on: August 09, 2012, 12:18:33 PM »
I was wondering if anyone had some basic getting started guides for vanguard? Is it as simple as starting an IRA or are there recommendation for investing in certain funds, etc?

JohnGalt

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 12:20:09 PM »
I was wondering if anyone had some basic getting started guides for vanguard? Is it as simple as starting an IRA or are there recommendation for investing in certain funds, etc?

What are your goals?

mindaugas

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 12:43:39 PM »
I was wondering if anyone had some basic getting started guides for vanguard? Is it as simple as starting an IRA or are there recommendation for investing in certain funds, etc?

What are your goals?

Retire sometime in the future. :P

I just want to start a retirement plan. I just started with a new company that is offering a 401k, before that I had nothing and still do not. I want to have something on my own that I can contribute to and control. I would also like to get into investing and start making some money, that's easy right? I mean that's why everyone is doing it? jk ... I know this can be complicated which is why I'm looking for a place to start and then I can go from there.

JohnGalt

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 01:00:10 PM »
Since it sounds like you'll be starting from scratch with this account.  Vanguard has great options - but you still need to know what kind of investor you want to be before selecting what funds/etfs to buy.  I would recommend that you spend some time researching different asset allocation strategies and decide one what you're comfortable with before taking the plunge. 

You could start be reading through some of the posts in the Investor Alley section on this forum for ideas - but will probably find more in depth discussions elsewhere like on the bogleheads or early-retirement forums.  You might also google couch potato investing and the permanent portfolio for other ideas. 

If you don't want to do any research - you may be best off just going with something like a target date retirement fund.  However - even with that, I would recommend you at least read the prospectus before buying into one. 

tannybrown

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 01:46:12 PM »
One thing to consider with Vanguard is that typically you need a minimum of $3k to open a mutual fund.  If you're just starting out, that may be available to you from day 1...I'd call to see if there is any other option.

If there is an option, I'd suggest a balanced fund or total market fund, to get you some quick and dirty diversification until your balances get large enough to spread out among various funds.

MoneyMilks

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 08:35:30 PM »
Hello Mustachians!  I am new here, and trying to get started on my Mustachian journey.  I started to open up a Vanguard account only to find out that $3K is the minimum for the Total Market fund everyone is talking about.  I currently have a Roth and a Rollover IRA from Fidelity.  Should I just open an investment account with them, or will I be running into the same minimum investment requirement, too? 

My goal is to start saving for my first house in the near future, and I was planning on putting $300 a month towards the account to start.

Thanks!

mindaugas

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 08:07:32 AM »
If you're saving short term for a down payment on a home (less than 5 years) it's better to just stick it in a savings account. You're not going to gain much off of $3600/year and when there's another recession you stand to lose because of the short window.

simonsez

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 10:34:29 AM »
I do think it is telling that a forum post has over 7000 views and only 7 (including mine) replies.  This means a lot of people are curious about how to do it, or at least are interested in seeing if the instructions/advice given lines up with how they started their own investments (Vanguard or not).

Maybe it wouldn't be the worst idea to have a post stickied in Investor Alley about the "How to start" in addition to the "How to order", "How to withdraw", and "How to not worry" ones.

It may be old hat for many but it can be mentally daunting to take that first step outside of any employer plans that doesn't involve a bank.

mindaugas

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 10:39:24 AM »
Not saying it's a bad idea, but since it's been done so many other times by folks in and outside FI it's probably redundant at this point.

http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

DarkandStormy

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 02:56:58 PM »
Hello Mustachians!  I am new here, and trying to get started on my Mustachian journey.  I started to open up a Vanguard account only to find out that $3K is the minimum for the Total Market fund everyone is talking about.  I currently have a Roth and a Rollover IRA from Fidelity.  Should I just open an investment account with them, or will I be running into the same minimum investment requirement, too? 

My goal is to start saving for my first house in the near future, and I was planning on putting $300 a month towards the account to start.

Thanks!

You are looking to open a taxable investment brokerage account, right?  That is, this will be taxed and it is not a designated retirement account like a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA.

Yes, most of their mutual funds require a $3K minimum (some even more).  I believe the only $1K minimum funds are their "Target Date" retirement funds - an asset allocation weighted based on how many years until this fictional retirement - they pick dates every 5 years.  So it starts something like 90 or 95% stocks (the most recent one is Target 2060) and then slowly switches some of that to bonds.  You could pick any year you want and start with $1k.

Your other option is to invest in their ETFs.  You only need the price of one share.

So you would "open an account" and go through registering - designating it as a "savings" account and it should give you a brokerage account.  You then click "Trade Vanguard ETFs."  From there, you want to "buy" and enter whatever ETF you want.  Research what you want to buy - there are sectors, domestic of all sizes, international, and bond ETFs to choose from.

If you are using this to save for a down payment on a house soon, I would avoid going with entirely stock ETFs - it's very risky in the short term.  You could do a single share of mega-cap growth (MGK) for ~$100 and a share of a bond ETF - say, BLV for ~$92.

You could put a limit or stop order in, but I doubt you care about that if you're just getting started.  Just select "market" and you will pay the market price at the time you place the trade.  You will need the money transferred into a money market or "settlement fund" first - typically an electronic transfer or wire from your bank account.

So that is how you can still invest with Vanguard without paying the $3k minimum on the mutual funds.  You can invest in other fund families, but you will have to pay a fee - it might be up to $7/trade now?  I'm not sure the exact cost, but just an fyi.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 07:40:51 AM by DarkandStormy »

xander

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2017, 02:26:12 PM »
I do think it is telling that a forum post has over 7000 views and only 7 (including mine) replies.  This means a lot of people are curious about how to do it, or at least are interested in seeing if the instructions/advice given lines up with how they started their own investments (Vanguard or not).

Maybe it wouldn't be the worst idea to have a post stickied in Investor Alley about the "How to start" in addition to the "How to order", "How to withdraw", and "How to not worry" ones.

It may be old hat for many but it can be mentally daunting to take that first step outside of any employer plans that doesn't involve a bank.

^This.

I am new here and having these types of "basic" instructions easily accessible would be great. I am on the cusp of opening a Vanguard brokerage account and dumping most of my savings into an index fund. However knowing all of the steps and everything in between would give me a little more peace of mind.

Heckler

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 12:30:43 AM »

gggggg

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2017, 07:50:29 AM »
If some of you guys don't have the 3k minimum, just buy ETF's. Something like VTI or VOO. You can always switch to a fund later if you want.

SachaFiscal

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2017, 07:54:56 AM »
The Bogleheads guide to investing is a short book that is easy to read and understand. You can buy it online or it's free in PDF form here: http://doc.xueqiu.com/14cf53ebdeb1cd3fd7a1bfa2.pdf

I read that after I discovered MMM and it gave a good overview of a passive investment strategy. I had been investing in my 401k for a long time but hadn't been paying attention to how the money was invested. After reading that book I was able to pick an asset allocation. The I worked on how to best place the money to account for taxes. I had money in different accounts and wanted to move everything I could into Vanguard. I called Vanguard and they talked me through it so it was pretty easy.

Indexer

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2017, 08:22:45 AM »
How complicated do you want to be?

Easy: An easy start is to open an IRA and use a Target Date fund. Minimum is $1,000. The TR funds are made up of index funds, they get more conservative over time, and they rebalance themselves. They are Vanguard's EASY button. They are a good start and while it might not be 'perfect' it avoids many of the pitfalls a novice investor could fall into. They normally also work well when someone is starting off with a small amount.

Medium: Read the links provided, like the Bogleheads guide to investing. As long as all the money is in IRAs/401ks it isn't too difficult.

More complicated:  tax efficiency. Once you include taxable accounts you have to think about the tax implications of the different investments and the tax implications of trades in the taxable account. At this point you might need a spreadsheet when you go to rebalance.

SavageBastard

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Re: getting started with vanguard?
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2017, 10:22:48 AM »
I do think it is telling that a forum post has over 7000 views and only 7 (including mine) replies.  This means a lot of people are curious about how to do it, or at least are interested in seeing if the instructions/advice given lines up with how they started their own investments (Vanguard or not).

Maybe it wouldn't be the worst idea to have a post stickied in Investor Alley about the "How to start" in addition to the "How to order", "How to withdraw", and "How to not worry" ones.

It may be old hat for many but it can be mentally daunting to take that first step outside of any employer plans that doesn't involve a bank.

This, please!