Total Stock Market Index Fund from Vanguard (ticker symbol: VTSAX). We have literally made HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars thanks to VTSAX, and I mean that in the best possible sense. I decided that this fantastic index fund deserved its own blog post where I explained why it has been so successful for us and how you might want to look into it to see if it could be successful for your FIRE journey as well! Here is a quick summary of VTSAX.
To give investors exposure to the entire U.S. stock market, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund follows the CRSP U.S. Total Market Index. The index includes almost all investable U.S. stocks. The fund is classified as a large-blend by Morningstar.
Apple, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Facebook, and Johnson & Johnson are the fund’s top holdings.
The fund had almost $240.34 billion in assets as of October 18, 2022, spread across 4,059 different holdings.
As of late December 2017, the fund ranks in the 50th percentile for the trailing 12 months, 30th percentile for the previous three years, 28th percentile for the following five years, and 18th percentile for the trailing ten years in Morningstar’s large-blend category. The best category placement is in the first percentile, while the poorest is in the 100th percentile.
Morningstar considers the fund’s 0.15 percent expense ratio to be low. The initial investment requirement is $3,000. The expense ratio is not quite as low as some of the index fund industry rivals. With a $10,000 minimum investment, the fund’s admiral shares version offers an expense ratio of 0.04 percent.
Morningstar rates the fund’s risk as average when compared to that of comparable large-blend funds over the preceding three, five, and ten years. In comparison to the fund’s peers, the level of return has been above average for the previous three, five, and ten years.
By market capitalization and sector as of October 31, 2017, the fund’s assets substantially followed the composition of its benchmark index.
The fund returned -18.01 percent in the most recent year, 7.59 percent in the previous three, 8.55 percent in the previous five, and 11.33 percent in the previous ten years.
April 1992 saw the opening of the fund. The parent firm, Vanguard, has the broadest selection of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States. Low-cost index products are Vanguard’s specialty, but the company also provides numerous actively managed funds. The business’s low-cost strategy has resulted in large asset inflows into its funds in recent years.
Where can I acquire VTSAX?
Learn how to purchase VTSAX by following these steps:
1. Open an account with Vanguard
Please visit www.vanguard.com. Locate the “investment” tab at the top of the home page. Then click that tab and choose “Overview”. The phrase “open an account” can be found towards the bottom of the page. To create a new account, click. After that, you’ll have to respond to a series of inquiries regarding your financial history and the objectives you have for your investments.
2. Decide on a financing strategy
They’ll then inquire as to how you plan to finance your account. Click “electronic bank transfer or other Vanguard account” because the majority of people will use some sort of checking account.
You will be directed to a screen where you must confirm that you do not already have another Vanguard account. No, click (unless you do).
3. Select an account type
They will now provide you with a list of items you will need for the following step.
- A bank routing number
- Your bank account number
- The name and address of your present employment are all required.
Even if you’re self-employed, use your address or the P.O. Box connected to your business because they require this information legally.
You will be prompted to choose the sort of account you want to open after clicking through. This is not unchangeable. You can add additional types if you register an account with Vanguard.
Choose hence what you are most interested in, whether it be:
- Money for retirement
- Everyday expenses, school
- Or a small company.
4. Define your financial objective
They will inquire about your financial goals after you select the sort of account you want. The majority of us only see progress and income. Additionally, it will inquire as to the source of the funds’ income. Again, for the majority, retirement or general savings are the greatest options, but you can choose whatever one best suits your financial circumstances.
You will enter all of your personal data on the following screen. Your name, address, social security number, birthday, email address, and citizenship must all be entered.
5. Await the payments
When you are first setting up your account, the next screen will take a few days to complete. Your bank account information and bank routing number should be entered here. Then, within one or two business days, Vanguard will make two deposits into your account.
Just two arbitrary deposits, they will be for less than $1 each. They check that they have the appropriate bank account for the appropriate person in this manner. You will return to your Vanguard account and deposit those two sums as soon as you notice these deposits in your account. Your bank account has now been established with Vanguard.
The final step in setting up your account is to review your progress and electronically sign certain paperwork.
You now have your account, so you can start working. Time to start investing.
6. Commence the investing procedure
Go to www.vanguard.com and select “account type” under the “investment” option. Here is where you can select the kind of account you want to use. The settlement money and your investments are the two key components on the following screen. The Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund serves as Vanguard’s settlement fund. It has returns that are less than 2%, making it similar to a savings account.
The settlement account is not the same as your investments, although there are some reasons you might store money there that we’ll cover below. The second stage is to move the money you contributed to the settlement fund into investments.
7. Include your cash
To add money, click “buy and sell” at the top of the page. Then, click “contribute to” near the bottom and select the investment account you previously selected (for instance, “contribute to IRA”). This will also show you your annual contribution limitations and the amount you have already donated if you selected an account like an IRA.
8. Switch to VTSAX
You are now free to contribute any amount. Here is where you will select VTSAX. After adding the desired money, a box will appear next to that fund. You can invest the funds in VTSAX or your settlement fund.
9. Carry out the last several steps.
Then enter your intended contribution amount in the “Total Stock Market Index Admiral” box after clicking it.
You will then be asked where you want the money to come from. You’ll see a few choices. You have the choice to connect other bank accounts here in addition to the already-linked checking account, settlement account, or both. Choose what you require.
10. Examine and send
Review and submit after that. You’re done now. The banks will need a few days to process the money, but as far as your involvement in the whole thing is concerned, you’re done!