Four timeless principles to help you reach your investment objectives

Successful investment management companies base their business on a core investment philosophy, and Vanguard is no different.

Although we offer many specific strategies through both internally and externally managed funds, an overarching theme runs through the investment guidance we provide to clients—focus on those things within your control.

These principles have been intrinsic to our company since its inception, and they are embedded in its culture. For Vanguard, they represent both the past and the future—enduring principles that guide the investment decisions we help our clients make.

1. Goals

Create clear, appropriate investment goals

GoalsAn appropriate investment goal should be measureable and attainable. Success should not depend upon outsize investment returns, nor upon impractical saving or spending requirements. More »


2. Balance

Develop a suitable asset allocation using broadly diversified funds

BalanceA sound investment strategy starts with an asset allocation suitable for the portfolio's objective. The allocation should be built upon reasonable expectations for risk and returns, and should use diversified investments to avoid exposure to unnecessary risks. More »


3. Cost

Minimize cost

CostMarkets are unpredictable. Costs are forever. The lower your costs, the greater your share of an investment's return. And research suggest that lower-cost investments have tended to outperform higher-cost-alternatives. To hold onto even more of your return, manage for tax efficiency. You can't control the markets, but you can control the bite of costs and taxes. More »


4. Discipline

Maintain perspective and long-term discipline

DisciplineInvesting can provoke strong emotions. In the face of market turmoil, some investors may find themselves making impulsive decisions or, conversely, becoming paralyzed, unable to implement an investment strategy or to rebalance a portfolio as needed. Discipline and perspective are the qualities that can help investors remain committed to their long-term investment programs through periods of market uncertainty. More »


Notes: All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is no guarantee that any particular asset allocation or mix of funds will meet your investment objectives or provide you with a given level of income. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.