Getting rich in the stock market can seem like something that's only possible for highly experienced Wall Street investors. But in reality, anyone can get rich with the right strategy -- even if you don't know much about the stock market.
The key is to focus on long-term investments that grow steadily over time. While there are many good options, these five Vanguard funds are a great place to start.
1. Vanguard 500 Index (VFIAX)
The Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (NASDAQMUTFUND:VFIAX) is an index fund that tracks the S&P 500. This means the fund includes all the stocks within the S&P 500, which are some of the largest and most successful companies in the country.
You can't go wrong with a broad-market index fund like the 500 Index, because it includes stocks from strong businesses across a wide variety of industries. It also contains hundreds of different stocks, which further diversifies your portfolio. Even if a few of the stocks within the fund don't perform well, you're investing in so many that those few won't make much of a difference.
2. Vanguard Equity-Income (VEIPX)
Vanguard Equity-Income Fund (VEIPX) is another broad-market fund that includes nearly 200 stocks from large companies. However, this fund leans more toward stocks that consistently pay dividends.
Dividend-paying stocks pay a portion of the underlying company's profits back to shareholders every quarter or year. You have the choice of reinvesting those dividends to buy more stock, or cashing out your payments.
Dividend stocks are great investments because they can increase the size of your portfolio and create a source of passive income later in life. By reinvesting your dividends now, you'll own more stock -- which will result in more dividends later. Then once you retire, you can start cashing out your dividends to create passive income.
3. Vanguard Wellington (VWELX)
Vanguard Wellington Income Fund (VWELX) is a fund that contains a mix of stocks and bonds. Approximately two-thirds of the fund is made up of stocks (including behemoth corporations like Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple, and Facebook), while the other third is made up primarily of bonds.
A balanced fund can help limit your risk when investing. Stocks tend to see much higher rates of return than bonds, but they also carry more risk. By investing in a fund that does contain a good portion of more conservative investments, like bonds, you won't see quite as much growth. However, your investments will be more protected against market volatility.
4. Vanguard Selected Value (VASVX)
This fund is one of the riskier investments on the list, because it contains companies that are seen as significantly undervalued. This is risky because these stocks can be more volatile than larger, steadier stocks. However, this type of investment can pay off big time if the stocks in the fund perform well.
If you have plenty of time to allow your investments to grow, investing in this fund could be a great decision. It's also wise to make sure you have a diversified portfolio and are investing in other funds as well, just in case this one experiences significant volatility.
5. Vanguard Explorer (VEXPX)
Vanguard Explorer Fund (VEXPX) includes just over 700 stocks from small and mid-size companies.
This fund also comes with higher levels of risk because it focuses on smaller companies with growth potential. It can be more volatile than broad-market index funds that include stocks from larger corporations, but it can also experience higher-than-average returns.
Like the Selected Value fund, the Explorer fund is best for those who have a long investing timeline. You'll also want to be sure you're investing in less risky funds as well, such as broad-market index funds, to create a balanced portfolio.
Putting you on a wealth path
Investing in the stock market can help you get rich, but you'll need to make sure you're choosing the right investments. These Vanguard funds are great options for beginners and experienced investors alike, and they can put you on the path to becoming wealthy.