Find out how much youll need to open an account and how much—or how little—youll pay.

Mutual fund fees & expenses at a glance


Expense ratios

The average Vanguard mutual fund expense ratio is 83% less than the industry average.*

Account service fees

Account service fees are automatically waived when you register for secure access to our website and let us send account documents to you electronically. Theyre also waived for clients with at least $50,000 in qualifying Vanguard assets.

If none of those waivers apply, a $20 fee will be charged annually for each fund account in which you have a balance of less than $10,000.

Purchase & redemption fees

Very few Vanguard funds charge fees when you buy and sell shares. The fees are designed to help those funds cover higher transaction costs and protect long-term investors by discouraging short-term, speculative trading.

Fees vary from 0.25% to 1.00% of the amount of the transaction.

Fees you wont pay at Vanguard

Vanguard funds never charge front-end or back-end loads or other sales commissions.

And youll have access to thousands of commission-free ETFs and more than 160 no-transaction-fee mutual funds from Vanguard and other companies.**

Minimum investment requirements


The following minimums apply to individual and joint accounts, Roth and traditional IRAs, UGMA/UTMA accounts, and most other account types.

Investor Shares

  • $1,000 for Vanguard Target Retirement Funds and Vanguard STAR® Fund.
  • $3,000 for most actively managed Vanguard funds.***

Most Vanguard index funds are now available in lower-cost Admiral Shares.

Admiral Shares

  • $3,000 for most index funds.
  • $50,000 for most actively managed funds.
  • $100,000 for certain sector-specific index funds.


All Vanguard clients pay $0 commission to trade ETFs (exchange-traded funds) online.


A mutual funds annual operating expenses, expressed as a percentage of the funds average net assets. Its calculated annually and removed from the funds earnings before theyre distributed to investors, directly reducing investors returns.

An expense ratio includes management, administrative, marketing, and distribution fees. It doesnt include loads or purchase or redemption fees.

A sales fee thats charged when you buy fund shares. Fees can be as high as 8.5% of your purchase amount—which would reduce a $100,000 investment to $91,500.

A sales fee thats charged when you sell fund shares. Fees can start as high as 5% to 7% but typically decline each year youre invested in the fund, ultimately disappearing after 5 to 10 years.

This may also be referred to as a contingent deferred sales charge.

Purchase fees are charged generally by funds that routinely face higher transaction costs when buying securities for the portfolio.

Redemption fees are charged generally by funds that want to discourage market-timing.

Neither is considered a sales charge or load because both are paid directly to the fund to offset higher transaction costs.

There are currently only a few Vanguard funds (each with multiple share classes) that charge one or both of these fees. Each has a corresponding ETF (exchange-traded fund) share class that excludes these fees and can be bought and sold commission-free in your Vanguard account.

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