Yes, it has been a rewarding time to be an investor with stock market exposure, whether it’s broadly through Vanguard funds or via other providers’ products. The S&P 500 itself was up 32% with dividends invested, and many other indices did even better … so as long as you were broadly in stocks in some way for 2013, you probably did well.
As we look back, the market in 2013 experienced just two negative months all year. And looking further back, nine of the past 10 calendar years have been “up” years for the market. Granted, the down year of 2008 was a rough one, but the fact remains that we have strung together some pretty fantastic results.
Possibly a little too fantastic — and we all know that greed is the undoing of many investors when it comes to long-term results.
If the recent market turbulence has you thinking of reducing risk, you might want to consider hunkering down in a few protective funds. I’m looking at Vanguard funds in particular because of the provider’s focus on low costs for individual investors.
So, here’s a look at the three best Vanguard fund options for the current situation — two fine low-cost no-load fund choices and a conservative ETF option: