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How large is a "not large amount"? How far from "losing is all" could you (she) accept?
Vanguard mutual funds have a minumum initial inveatment of $3000. Half a dozen funds would be $18,000.

advantage of ETFs, no?
no minimum /low (possible zero) commissions from Vanguard
(low fees)

Losses of 30%-50% are not unusual. (We just went through a decline like that in 2008.) Is that too big of a risk?

good point..

( i'd go with something like your plan, a portion in something Safe, the rest in 2 or 4 ETFs
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