No. of Recommendations: 0
The folks at the Index Funds board will be happy to answer any questions you have about VFINX. They're probably more knowledgable than I am, too.

1. Whether you'll pay a transaction fee every time or not depends on your broker. Keep in mind that the broker wants to get paid for the work he does in sending your money to Vanguard. Me, I just have my Roth IRA directly at Vanguard.
2. The management fee is the fee paid to the management team for doing the work. It is basically the same thing as the expense ratio.
3. JAMRX and VFINX are totally different animals. Janus Mercury fund is an actively managed, extremely aggressive, large growth stock fund. It ruled the world during 1998-1999, lost its footing in 2000, and has been crashing all this year.
Vanguard 500 Index fund is a passively managed fund that tracks the S&P 500. It's also a large growth fund, but has a small value element. It's not as aggressive as JAMRX, but still risky.

The benefit of VFINX is that you're guaranteed to match the market. The detriment is you'll never do better than the market.
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