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VTSMX does not have a purchase fee when purchased directly from Vanguard ...My IRAs (Roth & Rollover) are with Vanguard so I purchase Vanguard index funds (Total Stock market, Total Bond market, Total International Stock market, etc.) for those accounts.

^^ What she said. My Rollover IRA and our Roths (wife and I both have Roths) are invested with Vanguard in a manner that appears similar to what Dawn described. We're in the "Admiral" funds so our fees are even lower than in the "regular" index funds, which is to say they're really darn low.

If you're going to buy Vanguard funds, you might as well buy them directly through Vanguard. There are other companies that also offer very low fee index funds (the Fidelity Spartan funds have been mentioned a few times), so they're an option if for whatever you're constrained from buying from Vanguard directly.

Obviously there's the normal discussions about volatility and asset allocation and such and how to mix equity holdings with bond holdings or whatnot. Dawn touched on that in referencing Vanguard's Total Bond market index fund. I'm sure there are other companies with similar types of funds to that if desired.

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