The first major milestone came when I took a job back in my hometown of Sarasota, FL, after living and working in New York City for eight years. (Hey, I was cold and needed a sunshiny break!) Unlike in big cities like NYC that provide mass transit systems, you pretty much need a car to survive in Florida — because of both the general convenience and the air conditioning. So I began the hunt for a gently used Jeep for myself and my Toy Australian Shepherd, Chicken. And like most millennials, my then-27-year-old self didn't have several thousand dollars in my checking account to drop on a car down payment. That's where my Vanguard account came into play — it allowed me to have the funds to work out a reasonable financing plan for the down payment and the subsequent monthly payments, which I never would have been able to swing otherwise. The second event came not long after, when Chicken had some health issues and had to be taken to the emergency vet multiple times over the course of about a year. Anyone who has a pet and has had the unfortunate experience of visiting the ER vet knows it's both emotionally traumatic and a big hit to your bank account. Even though I had pet insurance that helped soften the blow, each visit cost upwards of $1,500 — which you have to pay out of pocket, up front, before you take your fur baby home. I would have pretty much gone broke if it weren't for the monetary cushion that my Vanguard account provided. It was so comforting knowing that I didn't have to choose between my dog's health and paying my rent, because I had made an investment all those years ago.
While my investment has so far paid off in the short-term, I've kept up the incremental additions to the account over the years — and will continue to do so — in order to look toward my long-term future. Securing your financial future, for events from buying a house and starting a family to retirement and any unexpected life event in between, isn't something to be pushed to the back burner (sorry, millennials!). Both for my own education and to help other young women get a jump on first-time investing, I tapped a Vanguard investment professional to break down all the essentials in laymen's terms. Read on for the insider tips!
Q: What's the first step to take when looking to invest? What’s the number one thing to know?
Q: What's the difference between a stock, a bond, and a fund?
Q: Why should you start investing at a young age (i.e. your 20s or 30s)?
Credits: Photography: Matthew Kelly; Art Direction: Samara Grossman; Hair and Makeup: Brett Jackson; Production: Andi Nash; Prop Styling: Lisa Lee; Wardobe Styling: Emma Sousa; Models: Aviel Kanter & Chicken Kanter
* This hypothetical example does not represent the return on any particular investment and the rate is not guaranteed.All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of principal. The experiences of these Vanguard clients may not be representative of the experience of other Vanguard clients and are not a guarantee of future investment performance or success. For more information about Vanguard funds, visit vanguard.com or call 1 (800) 528-4999 to obtain a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information about a fund are contained in the prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing. 2019 The Vanguard Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor of the Vanguard Funds.