How to Open a Vanguard IRA Account

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How to Open a Vanguard IRA Account. Vanguard is one of the biggest internationally recognized investment management companies. It manages domestic and international funds and has offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Vanguard offers investing options of all kinds. The types of IRAs offered are traditional, Roth, rollover and SEP. There are several ways in which you can open an IRA account with Vanguard.

Open Your Vanguard IRA Account Electronically

Research the types of IRAs you are interested in. For example, if you make less than a certain amount of yearly income, you can qualify for a tax-free Roth IRA. If you make more than the IRS-determined amount, then a traditional IRA may be more your speed.

Go to Vanguard's website and click on "Open an Account" (see Resources below).

Select the radio button for the appropriate IRA you want to open. Each type of IRA is listed with a brief description and the types of investments from which you can choose.

Pick an investment type by clicking on its radio button. Vanguard offers its own stock and bond funds and money markets as well as many more non-Vanguard stocks and mutual funds.

Fill out the appropriate paperwork with your name, address, Social Security number, beneficiary and payment information. Use your bank's routing number to have funds and fees transferred from your existing bank account. Electronic transfer of money requires only an e-signature.

Print out your paperwork to mail to Vanguard if you are paying your fees or funding your IRA account with a check.

Log in to your account online after your application has been approved. You can now manage your investments online.

Open Your Vanguard IRA Account by Mail

Click on the "Forms" link on Vanguard's website.

Download and print the form kit for the IRA account type you have chosen. The forms are PDF files. If you do not have a printer, Vanguard will mail the forms to you.

Complete the paperwork. Make copies or scan the documents for your own records.

Mail your completed application package to the appropriate Vanguard office.

Receive your account number from Vanguard and log in to manage your account.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vanguard has a wealth of information on its website explaining its services, products and company history. Take advantage of its interactive tools to help you decide which type of IRA account will be right for your lifestyle. Research all your options fully before opening and funding an account.
  • If you do not have a computer, you can sign up for a Vanguard account by phone at (877) 662-7447.

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