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How do I buy an ETF or stock?

Follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to buy an ETF or stock at Vanguard

Watch a video walk-through of this tutorial

Step 1

This example is for illustrative purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell a particular security.

Brokerage assets are held by Vanguard Brokerage Services, a division of Vanguard Marketing Corporation, member FINRA and SIPC.

In order to buy an ETF or stock, navigate to Buy & sell under the My accounts tab in the main navigation.

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Step 2

Choose Trade ETFs or stocks from the 3 options on the Buy & sell page.

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Step 3

Then, click the drop down menu next to Account and select the account you want to trade in.

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Step 4

Next, click the drop down menu next to Transaction type and select Buy.

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Step 5

If you already know the symbol for the ETF or stock you want to buy, type it into the box next to symbol. If you know the name of the ETF or stock but not the symbol, click GET SYMBOL and use the search bar to find what you’re looking for. Click GET QUOTE to receive the most recent price at which the stock or ETF traded.

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Step 6

Next, type in the number of shares you want to purchase. You can only purchase ETFs and stocks in whole shares. You can use the dollar to shares calculator to estimate how many shares can be purchased with a given dollar amount. This number is an estimate, based on the last available trading price for the security and does not include commissions. Click USE FOR TRADE to fill in the calculated number of shares on the trade ticket

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Step 7

Select the appropriate order type. Click More about order types to learn about each one.

If you choose a market order the duration will automatically default to day, if you choose another order type you will have additional fields to fill in.

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Step 8

The available balance section of your account information shows how much you have available to trade. The holdings section shows the securities that you currently hold in the account. The orders section shows any open orders in the account.

Step 9

When you’ve completed all the fields, the estimated transaction details show you an estimate of the total cost of the trade. From here, click Continue and review the details of your trade before you submit it. When you’re ready to proceed with your purchase, click Submit.

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All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

© 2021 The Vanguard Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor