Last but not least is discipline, which is demonstrated by all Vanguard investors. The median length of account ownership at Vanguard—for both male and female investors—is 13 years, with the average investor making only 11 trades per year.**
Discipline means a few different things in the investing world. First, it means reevaluating your goals every year or 2 to make sure your asset mix still makes sense for your life. Second, it means committing to your asset mix, even when the going gets tough and markets turn volatile (after all, what goes down may eventually come back up). Finally, it means realizing the importance of saving regularly and, when possible, saving more. It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not always easy to save more than you originally planned.
Goals. Balance. Costs. Discipline. These are the principles that have been driving our investors’ success for 45 years and counting. Want to learn more about how Vanguard investors do things? Check out the full version of our recent research paper or take a deeper dive into our philosophy.