Getting started

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Flag of the United States.svg.png This article contains details specific to United States (US) investors. Non-US investors can find related information at Getting started for non-US investors.

Welcome to the Bogleheads' Getting started page! First things first. Don't panic! There's a lot of information available to help. Take your time and get organized.

The Bogleheads® motto is Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle. We are part of his campaign "to give ordinary investors a fair shake."

The site consists of this wiki and the Bogleheads® forum. Both the wiki and forum were built by volunteers who are dedicated to helping people begin or improve their investing by applying our investing principles.


Bogleheads® emphasize regular saving, broad diversification, and sticking to one's investment plan regardless of market conditions. We follow a small number of simple investment principles that have been shown over time to produce risk-adjusted returns far greater than those achieved by the average investor. They have been further distilled and explained in thousands of posts on the forum.

The power of the wiki is its ability to link content. If a topic has a link, there's more material available. This is not a structured course. Use those links to explore anything you want, and consider bookmarking this page in case you get lost. The start-up kits below are designed to help you begin or improve your investing journey.

Bogleheads® investment philosophy

We suggest you start your journey by reading the Bogleheads® investment philosophy first, which is summarized below. Alternatively, these principles are introduced by short, entertaining video segments to give investors the big picture and an orientation. Next, choose the start-up kit that fits your situation and dive in!

The Bogleheads® Philosophy
  1. Develop a workable plan
  2. Invest early and often
  3. Never bear too much or too little risk
  4. Never try to time the market
  5. Use index funds when possible
  6. Keep costs low
  7. Diversify
  8. Minimize taxes
  9. Keep it simple
  10. Stay the course
Video.png Watch the videos

Personal finance planning start-up kit

Are you ready to invest? Personal finance is more than just investing. Take a step back and look at the big picture. Investing only comes after you have a sound financial footing. Topics such as budgeting, owning versus renting a home, insurance, saving for college, and charity are covered here.

Investing start-up kit

Start your investing experience here. For those who want a quick introduction to investment planning, see this Bogleheads® forum topic: Laura’s investment planning overview

Retirement planning start-up kit

Retirement topics are covered here, such as employer retirement plans (401(k)), planning for retirement, and spending during retirement.

Asking questions

Once you get familiar with the content in the start-up kits, or if you are looking for content related to a specific topic, you can benefit from the outlines for quick access to specific topics. In addition, the site navigation page contains a comprehensive topic list which can be used to navigate to specific topics you are interested in.

If you have questions on any investing or finance topic, just ask in the Bogleheads® forum. No question is too simple or too complex. If you have a specific question, dive right in.

If you would like assistance with your portfolio, it can be helpful to review the basics in the Bogleheads® forum topic: Investment Planning. Then, post your portfolio using the Asking Portfolio Questions format.

Investors outside the US

The Bogleheads® investment philosophy can be applied to investors world-wide. Differences exist in taxation, available funds, and regulations.

Outline of non-US domiciles contains a list of wiki pages which provide detailed information for investors domiciled outside the US, including the European Union (EU). The outline is available as a menu here.

US citizens living abroad have special tax concerns and should see Taxation as a US person living abroad.

If you would like assistance with your portfolio after reading the getting started page, post your portfolio using the My portfolio: seeking advice template for non-US investors. Please include your home country in the post title.

See also

Further reading