There is a stigma associated with investing that it is complicated and fraught with risks. Those who have never been taught how stocks and bonds work can be intimated by the process of putting their money in the market for fear of making a mistake. For as well all know, a mistake in investing is measured in real dollars lost.  

Investing should actually be a very simple and methodical endeavor. It doesn’t matter if you just opened up your first Roth IRA, rolled over your nest egg from a 401(k), or broke up with a long-term advisor. The process remains the same and can be accomplished with ease if you start slow and learn the playing field.

Decisions like choosing the right fund, knowing when to buy, and how much money to put into each basket may be difficult at first.However, these choices become easier with time and experience.It’s getting started on the right foot that is critical to your long-term success.

To aid in this effort, I have identified four funds that are perfect for investors who are just getting their feet wet in the stock and bond markets.

Vanguard Wellington Fund Investor Shares (VWELX)

If you are looking for an all-around fund to use as a core holding, you can’t go wrong with VWELX. This mutual fund is one of the oldest balanced funds in nation and has stood the test of time based on several attractive characteristics.

The strategy for this fund is to invest two-thirds of the portfolio (60-70%) in stocks with the remaining one-third (30-40%) in bonds.This approach creates a very diverse portfolio of assets spread across nearly all sectors of the economy.

The stocks in the VWELX portfolio are primarily large-cap U.S. value companies such as Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT).This is supplemented by a broad array of investment grade bonds to help smooth out volatility and add income.The mandates of the fund allow the investment manager some leeway to shift the asset allocation and underlying holdings to reflect opportunities or risks in the market.

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