This ETF May Overcharge Any Retirement Account | private finance

(Selena Maranjian)

Just about all of us need to be saving and investing for our retirements, because Social Security, while vital, won’t support us well on its own. The recent average monthly Social Security retirement benefit was $1,665, or about $20,000 annually.

Sadly, many, if not most, of us are behind in our saving and investing. According to the 2021 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 72% of workers surveyed reported having saved anything for retirement, and many of those had saved far less than they should have to reach their retirement goals. It’s not too late to do better, though.

Image source: Getty Images.

Here’s an easy investing strategy that can help you build wealth for your future — plus an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that can supercharge the strategy.

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An easy, basic strategy

It’s a shame that many people put off or avoid investing because it seems complicated and intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to read a dozen books on investing or spend hours per week studying stocks, deciding which to buy or sell.

Instead, you could just park most or all of your long-term money (dollars you won’t need for at least five, if not 10, years) in one or more low-cost, broad-market index funds. Each index fund aims to deliver roughly the same return as the index it tracks, less fees. Here are three solid ones to consider:

  • Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (NYSEMKT:VTI)
  • Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (NYSEMKT:VT)

Respectively, these investments will instantly invest your money in roughly 80% of the US stock market, the entire US stock market, or just about all of the world’s stock market. Sock money away into one or more of them (or other good index funds) regularly, and over many years, your wealth should grow.

Over your particular investing time frame, the stock market might average annual returns of, say, 7%, or maybe 12%. There’s no way to know. Over very long periods, it has averaged close to 10% annually. The table below is a bit conservative, reflecting 8% annual growth, and it shows how much you might amass over time simply with index funds:

Growing at 8% fo…

$10,000 Invested Annually

$15,000 Invested Annually

$20,000 Invested Annually

5 years




10 years




15 years




20 years




25 years




30 years




Data source: Calculations by author.

Supercharge your investing strategy

That’s pretty impressive growth. You might want to aim for faster growth, though. If so, consider parking some of your money in the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ). It’s an ETF that’s made up of the 100 largest nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq stock market (measured by market capitalization).

It’s not guaranteed to outpace the overall US stock market, but its track record is pretty good:

Average Annual Return Over…

Invesco QQQ Trust

5 years


10 years


15 years


Source:, as of Apr. 22, 2022.

If you look at its recent top 10 holdings, you’ll get an idea of ​​how it has been able to deliver such returns:








You’re here


Alphabet (Class C shares)


Alphabet (Class A shares)




Meta Platforms






The fund has around 90 other holdings, too, including lots of well-regarded businesses, such as:

  • Intel
  • Amgen
  • netflix
  • PayPal
  • Adobe
  • Starbucks
  • Airbnb
  • Intuitive Surgical
  • Zoom Video Communications
  • Lululemon Athletica

So give these investing strategies some thought — especially if you need to do better than you’ve been doing. The first one alone, a simple index fund or two, can be enough for you — and if you want to aim higher, consider putting some money in the QQQ ETF. Don’t leave your future financial security up to chance — and don’t assume Social Security will be enough.

The $18,984 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook

If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $18,984 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Selena Maranjian owns Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Amgen, Apple, Costco Wholesale, Intuitive Surgical, Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal Holdings, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Adobe Inc., Airbnb, Inc., Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, Costco Wholesale, Intel, Intuitive Surgical, Lululemon Athletica, Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, PayPal Holdings, Starbucks, Tesla, Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, and Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool recommends Amgen and Broadcom Ltd and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $57.50 calls on Intel, long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short April 2022 $100 calls on Starbucks, short January 2023 $57.50 puts on Intel, and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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