The 5 Safest Vanguard Funds to Own in a Bear Market

The safest Vanguard funds can help prepare investors for continued market tumult, but without high fees.

Vanguard logo on red screen with person looking at smartphone
(Image credit: SOPA Images/Getty Images)

Vanguard funds are known as practical tools for the buy-and-hold-forever crowd. Their straightforward strategies, broad portfolios, and generally low costs are conducive to investors who want to sit back and let compounding do the work for a decade or two. But in a pinch, the safest Vanguard funds can also be used to play a little defense – something investors could very well use in the current market environment.

The S&P 500 has been in bear-market territory since Jan. 3, 2022, giving it a little more longevity than the 330 days the typical bear market lasts. Depending on economic conditions this year – especially if the U.S. does fall into the recession that many experts predict – it could last well into 2023. 

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Kyle Woodley

Kyle Woodley is the Editor-in-Chief of WealthUp, a site dedicated to improving the personal finances and financial literacy of people of all ages. He also writes the weekly The Weekend Tea newsletter, which covers both news and analysis about spending, saving, investing, the economy and more.

Kyle was previously the Senior Investing Editor for, and the Managing Editor for before that. His work has appeared in several outlets, including Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Barchart, The Globe & Mail and the Nasdaq. He also has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, among other shows and podcasts, and he has been quoted in several outlets, including MarketWatch, Vice and Univision. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism. 

You can check out his thoughts on the markets (and more) at @KyleWoodley.