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Posted: 12:00 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009

Clark sings Vanguard's praises again

Clark absolutely adores Vanguard, which is one of the world's largest investment houses. The company is actually like the equivalent of a credit union for investing because it's wholly owned by account holders.

Everything about Vanguard provides value for you as a member. The management fees attached to Vanguard's investment choices are as little as one-fifteenth to one-twentieth the fees you would pay at other investment houses.

Vanguard now has customer deposits of $1 trillion -- that's 1,000 billion dollars! And while other investment houses saw people pull $151 billion out as the market tanked in 2008, Barron's reports Vanguard brought in $27 billion in new dollars.

The house that founder John Bogle built counts index funds among its specialties. Index funds come with lower costs than traditional mutual funds. In addition, they normally don't get hit with hefty short-term gains taxes.

Of course, Vanguard is not perfect. Like everyone else, their targeted retirement funds had a very ugly year in 2008 and really burned a lot of people close to retirement. But if you're looking to get started in investing, Clark likes the Vanguard Star fund, which takes $1,000 to open.

Other similar companies that Clark likes include T. Rowe Price, which focuses on managed mutual funds.