The truth is that you can do both! Opening a Roth IRA with Vanguard, you can invest the money that you deposit into it in the mutual fund equivalent of VTI: either Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares or Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (the difference is the latter one costs less per year, but requires a $10,000 initial deposit — and in fact, the Roth IRA limit of $5500 is lower than that, so you’d have to at least start with the Investor shares).
In your company's 401 K atleast upto the company match. If they have a brokerage account linked to the 401K, you could buy the Vanguard ETFs or individual stocks
In Roth IRA, buy stocks and spread it across stable companies with good dividends and revenues. E.G MCD, INTC, COST, etc and high growth Tech companies like FB, NFLX, GOOG, etc
Buy one ounce of Gold (preferably Maple Leaf) every six months
If you still have some money left, invest in Real Estate, you do not need to own a home to invest in Real Estate. You can buy stocks of REIT from your brokerage account. One good fund is NYSE:RQI
If you do end up buying ETFs or Mutual Funds, it's highly recommend opening an account in Vanguard and set up weekly buys to cost average your investments.
Leave your comments below!