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Vanguard Investing: A Look at Funds, Costs, and New Initiatives

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Explore Vanguard's offerings and initiatives for investors in 2023 and beyond.

description: an anonymous investor sitting at a desk, looking at a computer screen displaying vanguard's website.

Vanguard has long been a trusted name in the investment world, known for its low costs and commitment to long-term investing. But as the industry evolves, so too does the firm. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Vanguard's funds and ETFs, costs, and new initiatives that investors should know about.

First, let's start with Vanguard's flagship product: index funds. These passive funds seek to track a market index, such as the S&P 500, and offer low fees and broad diversification. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFIAX) is one of the firm's most popular offerings, with over $600 billion in assets under management as of 2022.

But Vanguard isn't content to rest on its laurels. The firm has been expanding into other areas, such as factor-based investing and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing. For example, the Vanguard ESG US Stock ETF (ESGV) seeks to track an index of US companies with strong ESG practices, while the Vanguard Global Minimum Volatility Fund (VMVFX) targets stocks with lower volatility than the broader market.

Another area where Vanguard has been making strides is in its digital offerings. The firm's Personal Advisor Services (PAS) platform offers automated investment advice, while its Digital Advisor platform allows investors to build and manage their own portfolios online. Vanguard also recently launched a mobile app that allows investors to access their accounts and track their progress from anywhere.

Of course, costs are a big part of Vanguard's appeal. The firm's index funds and ETFs are known for their low expense ratios, with some funds charging just a few basis points. But Vanguard also offers other cost-saving measures, such as commission-free trading on its own ETFs and a fee waiver program for accounts with high balances.

Portfolio shifts are a common occurrence for investors, especially active ones. Over time, assets shift out of balance from their original allocation, which can lead to unintended risks and suboptimal returns. Vanguard's Personal Advisor Services platform offers a solution, with automatic rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting to help investors stay on track.

A financial windfall like an inheritance or salary bonus can be a wonderful opportunity for investing. But what's the best way to invest that money? Vanguard suggests a balanced approach, with a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets that align with the investor's goals and risk tolerance. The firm also recommends dollar-cost averaging, or investing a set amount at regular intervals, to avoid market timing mistakes.

While Vanguard's index funds and ETFs are a great starting point for many investors, there are also actively managed funds available for those who want a more hands-on approach. The Vanguard Wellington Fund (VWELX), for example, is a balanced fund that seeks to provide long-term growth and income through a mix of stocks and bonds. The Vanguard Health Care Fund (VGHCX) focuses on healthcare stocks, while the Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX) targets companies with a history of increasing their dividends.

Looking ahead, Vanguard is likely to continue to innovate and expand its offerings. The firm recently announced plans to launch a new actively managed ETF that will target sustainable companies, as well as a cryptocurrency index fund. And with a long history of putting investors first, Vanguard is sure to remain a top choice for those looking to build a strong, low-cost portfolio.


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