March 21, 2019

Fee Wars and Fraud

First, from the annals of irrelevance: According to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the S&P has averaged a 0.02% gain on “Fed decision days” versus the average 0.03% daily gain for the index over the last five years. What happened after they printed that story? The Dow dropped 0.55% and the S&P fell 0.29%. So much for the averages.

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March 21, 2019

Seriously? Fee Wars Go From Dumb To Dumber

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that BlackRock’s iShares unit is going mano-a-mano in the fee wars by cutting the operating expenses on its $2.5 billion (yes, that’s a “b” as in billions) minimum S&P 500 index mutual fund to just 0.0125% in an effort to compete with big-daddy Vanguard.

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March 2019 PDF


While February saw the U.S. government reopen after a record-setting 35-day partial shutdown, someone apparently forgot to send the memo to Malvern. Vanguard announced it would be shutting down its VanguardAdvantage cash management service. At the same time, they revealed they will be shuttering various index funds’ Investor share classes in favor of new Admiral shares for funds like Social Index and Total World Stock Index that were launched during the month.

In this month’s issue, we’ll take a look at Vanguard’s factor funds, both new and old. We’re also taking the time to review High-Yield Corporate and High-Yield Tax-Exempt, which marked their 40th anniversaries—a milestone most funds never reach—back in December. Lastly, we dive into what is sure to be an extended discussion on the best ideas for making your retirement nest egg last throughout your lifetime. This is a big topic that we plan to cover over the course of several issues, but spoiler alert: there is no “magic number” or amount of money that will guarantee a financial-worry-free retirement.

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Guidebook Cover 2019
Order your copy of the 2019 Independent Guide to the Vanguard Funds today

"America's leading expert on investing in Vanguard funds"

Daniel P. Wiener is editor of The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors, a monthly newsletter that keeps abreast of recent developments at Vanguard, and the annual FFSA Independent Guide to the Vanguard Funds. Through his newsletter and guide book, Dan helps tens of thousands of Vanguard investors choose wisely among more than 100 Vanguard mutual funds. The Adviser is a five-time winner of the Newsletter Publishers Foundation's Editorial Excellence Award. View More »

Vanguard Funds Correlation
What's This?
Model Portfolio Performance
Conservative Growth3.1%10.1%
Growth Index3.7%12.0%
The average
Vanguard investor
Past Performance »