IN THIS REPORT:
The world is going wild for Vanguard. Super-low fees… and these guys invented the index fund.
There’s just one problem: The vast majority of Vanguard’s clients are making only a THIRD of the profits they could be enjoying.
New money has been flooding into Vanguard’s funds to the tune of $960 billion from investors in the last three years… more than all the other mutual fund companies combined. Most of it goes into index funds.
Most of these index fund investors think they’re doing pretty well. And for the most part, they are. Over the past five years, Vanguard’s popular 500 Index fund has returned an average of 13% per year, while charging 90% LESS in fees than your average mutual fund.
But over that same time period, a tiny fraction of Vanguard’s customers, those who know what my five magic words are, have made better than 15% per year while taking substantially less risk than a daredevil investor who just owned 500 Index.
In fact, compared to the average Vanguard investor, our system has produced TRIPLE the returns since I introduced it in 1991. The people who use it aren’t investing experts–they’re just regular folks who have access to one of the most powerful investing secrets in America today. You can join them, and all you have to do is say five magic words to Vanguard, and they’ll happily switch you to better, higher-performing funds with no hassle and at no extra cost.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself, first.
My name is Dan Wiener.
In 1991, I founded the Fund Family Shareholder Association (FFSA) and its monthly newsletter, The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors.
I’ve since been joined by co-editor Jeff DeMaso, and it’s our mission to know everything there is to know about the Vanguard family of mutual funds: who the fund managers are… what funds they invest in… which funds carry the most risk… which funds charge hidden fees… which ones are officially "closed" but actually are not.
This is all we do.
It’s a full-time job, and, according to our subscribers, we’re pretty good at it.
If you followed our The Independent Adviser Growth Portfolio over the past 27 years, you’d have 226% greater profits than the average Vanguard investor–more than TRIPLE, in other words. (The numbers don’t lie–click here to see for yourself.)
Don’t get me wrong. Vanguard is still the best mutual fund family in the world, bar none. No other fund family comes close to Vanguard in keeping expenses low… hiring experienced fund managers… and offering great fund selection.
But the truth is, it’s now more difficult to invest wisely in Vanguard funds than ever before. In the last 20+ years, the number of Vanguard funds has tripled from 55 to more than 180, with over $5 trillion of investors’ money (including yours and mine) under management.
Vanguard wants to get you into its big index funds like 500 Index and Total Stock Market Index and its "no-brainer" (we say brainless) retirement products like the Target Retirement series. If you’re happy in those funds, feel free to stop reading. But our five magic words are not "SELL ME MORE INDEXES."
Signing up for this Special Report was a smart first step. Telling them these five magic words is a better one:
Active management works…as long as you partner with Vanguard’s best managers.
The best of Vanguard’s actively-managed funds can profit more in market upswings and lose less in market downswings. And when there’s a dip in the overall market, their super-smart stock and bond picks rebound much faster than any index.
I keep a huge proprietary database of managers and their performance. I’ve refined this database and analytical system over several decades.
Plus, we know many of Vanguard’s top-shelf managers personally, and we often pick their brains in depth about what the future holds for the companies, bonds and industries they invest in (I publish exclusive interviews with these superstar managers for your benefit in my research service).
By now, you know where I stand in the active vs. passive debate. And you know I have the proof to back it up. My Growth portfolio, which has more than 75% of its portfolio in active funds, generates more than TRIPLE the returns the average Vanguard investor sees.
My work has been so powerful for investors that prestigious Duke University professors conducted a study that compared the returns of my Growth portfolio versus index funds.
These Duke University professors thought the gains my readers were making were too good to be true…
So, they studied my work, my approach, and our readers’ gains… and then compared them to index funds. Their research concludes:
“The probability that [Dan Wiener’s] Growth Portfolio could have outperformed by such a wide margin because of luck rather than skill is only 13.4%.”
Case closed. This study isn’t widely known, but many investors who read it rushed to sign up for my service. That was eleven years ago. Since then, these investors have made runaway profits, because the gap between my performance and the average Vanguard investor who is mostly in index funds has widened greatly.
Like the average Vanguard investor, every year that you stay with popular but mediocre funds is costing you plenty, my friend. But I’m not writing to you today to tell a sad tale. I want to give you hope.
I’m going to lift your investment returns dramatically. And at the same time, I’m going to cut your risks, slash your unnecessary investment costs and tell you how to get more out of your retirement funds.
Let’s get started.
Here’s a growth fund that’s a "secret" fund, because it is not even a Vanguard fund. But it could be, because it’s practically identical to 3 of Vanguard’s very best funds: Capital Opportunity (closed), PRIMECAP (closed) and PRIMECAP Core (closed). These are the three Vanguard mutual funds run by PRIMECAP Management, a fund company that exemplifies my philosophy of "Buy the manager, not the fund."
This fund’s minimum is just $2,000. The name of the fund is PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth, ticker POGRX. And this PRIMECAP Fund "knock-off" goes after appreciation by investing in common stocks of companies expected to show rapid earnings growth.
You wouldn’t mind seeing some rapid earnings growth right about now, am I right? But if you can’t get into the Vanguard funds, then buy into PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth for just $2,000.
Though the two funds are similar in number of holdings and share a number of positions, the Odyssey fund gets the performance nod over PRIMECAP since POGRX’s November 2004 inception, in spite of PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth’s higher expense ratio (0.66% compared to PRIMECAP’s 0.39%). This has a lot to do with the massive size of the Vanguard fund, which, at more than $60 billion in assets, is almost 5 times the size of the Odyssey fund. Owning, say, an Odyssey-sized 2.4% position in Alkermes plc, for example, would require PRIMECAP to own over 20% of the entire company–something the fund simply can’t do. Or consider Nektar. With a market cap of around $10 billion, Odyssey Growth’s modest position in its portfolio would translate into a PRIMECAP fund position that would suck up one-sixth of the company’s stock. Not possible!
I feel so strongly that this fund is going to be a long-term winner because I believe in its managers. The PRIMECAP team has made a fortune for my subscribers and for me personally. I have been a long-term holder of both their PRIMECAP and Capital Opportunity funds.
But those funds are growing awfully large to be able to continue to outperform their benchmarks.
So I’m recommending PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth to my readers today. You get the same outstanding management team as in the Vanguard fund, but with a lower minimum and a smaller asset base.
How about that? One of the best ideas for Vanguard investors is a non-Vanguard fund! That’s the kind of independent thinking you’ll find in every issue of The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors.
Another one of my favorite Vanguard growth funds is International Growth.
International Growth has consistently outperformed the EAFE Growth index for almost the last two decades. Of course, that’s not saying much, right? Haven’t U.S. stocks crushed foreign stocks in the performance game over that time? Sure–and after 2016, it looked like they always would, and we expected to hear about a “lost decade” in foreign stock markets. But then 2017 happened, and foreign funds, especially International Growth, exploded out of the starting gate. International Growth quickly took the lead, and it finished the year with the best 2017 performance among Vanguard funds.
The fund has three managers, with Baillie Gifford handling around 50% of the fund’s assets, Schroder Investment Management handling about a third, and M&G Investment Management handling the rest, with some money held in cash by Vanguard. What’s encouraging about this trio is that the portfolio hasn’t blossomed to hold hundreds of stocks–it currently has about 120 or so, and the top 10 represent around 30% of assets. A reallocation of assets may have helped the fund, and I’m always happy when having three managers doesn’t mean having 500 stocks. With growth stocks presenting some decent opportunities, this fund is a good option as a core foreign holding.
The managers have gone against the grain a bit, adding to companies in emerging markets when prices there tumbled. That kind of contrarian thinking should make the fund a long-term winner.
In the current global turmoil, larger companies may sail a slightly more stable course. This fund should do a good job of staying on an even keel, though, like most other funds, it took a drubbing in the latest market downturn.
This "income" fund is so good, it found its way into our Growth, Conservative Growth and Income Model Portfolios.
Wellington value manager Donald Kilbride took over Dividend Growth in early 2006, and returns jumped from 4.2% the year before to 19.6% in 2006—with most of that coming in the second half after Kilbride took over. While it lagged a bit in 2012 and 2014, the fund has produced a better total return than both the market and Vanguard’s other dividend-focused funds since Kilbride took over.
Kilbride looks for companies that produce a steady and growing stream of dividends. He finds companies that have both the ability to pay and the willingness to pay… with an eye toward increasing their dividends over time.
Under the fund’s previous manager, companies that might not offer dividends were included. Not anymore. Kilbride only buys stocks that actually pay dividends, and stays focused on the largest companies, so you know they have the stability and financial strength to protect those dividends.
Late in July of 2016, however, Vanguard closed Dividend Growth to all new investors. If you already own the fund, you can continue to add money to it without restriction. With just over $33 billion in assets, it’s the fourth largest actively managed stock fund at Vanguard (behind Health Care, PRIMECAP and Windsor II), so it was probably only a matter of time before Vanguard closed the fund. Closing Dividend Growth will keep assets from ballooning out of control, so Kilbride can continue his index-beating ways.
If you’re catching on to our "buy the manager" strategy by now, you probably won’t be surprised to know that we don’t try to guess which sectors will do best. We prefer to pick the best managers possible, and let them decide the right time to enter and exit specific sectors.
There is one sector, though, that we think every investor should be invested in. It’s health care.
Health care stocks lagged the market in 2016 and 2017. Is the age of health care outperformance over? We don’t think so. As the Baby Boomers continue to age (a phenomenon we like to call Demograyphics), innovations in medicine continue to pour out of biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device firms, and emerging market consumers start to demand higher standards of medical treatment, the tailwinds for the health care industry should pick up. Even the Affordable Care Act, which many thought would be repealed a year ago, is still standing–and at the moment it looks like any successful replacement that might emerge from GOP lawmakers could continue to bolster health insurance enrollment rates.
My favorite health care fund is Vanguard Health Care, a long-term winner that is still in fine form. As for risk, the fund’s -33.2% maximum cumulative loss (MCL)–far lower than 500 Index’s -51%–was fully recovered by 2010’s end. Only a handful of funds can claim the same speedy rebound. (500 Index took 42 months to recover.)
Plain and simple, when times get tough, health care companies can still grow their revenues and earnings like few other industries, as they did to recover from the 2008 bear market. I love health care as an investment, and so should you. From when we bought the fund on the last day of 1994 through 2017, we’ve earned a mind-boggling 2440% return, far outpacing the stock market’s 786%.
Health Care is open to new investors for now, but it’s been closed to new investors for long periods in the past, denying you access to the finest managers–sector or otherwise–in the whole investing world.
Manager Jean Hynes, designated successor to the legendary Ed Owens (who retired in 2012) leads a team at Wellington Management that are well-drilled in the disciplined, value-oriented strategy that has made Health Care such a winning investment. I remain confident in Hynes and continue to recommend the fund as a core, long-term holding.
Get in now. You won’t be sorry. This stellar fund has been in my portfolio for over 23 years. I think it’s safe to say that as long as the current management team is in place, I’ll be an owner.
Even if you had a complete list of all Vanguard funds spread out right in front of you, I doubt you’d pick this one as a great cash fund. The name of the fund would certainly throw you off.
I’ll give you the fund’s name and all the details in a brand-new special publication titled "Award Winners: Action Plan for Vanguard Investors" when you sign up today for $34.95.
But I will tell you… This stash-your-cash fund is actually a bond fund. But I advised my members to use it as a money market fund because it paid off with 14% gains in 2009.
Here’s what created this special situation:
In 2008, any bond fund that didn’t have “Treasury Guaranteed” stamped on it (this one doesn’t) was fodder for selling, thanks to the collapse of the lending industry. But by the end of 2008, just one month after hitting its trough month, this fund had already recovered significantly.
The fund invests at least 80% of its assets in investment grade or better short-term and intermediate-term bonds. It can also hold a maximum of 30% medium-quality investments and 5% unrated issues. And as money market yields remain almost nonexistent, this fund is still a great place for your longer-term cash.
Of course, long-term corporate funds often outperform short ones.
This raises the question, naturally, about why we don’t simply recommend a longer-term fund and earn a higher yield. In a word, it’s risk. This short-term fund is used to buffer the equity market risk of all our other funds.
How is the fund safe? Because the fund manager is a master at controlling risk while still capturing a high yield, and he’s doing his usual great job.
My exclusive risk analysis, known as Maximum Cumulative Loss (MCL), shows this fund is about 6 times safer than 500 Index. (The smaller the number, the safer the fund.)
500 Index: MCL Risk Index = -51%
Secret Cash Fund: MCL Risk Index = -7.6%
MCL is a measure of risk, one Vanguard will never give you. It tells you how much a fund lost in its absolute worst time period in the past. This secret fund’s MCL is so low because the manager uses his decades of experience to capture the high returns and low risk you’ve always wanted.
In fact, your exclusive report could be exactly what you’ve always wanted. You just didn’t know it existed until now.
By the way, my top pick for cash gives you all the same liquidity advantages of a money market, with much greater return.
Join us and give us the chance to make good on my promise to boost your Vanguard profits 226%.
Membership has a price tag, of course… about 30¢ a day. Cheap enough, but is it worth it?
If you have more than $7,500 invested with Vanguard, I’d say yes, membership will pay off
But I don’t want you to make a mistake. So, you can try the service without putting a penny of your own money at risk.
Now, what if you’re an index investor, uninterested in my five magic words? That’s okay. I’ve got you covered, too.
When you sign up for The Independent Adviser today you’ll get full access to our Growth Index Model Portfolio, and learn all about our seven hand-picked high-powered funds for only $34.95 for 3 months, plus 3 free months.
Vanguard has hundreds of funds and a stable of 77 ETFs covering large caps, mid-caps, small-caps, bonds, REITs, emerging markets, you name it. And more could be coming at any time.
The list below shows you when Vanguard’s 77 ETFs were launched. Some years only bring one or two new ETFs. Others bring a flood. How many investors can keep up with that?
2001 – 2 ETFs launched by Vanguard
2004 – 18 new Vanguard ETFs
2005 – 3 new Vanguard ETFs
2006 – 4 new Vanguard ETFs
2007 – 10 new Vanguard ETFs
2008 – 1 new Vanguard ETF
2009 – 8 new Vanguard ETFs
2010 – 17 new Vanguard ETFs
2011 – 1 new Vanguard ETF
2012 – 1 new Vanguard ETF
2013 – 2 new Vanguard ETFs
2015 – 1 new Vanguard ETF
2016 – 2 new Vanguard ETFs
2017 – 1 new Vanguard ETF
2018 – 6 new Vanguard ETF
As the ETF lineup has grown, it’s become more confusing than ever for Vanguard investors.
The reason: Vanguard’s in an ETF war with BlackRock’s iShares. Both giants want you to invest in ETFs—their ETFs.
But here’s the rub: Vanguard hides many of their best ETFs from individual investors.
You’d think Vanguard would be bombarding you with email promotions, but instead their website makes it tough to identify the best, even if you’re a hardcore index investor
When you try to view ETFs at Vanguard’s personal investors website, you won’t see all of them. You need to change the filter options to show "Other indexes" to see the rest. And when you do find, say, the S&P MidCap 400 ETF, Vanguard suggests you look at MidCap ETF because it “tracks the same market segment at a lower cost”. What chance do you have investing with Vanguard on your own when they don’t tell you what you really want to know?
The Vanguard S&P ETF I recommend is a new, hard-to-find ETF—and it’s beaten the original standby S&P ETF (SPY) since inception.
This same large-cap ETF has also beaten Vanguard’s Value ETF.
I mention this now not to brag but to illustrate how easy it is for you or any investor interested in large-cap indexing to choose the wrong index fund or ETF. Same holds true choosing small-cap and mid-cap ETFs, too.
And with a rush of new investment choices headed your way, it’s going to be a lot tougher for individual investors to avoid mistakes.
Vanguard won’t tell you the straight story on its funds, but I will. And all I ask is that you give me chance to make good on that promise.
In November 2009, Vanguard introduced seven bond ETFs in what I saw as an attempt to wrest control of the bond ETF market away from iShares. The funds track seven Barclays Capital bond indexes and cover approximately 92% of the entire Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index tracked by Vanguard’s Total Bond Market fund.
Of course, what goes without saying is that some of these funds, particularly those with longer maturities, may languish as interest rates continue to rise.
When Vanguard introduced its original three sector bond index funds—Short-Term Bond Index, Intermediate-Term Bond Index, and Long-Term Bond Index—in March 1994, the Fed had just begun to raise interest rates, doubling the fed funds rate from 3.00% in February 1994 to 6.00% in February 1995. Falling bond prices were a headwind and Long-Term Bond Index struggled to build assets. It wasn’t until 2004 when the long-term fund saw assets break the billion-dollar mark.
So now, with multiple bond ETFs of every maturity at Vanguard, how do you know which ones are safe?
Take Short-Term Treasury ETF (VGSH) for instance. As of just a few months ago, it samples an index of ultra-safe Treasury securities backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.
Or what about Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index? It aims to track the Barclays U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities 0-5 Year Index.
Vanguard’s not going to tell you that one of its funds is worse than another–but I will. And neither of those ETFs makes it into our Growth Index Model Portfolio.
My pick instead is Short-Term Corporate ETF (VCSH). This ETF’s mandate allows it to choose among a wide array of investment-grade corporate bond issues, derivatives, and even Vanguard money market funds. Compared to Short-Term Investment-Grade, Short-Term Corporate ETF (VCSH) can own bonds in an expanded maturity range (one to five years, versus the one- to four-year range the managed fund is held to). Looking at this fund’s benchmark performance over the last decade, that longer maturity has translated to a bit of outperformance over Short-Term Investment Grade, but at the price of higher volatility.
If you’re looking for a way to invest in higher-yielding, short-maturity corporate bonds, Short-Term Corporate ETF is the best option in Vanguard’s ETF stable. And it pays a heck of a lot better than cash.
Vanguard leaves you completely on your own when it comes to your critical buying and selling decisions, making each edition of The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors all the more valuable.
Vanguard will never tell you when it’s time to load up on mid-caps, or small-caps, or growth or value stocks. They’ll never tell you when it’s time to dump a fund, no matter how much money you might be losing.
And they’ll never tell you how to build a market-beating index portfolio using ETFs. But I will!
Full access to the Growth Index Model and the full list of hand-picked funds is just a click away! Sign up for The Independent Adviser today for $34.95 and get the full list of ETFs I love.
You’ve read this far, so you’re already a better-informed Vanguard investor. But there’s more you must know as soon as possible, which is why I'm inviting you to try my exclusive service today.
I want to welcome you to my Vanguard advisory service, called The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors.
Our GROWTH Portfolio UP 2,110%
The "magic words" portfolio! The engines that power this rocket are the very best ACTIVELY-MANAGED stock funds Vanguard won't volunteer to tell you about. Our high-flying Growth portfolio consistently beats the 500 Index by a wide margin, but amazingly is lower risk. This portfolio gives you excellent asset growth, wide diversification, low fees and even a nice amount of dividend income. THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD INVEST IN IF YOU WANT TRIPLE THE PROFITS OF THE AVERAGE VANGUARD INVESTOR. That's our track record since 1991!
Conservative GROWTH Portfolio UP 1,379%
A great selection of funds if you want to beat the overall market, but with much lower risk than, for instance, Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index. Excellent diversification and good monthly income.
INCOME Portfolio UP 904%
The perfect mix of funds if you desire a high level of monthly income AND excellent potential for capital growth. Our Income Portfolio regularly outperforms the Total Bond Market Index.
GROWTH INDEX UP 801%
Our Growth Index portfolio is ideal if you want to focus on the super-low fees of Vanguard index funds. We only select Vanguard's very best ETFs, which give you several advantages vs. traditional index mutual funds.
Note: portfolio performance figures are since inception.
Unlike some folks in the financial industry, I eat my own cooking.
My personal fortune is invested in the SAME Vanguard funds I recommend to members of my advisory service.
My interests are aligned with my members down to the last penny. Believe or not, this approach is uncommon in the investing industry.
Many supposed financial “experts” you read about in magazines or on free websites are essentially journalists with no professional investing experience and not much money of their own on the line. They produce their work by reading Internet articles and blog posts.
If these guys get a call wrong, it’s no skin off their back. They still cash their paychecks, move on to the next story, and keep their track records hidden.
I’m not interested in doing business that way—ever.
My investment guidance has allowed my members to earn returns that crush the market averages. But nobody’s perfect. When I do occasionally get a call wrong, I feel it in my own pocketbook as well as my ego.
When you profit, so do I—that's another reason I always go the extra mile with my research. And my track record is right there for anyone to inspect… I'm very proud of it!
I think that’s just the right way to do business.
A lot of people say "I'll just invest in index funds." Don't fall into this trap. As I've proven, you can make A LOT more money if you own Vanguard's very best actively-managed funds.
All you need to do is call Vanguard today and say the five magic words, "Switch to ACTIVELY-MANAGED funds."
As soon as you try out a no-obligation subscription to my Independent Adviser service, I'll tell you exactly which few are the very best actively-managed funds.
I'll also tell you all about the small handful of index funds—out of over 100 at Vanguard—that are actually worth owning. Ditch the rest and thank me later!
You'll be on your way to much more money in both your retirement and taxable accounts. Stick with my advice, and you'll be able to retire earlier, and you'll have greater security and peace of mind—advantages that come with a higher level of wealth.
And take advantage of the current special introductory offer: you can test-drive my complete service for just $34.95 for three months and get another three months absolutely FREE. This is a great offer and savings, but it won't last!
Click here and start growing your Vanguard investments faster today. You'll also lower your investment risk level at the same time.
Wishing you a safe & profitable investing future,
Daniel P. Wiener
Editor, The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors
Remember the five magic words for greater wealth? This guide goes into depth about Vanguard’s very best actively-managed funds, most likely to deliver handsome profits this year and beyond… and you'll be warned in advance about Vanguard funds likely to FAIL—shockingly, some of Vanguard’s most popular index funds and ETFs are set to fall off a cliff!
Your comprehensive guide (60 pages) to the secrets of fund investing: How to maximize the monthly income you make from your investments, especially tax-free income. How to make money in volatile and "down" markets. Professional tips for a building a larger 401(k). Back door ways to get into a closed fund. How to avoid paying unnecessary taxes. How to know if "false diversification" has turned your portfolio into a ticking time bomb. And many more alerts so you avoid stepping on investing land mines… and much more advice that can add hundreds of thousands—even millions to your portfolio!
The key to making money consistently with index funds is knowing which FEW are the best and which you should absolutely avoid… including many of Vanguard’s largest and most popular index funds. This Wealth Guide reveals the secrets to profitable index fund investing, including how to know if the mutual fund or the ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is the superior investment.
Everything you need to know to increase your wealth as interest rates continue to rise. You'll be surprised by which Vanguard funds are the most bullet-proof and which market sectors you MUST avoid starting right now before the next meeting of the Federal Reserve.
Your portfolio will grow MUCH faster with The Independent Adviser, or it’s FREE.
That’s correct. Please try our Independent Adviser service with no obligation at all.
You will immediately see what’s in my four model portfolios, which are making up to THREE TIMES as much profit as the average Vanguard investor enjoys.
I urge you to compare the funds we recommend—especially our "magic words" actively-managed funds—to the funds you own, as soon as possible! Don't settle for plain-vanilla index fund returns.
Plus, you’ll instantly get a wealth of tips and advice that can dramatically improve your investment profits and income, LOWER YOUR INVESTING RISK and save you a bundle in investing mistakes.
If you change your mind for ANY REASON within 30 days, you’ll promptly get a full refund. PLUS, you can keep all the Wealth Guides worth up to $109.80, free of charge.
I’m that confident you’ll be very pleased with our Independent Adviser service.
If you ever have any questions about your subscription: Just call Customer Service anytime Monday-Friday from 9 am to 7 pm ET. 1-800-383-0362. Easy as that!
Daniel P. Wiener
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