Most Powerful Funds

By: Dan Wiener
Editor, The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors

Fellow Investor,

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.

It’s my life’s work to know everything there is to know about the Vanguard family of mutual funds: who the fund managers are… what the funds invest in… which funds carry the most risk… which funds charge hidden fees… which ones are officially “closed” but actually are not.

I, along with co-editor and Director of Research Jeff DeMaso, devote an enormous amount of time focusing solely on Vanguard and its funds… not to mention identifying the very best funds available to bring our readers stellar results.

It’s a full-time job, and according to our subscribers, we’re pretty good at it.

If had you followed our Independent Adviser Growth Portfolio over the past 29 years, you’d have 235% greater profits today than the average Vanguard investor–more than TRIPLE. (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 past 20+ years, the number of Vanguard funds has gone from 55 to more than 190, with around $5 trillion of investors’ money (including yours and mine) under management.

What’s more, Vanguard “outsources” the management of many of its funds, so navigating the Vanguard waters can be hazardous. Some of its funds are disasters waiting to happen. Others are just plain old-fashioned ripoffs.

Knowing which fund to choose (and which to avoid) requires investors to really dig out the facts hidden beneath the hype.

Vanguard management isn’t going to tell you the truth. Like any company, it accentuates the positive… and buries the negative in a hole so deep it hopes you’ll NEVER find it.

Just the Facts

It might seem we’re bragging a bit. But we’re just giving the facts. The same $100,000 that the average Vanguard investor started with grew to $839,037 compared with the $2,574,096 that investors who followed my advice would have.

We (my subscribers and I) did it all with Vanguard funds. Yes, a profit of $2,474,096 on your initial investment. That’s $1,735,059 more profit than Vanguard’s average investor. Staggering. And sad, because the facts show that the average Vanguard investor, and you might be one of them, is missing out on an average of $59,830 in profits each year.

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.

The growth fund you’ve always
wanted to own but couldn’t

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).

But this fund’s minimum is just $2,000. The name of the fund is PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth. 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 (0.65% compared to PRIMECAP’s 0.38%). This has a lot to do with the massive size of the Vanguard fund, which, at $69.1 billion in assets, is more than 5 times the size of the Odyssey fund.

Owning, say, an Odyssey-sized 3.80% position in Seattle Genetics, for example, would require PRIMECAP to own over 20% of the entire company—something the fund simply can’t do.

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 two managers, with Baillie Gifford handling around 60% of the fund’s assets and Schroder Investment Management handling about 40%. In 2020, what’s encouraging about this duo is that the portfolio hasn’t blossomed to hold hundreds of stocks—it currently has 125, and the top 10 represent around 35% 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, through the end of 2019 the fund has produced a better total return than both the market and Vanguard’s other dividend-focused funds.

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.

Join Risk Free Today

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.

Vanguard closed Dividend Growth to all new investors in July 2016 before reopening the fund on Aug. 1, 2019. Now’s your chance if you’re not invested yet.

With a dedicated manager whose own money is invested alongside shareholders while pursuing a disciplined investment approach, there is a lot to like about Dividend Growth. This doesn’t mean the fund will outperform all the time. If the markets go significantly higher in a quick spurt, this fund will lag.

Dividend Growth is for long-term investors. Vanguard is running a horse race between this fund and Dividend Appreciation Index. Our money (literally) is on Kilbride.

Discover my top alternative fund in Vanguard’s stable by signing up and reading the latest issue of The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors.


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. Health Care is the ONLY Vanguard sector fund I’ve recommended for years now.

The rest of Vanguard’s sector funds—for example, Energy and Real Estate Index—are too risky, too volatile, and take away rather than add diversification to your portfolio.

Health Care is the only Vanguard sector fund that will keep you on track to become a Vanguard millionaire or multi-millionaire. This fund is low risk with consistent market-beating performance. Just look at these numbers:

Health Care posted an annualized return of 8.8% for the last five years (including the bludgeoning the whole health care industry took in 2016), and 14.3% for the last 10 years. That’s a compounded total return of over 282% in just 10 years.

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, 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.)

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 24 years. I think it’s safe to say that as long as the current management team is in place, I’ll be an owner.

You’d Never Find This 
Vanguard Fund on Your Own

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 “Vanguard’s Best & Worst Funds” when you sign up today.

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 that 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 235%.

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
for you.

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? That’s ok. 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!

Growth Funds for Index Investors

You might think it’s not fair, but the key to getting the best from Vanguard is acting on information Vanguard won’t tell you.

Take ETFs, for example. Vanguard’s in an ETF war with BlackRock’s iShares, but Vanguard keeps you away from some of its best ETFs by making it difficult to find its best.

And how about Vanguard’s closed funds? Seems the hottest funds always slam the doors shut or raise minimums beyond reach, yet Vanguard often offers “clones” of closed funds that are even better.

What about diversifying? Isn’t that one of the hallmarks of mutual fund investing? Sure, Vanguard offers you a terrific menu of funds. Yet ordinary investors are robbed of diversification. How so? It’s because Vanguard makes it easy for them to double or even triple their exposure to the same stocks or sectors.

Please, let me know you’re done being average. Let me know you want to act on information Vanguard won’t tell you. The moment you do, you’ll never invest with Vanguard the same way again.

Vanguard has hundreds of funds and a stable of 80 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 80 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 — 9 new Vanguard ETFs
2019 — No new Vanguard ETFs

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.

When you try to view ETFs at Vanguards’ 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?

A “better index?”

The Vanguard S&P ETF I recommend is a 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.

Income ETFs

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, which 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 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, the 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.

You’re not alone anymore

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 do!

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 and get the full list of ETFs I love.

Discover what Vanguard
won’t tell you and you win!

See for yourself.

Members more than triple their profits over ordinary Vanguard investors because I tell them what Vanguard won’t.

The time to join us is today, right now—so you stay out of the losing funds… avoid the not-so-hot managers… keep your money growing at a pace that can set you up for life.

Sign Up Today!

As it stands now, billions of dollars are wasting away in Vanguard funds that don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever fulfilling their promises. You might own a few yourself. Ever wonder why?

All those doomed dollars makes me wonder why any investor would put money in Vanguard’s worst funds. But, sad to say, people do just that.

Not knowing any better, investors are gobbling up sub-par ETFs as well as doomed mutual funds. It’s almost criminal, but there’s no law against what Vanguard’s doing, or not doing.

Join Us and Get Our Special

You risk nothing. There’s no risk to you! All risk remains on my shoulders, not yours. And everything’s in writing.

Your money-back guarantee: Every penny will be returned to you in full if you’re not 100% thrilled within the first 30 days of service. All the bonus gifts are yours to keep FREE!

I’m promising you’ll become a savvier, more confident investor with the knowledge you need to improve your Vanguard returns with lower-than-market risk.

You’ll Also Receive 3 Bonus Gifts
Reserved in Your Name–ALL FREE!

Yours FreeBONUS GIFT #1:
Personalized Vanguard Investing
Whether your goal is pure growth, high income or safe growth with income, you’ll get the specific guidance you need to prosper and beat the market averages by as much as 235% in this Special Report! If you’re without a plan, unsure of what to do next, you must read this report FIRST. It spells out exactly what strategy is best for you based on your goals, risk tolerance and current holdings.

Yours FreeBONUS GIFT #2:
Vanguard’s Best & Worst Funds
With so many mutual fund choices available to investors, picking the best ones for your portfolio isn’t always easy. Vanguard offers more than 190 funds in its family alone. But not all funds are right for every investor. Not only do you need to choose the right funds to diversify and balance your portfolio, you also need to choose the right funds at the right time to help maximize your profits. The funds in my Special Report are the ‘best of the best’ funds at Vanguard, and I urge you to consider them for long-term growth.

Yours FreeBONUS GIFT #3:
Vanguard’s Secret Fiasco: 25 Toxic Funds to Sell Now
You cannot triple your profits when you’re holding funds that are laggards or downright losers. Vanguard has a host of funds that do not belong in your portfolio. This report lists 25 of them, and gives you better choices for your money. Of all the gifts ready to be sent to you, you might want to check out this one first! To make it easy for you to steer clear of bad funds immediately, you get this report online seconds after you order.

All three gifts are, as I said, already reserved in your name. And because they are gifts from me to you, they are yours to keep free no matter what… just to see if membership is right for you.

If you find you don’t like belonging, no problem. Keep all the gifts. But if you like belonging, as I’m sure you will, then you’ll have gifts coming to you throughout 2020 in the form of bigger, safer Vanguard profits!

For the next 24 hours, I’ve talked my publisher into granting you access to The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors for the ultra-low price of $34.95 for a quarterly subscription and to sweeten the deal even more I’m throwing in an additional 3 months FREE to entice you to join us today.

That’s right…you’ll receive 6 months for only $34.95 (100% fully guaranteed, of course)!

There’s Only One Way to
Stay a Step Ahead of Vanguard

Join Vanguard today and get the private advisory they follow, The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors. Your monthly issues will give you:



3 Free Months When
You Join Today!

And when you consider my promise to double your Vanguard profits, well, history shows I’ll fulfill that promise. In fact, if you have a $100,000 portfolio, membership will give you…

$59,830 in EXTRA Vanguard
Profits Each Year!

Members of The Independent Adviser following my advice have made $59,830 a year more than the average Vanguard investor — $59,830 that would not be theirs if not for their memberships — that’s $59,830 a year in free money.

You risk nothing along the way!

All your money will be returned to you if you’re not happy with your decision to join us. Even if, months from now, you decide that membership is not right for you, no problem. You’ll still get your money back and all the gifts you receive are yours to keep free.

We’re ready right now to get your gifts out to you. So please, may I have your permission to release your special reports to you today?


Signed: Daniel P. Wiener
Dan Wiener and Jeff DeMaso
Editors, The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors