Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vanguard Lowers Minimum Initial Investment On Target Retirement Funds

Bogle on the cover of Common Sense on Mutual FundsImage via WikipediaVanguard Group Inc. has lowered the minimum initial investment for it's popular Target Retirement Fund series from $3,000 to $1,000, effective immediately. This is great news to the many people who have been held back from investing with Vanguard because of their $3,000 minimums. Previously only the Vanguard Star Fund had a $1,000 minimum.

Also Vanguard is standardizing the minimum investment for all it's Investor Shares funds to $3,000. Before the fund minimums ran from $3,000 to $25,000. This affects the minimums investment for 15 Vanguard funds, including Wellington Fund, Windsor Fund, and the Health Care Fund.

The problem I saw with Vanguard is that if you wanted to create your own balanced Index Fund portfolio with it's mutual funds, you need an initial investment of $3,000 for each fund. My suggested portfolio of Vanguard funds is a good balance for someone my age.

  • Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index 50%
  • Vanguard's Total Bond Index 20%
  • Vanguard's Total International Stock Index 30%

If I started from scratch I would need $9,000 to get started. A $3,000 minimum for each fund. The high minimums hold a lot of people back.

With the new lower minimum of only $1,000 I can buy the Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund and get the same allocation and get started with only $1,000. Vanguard has made real progress with lowering the minimums on it's Target Retirement Funds. Many new and old investors will now not be held back and can now invest with Vanguard.

Here is a list of the funds with $1,000 minimum investments:

Vanguard Target Retirement 2010 Fund (VTENX)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Fund (VTXVX)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2020 Fund (VTWNX)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund (VTTVX)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Fund (VTHRX)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund (VTTHX)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Fund (VFORX)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Fund (VTIVX) 
Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 Fund (VFIFX)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund (VFFVX)

Click Here To Go To Vanguard Target Retirement Funds

These Retirement funds are an easy way for new investors to get started in index mutual funds. Even seasoned investors will love the set it and forget it way Vanguard does the heavy lifting on asset allocation and rebalancing. With expense ratios being critical to a long term investment strategy, Vanguard comes through with expense ratios between 0.16% and 0.19%.

Vanguard, in reducing it's minimums, has improved it's prospects of attracting new investors who used to be unable to meet the higher minimums to start investing. But with a larger number of smaller accounts, it could be setting itself up for higher costs and turnarounds. That's why investors with larger accounts are charged lower fees.

This is the second major change in Vanguard's fee structure. In October, the company reduced fees for customers by lowering investment minimums needed to qualify for its lowest cost Admiral shares of mutual funds. The minimum for Admiral Shares dropped from $100,000 to $10,000.

These kind of changes do not effect your upper level investors. Both these changes by Vanguard are a benefit to the small and beginner investor. These customers are the ones that need this help. I'll be watching Vanguard for further innovative changes in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Glad they are further reducing the ERs. Vanguard is one of my favorite funds


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