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Most Recent Articles
December 18, 2014

To Cuba (and Russia and North Korea) With Love

It was steady as she goes in Washington. All eyes and ears were on yesterday's Fed statement and press conference, and Janet Yellen didn't disappoint. First off, with the Wall Street Journal having floated a trial balloon a week or so ago about whether the Fed would drop the 'considerable time' language when referring to the timing of its first rate hike, it was fascinating to see how the Fed massaged that one. It introduced the word 'patient,' as in, 'the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize' interest rates. Then it went on to say that this was consistent with previous statements that it would continue to hold the fed funds rate at 0% to 0.25% for a 'considerable time.' Read More »

December 4, 2014

Zero Down Sale on Market Neutral

Now, I don't want you jumping for the keyboard and logging into to trade into this one, but Vanguard has lowered the minimum on its Market Neutral fund to $0. Yes, that's right, $0. But that's only for investors working with financial advisers because, as Vanguard puts it, 'given the distinctive characteristics of the fund … [it's] not appropriate for retail investors broadly.' Hence the $250,000 minimum remains in place for them. Read More »

December 1, 2014

Lo to No Volatility

If there's one thing I got wrong this year, it was my sense that stock investors were headed for increasing volatility after years of calm. Consider November: The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit no fewer than 12 all-time highs in just 19 trading days (the S&P 500 index did the same). But those highs came on slimmer and slimmer gains. On all but three days, the Dow gained 0.23% or less to reach a new peak. Heck, on the final day of the month the Dow hit a high on just a 0.49-point rise. This doesn't mean the market is necessarily topping out, but it could be interpreted to mean that it isn't wild-eyed optimists driving the indexes higher and higher.

Speaking of optimism, I have high hopes for a strong year with the October Hot Hands strategy. As you may remember, Jeff and I announced the official October Hot Hands fund last month. This month, we'll provide a more in-depth explanation for those of you who aren't familiar with the momentum-based strategy. Also this month, I've got several stories to answer your questions about why we invest with Vanguard's best active managers–and diversify with both foreign stocks and bonds–in spite of periods of underperformance. Finally, I've got updates both on estimated year-end distributions (the most unpleasant surprise: U.S. Growth) and the suspected phishing letters some Vanguard investors received (Vanguard says they were triggered by a 'legacy issue' with Pershing, not a scammer). Read More »

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"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 »

Model Portfolio Performance
Models May YTD
Growth 2.0% 16.0%
Conservative Growth 1.6% 14.4%
Income 0.2% 9.1%
Growth Index 1.6% 14.4%
The average
Vanguard investor
0.1% 7.2%
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