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Most Recent Articles
September 18, 2014

Voting to Stay or Go

Voters in Scotland today are deciding whether to seek independence from the United Kingdom. The polls are too close to call, and results won't come in until tomorrow, but even if Scotland votes to separate, given its small size, I wouldn't expect this to disrupt the global economy. Whichever way the vote breaks, as Dan and I discussed in last month's issue, trying to trade around geopolitical events can be hazardous to your returns. Read More »

September 10, 2014

Vanguard's Million-Dollar Decision Is the Industry's Billion-Dollar Problem

Vanguard is facing a multi-million dollar decision. Its competitors are facing the same decision, but for them it’s measured in billions. The decision: To allow money fund yields to rise as the Fed begins raising interest rates, or to begin paying themselves back for years of self-imposed fee waivers. You can be sure that fund marketers at Vanguard and elsewhere are debating “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” right now. Read More »

September 2, 2014

Turbulent Times

The world's a mess, but I expect diversified portfolios such as ours, with year-to-date gains of 7.8% to 8.4% and allocations to great managers in the large-cap, mid-cap and health sectors, among others, to continue to provide a good ride through the global turmoil, whether it's geopolitical or market-induced. Let the naysayers and bears keep growling. Last month, I told you that I thought all the chatter about the stock market's imminent demise, having fallen a few percentage points from its mid-July peak, was a bunch of hooey. Well, the S&P 500 index hit multiple new highs in August (Vanguard's 500 Index rose 4.0%), while at the same time, more and more economic data confirms that the U.S. economy is growing nicely, with corporate profits also moving higher.

In this month's issue, Research Director Jeff DeMaso and I have put together a package of items that we hope will address some of the questions at the top of your mind. For instance, with the markets at all-time highs and near-zero interest rates, is cash trash or king? Get my take in this month's Funds Focus: Money Market Funds, along with several potential money market fund alternatives. But before you try to time the market, take a look at the powerful effect compounding can bring when you stick to a long-term investment plan through thick and thin. With little more than time and discipline, you can reach a tipping point when you make more money off your gains than your principal. That said, don't simply set and forget your portfolio. No one cares as much about your money as you do, and you should keep a close eye on your accounts to protect yourself from Vanguard service errors like those one investor told me he had to deal with this year. And while I do think Vanguard's push to consolidate mutual fund accounts into a brokerage umbrella makes sense, some headaches are bound to pop up. The better prepared you are, the easier they will be to deal with. 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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