Firm also announces planned changes to Alternative Strategies and Market Neutral Funds
VALLEY FORGE, PA (August 1, 2019)—Vanguard today announced the reopening of the $36.6 billion Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX) to all investors, effective immediately.
Vanguard closed the fund to most new accounts in July 2016, seeking to protect the interests of existing shareholders by reducing cash flow after a period of rapid growth. Cash flow has subsequently subsided and market conditions have changed since the fund’s closing.
“After careful analysis of the fund’s current cash flows and asset level, and following consultation with the fund’s advisor, we’re confident that there is ample capacity to reopen the Fund,” said Matthew Brancato, head of Vanguard’s Portfolio Review Department, who noted that the reopening should not be construed by investors as a “buy signal” for the fund or dividend stocks in general.
Introduced in May 1992, the actively managed Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund is designed to provide investors with some income while offering exposure to dividend-focused companies across all industries. The fund focuses on high-quality companies that have both the ability and the commitment to potentially grow their dividends over time. Reopening the Fund will have no impact on its investment objectives, strategies, and policies, and Wellington Management Company LLP remains the fund’s investment advisor.
Vanguard also announced plans to broaden access for sophisticated investors to two actively managed alternative investment funds, Vanguard Alternative Strategies Fund (VASFX) and Vanguard Market Neutral Fund (VMNFX). The minimum initial investment requirement for retail investors for both funds will be reduced from $250,000 to $50,000, which is the same as the newly launched Vanguard Commodity Strategy Fund (VCMDX). Vanguard’s three alternative investment funds, managed by the firm’s Quantitative Equity Group, will share a standard minimum.
Concurrently, Vanguard Alternative Strategies Fund will be opened to financial advisors, institutional investors, and Vanguard Flagship and Vanguard Personal Advisor Services clients. The fund is currently available only to institutional investors enrolled in Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services and as an underlying holding of Vanguard Managed Payout Fund. These changes will go into effect in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Mr. Brancato noted the importance of responsibly managing access to the alternative investments and their suitability for select investors: “Vanguard’s alternative funds—Alternative Strategies, Market Neutral, and Commodity Strategy—give sophisticated individual investors, advisors, and institutional clients the opportunity for additional diversification, reduced volatility, and better risk-adjusted returns. However, given their complexity, distinctive characteristics, and risks, they are not appropriate for most individual investors and will not be offered to them broadly.”
Vanguard’s quant capabilities
The Quantitative Equity Group (QEG) is Vanguard’s internal active equity manager that oversees 42 mandates with $43.5 billion in assets. The 35-member team of strategists, analysts, and portfolio managers applies risk-controlled, cost-effective processes to multiple strategies, including traditional alpha, factors, liquid alternatives, and managed payout.
QEG has extensive experience with alternative investments. The $1.0 billion Market Neutral Fund was introduced in 1998 and the $316.3 million Alternative Strategies Fund began its incubation period in 2009 before its public launch in 2015. QEG has overseen a commodity strategy since 2008 and manages Vanguard Commodity Strategy Fund, which launched in June 2019.
Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies. As of June 30, 2019, Vanguard managed $5.6 trillion in global assets. The firm, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, offers 417 funds to its more than 20 million investors worldwide. For more information, visit vanguard.com.
For more information about Vanguard funds, visit www.vanguard.com, to obtain a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information about a fund are contained in the prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing.
All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.
Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
The investment strategies to be utilized by Vanguard Alternative Strategies Fund are complex and an investment in the fund may involve greater risk than investing in a traditional portfolio of stocks, bonds, and cash. There is no guarantee that the performance of Vanguard Alternative Strategies Fund will have low correlation with the returns of traditional capital markets. An investment in the fund could lose money over short, intermediate, or even long periods of time. Returns may vary substantially over time, and there is no guarantee that the fund will achieve its investment objective or that any of its investment strategies individually or collectively will succeed. The fund’s strategies involve the use of leverage so its investment program may be considered speculative and is expected to involve considerable risks. The fund could lose money at any time and may underperform the markets in which it invests during any given period, regardless of whether such markets rise or fall.
All figures are as of June 30, 2019, unless otherwise noted.
Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor of the Vanguard Funds.