Vanguard's Newest Bond Fund | Adviser Investments

Vanguard’s Newest Bond Fund Takes Active, Global Investing Approach

New Vanguard Global Bond Fund Opening

With a single stroke, Vanguard has doubled its global bond fund offerings from one to two.

The actively managed Vanguard Global Credit Bond fund should open to investors in the coming days. It will go head-to-head with the index-based Vanguard Total World Bond ETF, which began trading just over two months ago in September.

The new fund will be available in the firm’s Admiral (ticker: VGCAX) and Investor (VGCIX) share classes, which charge 0.25% and 0.35% in expenses, respectively. The in-house ETF competition charges just 0.09%, giving Total World Bond ETF an early edge, but the fees on Vanguard Global Credit Bond’s two share classes compare very favorably to those of the global bond fund universe as a whole. According to Morningstar, the average world bond fund charges 0.96% a year, putting Vanguard’s new offering leaps and bounds ahead on the fee front.

Managers Samuel Martinez and Daniel Shaykevich will be investing Global Credit Bond’s portfolio in both corporate and non-corporate bonds (but not government-guaranteed ones) worldwide. Foreign currencies will be hedged back into the dollar (a means of reducing the risk of exchange-rate fluctuations on the portfolio) and the managers also have the ability to put up to 10% of assets into high-yield or “junk” bonds (those rated below “investment-grade”). Vanguard has said that a majority of the portfolio will be invested in the U.S., although we won’t know the exact mix of domestic and international bonds until it begins reporting holdings. As a yardstick, Total World Bond ETF is split 60%/40% between U.S. and foreign bonds.

Martinez and Shaykevich are the same duo that was added to Vanguard’s three actively managed U.S.-focused investment-grade bond funds earlier this year.

The horse race between active and index funds with similar objectives is nothing new within the Vanguard stable, and Vanguard Global Credit Bond and Total World Bond ETF are just the latest entrants. We are not convinced that international bonds diversify a portfolio as effectively as international stocks, but we will be watching with interest to see how these new funds perform relative to one another and the broad bond market.

Vanguard Names Tim Buckley New Chairman

Last week, Vanguard announced that President and CEO Mortimer “Tim” Buckley will assume the chairman position at the beginning of 2019, succeeding Bill McNabb, who is leaving the firm. Buckley will become the fourth chairman in Vanguard’s 43-year history.

“Tim has been a strong, focused leader at Vanguard during times of tremendous company growth, as well as periods of significant market uncertainty,” McNabb said in a press release.

Buckley took over for McNabb as president and CEO on January 1, 2018. Prior to those roles, Buckley had served as chief investment officer at the Malvern, Pa.-based fund colossus since 2013. He has been a member of Vanguard’s senior leadership team since 2001 and joined the firm in 1991 as an assistant to firm founder and then-Chairman Jack Bogle.

McNabb has been with Vanguard since 1986. He rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2008 and was appointed chairman the following year.

This marks a new chapter in Vanguard’s history, but we don’t expect investors to notice many, if any, changes after Buckley assumes the chairmanship on January 1.

New Podcast: What’s Your Number?

We are pleased to announce that the latest episode of The Adviser You Can Talk To podcast is now live and available for on-demand listening.

In this most recent addition to the series, Chairman Dan Wiener and Director of Research Jeff DeMaso discuss a topic that was likely on investors’ minds following the stock market’s volatility and various pullbacks over the last month-plus—at what point do we become uncomfortable with our portfolio’s risk and what should we do about it?

You can download and play back any of the prior episodes by visiting or other popular podcast platforms, including Apple, Google Play, Spotify and iHeartRadio, among others.

We’d love to hear your feedback on this episode and suggestions on topics to cover in the future. Please send your thoughts to—you never know, your idea could be our next podcast!

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