Originally posted August 1, 2016.
Vanguard Dividend Growth Closes to New Investors
No, it is not the end of the world, but if you are a loyal Vanguard investor, as am I, having one of the few dividend-based funds in the world I advise for purchase close is a “Vanguard Crisis” for me as well as for many individual investors.
How is this “Crisis at Vanguard” going to play out for the individual investor?
I have been anticipating this “Crisis at Vanguard” for a long time. And it is going to become a broadening industry crisis, not just a “Crisis at Vanguard.” The handful of big mutual funds suitable for my subscribers and management clients are facing the imminent risk of closing to new investors.
Why is there high risk of closings among the worthy funds available to conservative, retirement-oriented, seasoned investors?
The acceptable funds have simply grown too big. Increasingly, fund managers are finding that the field of securities suitable, given a particular fund’s strategy mandate, is shrinking below a satisfactory level that allows investing options. The well is running dry.
When a well runs dry, there is no more water. In the case of Vanguard Dividend Growth, the day of the dry well has arrived. The flow of suitable securities options for fund managers no longer exists.
I long ago developed a strategy ladder to deal with the “dry well.” My strategy ladder has a two-rung approach.
First: My family management accounts are not super-fund sized. Meaning, I have a multitude of securities options available for all my accounts. My management clients do not suffer from size constraints.
Second: I have the luxury at Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. (sign up here for the Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. client letter, delivered free even to non-clients) of being able to select from a field of securities where market capitalization levels are small enough that any big fund would be excluded from the start. I can stay under the big fund radar and feel no repercussion from big fund closings.
Investing in mutual funds at all could actually become a narrowing process.
On many fronts, the tide for the mutual fund industry is moving out.
I recently was involved in an exclusive interview series in which I explain how investors can transition away from this dying breed of financial beast. The interview series should be available this fall.
For the individual investor, the future is with old-line, conservative investment firms that concentrate on individual securities selection and ongoing family-oriented associations.
Now here is the sad and official release from Vanguard:
Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund is closed to new investors as of July 28, 2016. The fund will remain open to existing investors for additional purchases.
Vanguard has a long history of preemptively restricting cash inflows to maintain funds’ assets at reasonable levels. In addition to the Dividend Growth Fund, other funds that have closed or have restrictions, include Vanguard Capital Opportunity, Vanguard PRIMECAP, and Vanguard PRIMECAP Core funds. Vanguard Convertible Securities Fund and Vanguard Wellington Fund remain closed to most new institutional accounts.
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