Vanguard's New Venture: Indexing Muni Bonds
Stable market conditions and client demand signal the right time for the firm to launch the first tax-exempt index open-end mutual fund.
In August 2015, Vanguard launched the market's first tax-exempt index open-end mutual fund, Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index (VTEAX), which also features an exchange-traded fund share class, Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond (VTEB).
Muni indexing isn't a new concept for the firm. Vanguard had filed to launch three new muni index funds several years ago, and representatives argue that it had the mechanics in place to successfully track the indexes at that point. However, Vanguard withdrew the request with the Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2011 amid market turbulence and outflows. Volatile market conditions and a surge of outflows didn't augur well for a successful muni index fund launch. More recently, however, muni market conditions have stabilized, with investors having returned anew to muni funds in 2014 and early 2015 amid improving issuer fundamentals and receding headline risk. This should allow a newly launched index fund to build assets more quickly and therefore better track its index.
Elizabeth Foos does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.
Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.
We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.
We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.
How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:
To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.
Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.
To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.
Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.