Fast facts about Vanguard

Vanguard facts
Began operations
May 1, 1975
Oldest fund
Wellington Fund (inception: July 1, 1929)
Total assets
About $4 trillion in global assets under management, as of December 31, 2016
Number of funds
About 180 U.S. funds (including variable annuity portfolios) and about 190 additional funds in markets outside the United States, as of January 31, 2017
Number of investors
More than 20 million investors, in about 170 countries, as of December 31, 2016
Average expense ratio
0.12% (U.S. asset-weighted fund expenses as a percentage of 2016 average net assets)
Chairman and CEO
F. William McNabb III
Number of employees (crew)
About 15,000 in the United States and abroad, as of December 31, 2016
Core purpose
To take a stand for all investors, to treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success

Corporate headquarters
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

U.S. mailing address
P.O.Box 2600
Valley Forge, PA 19482

U.S. offices

  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
  • Washington, D.C.

International offices

  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Beijing, China
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • London, England
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Paris, France
  • Shanghai, China
  • Singapore
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Zurich, Switzerland

What others say about us

Here are some of the accolades we've received in recent years:

  • Vanguard's entire suite of U.S. ETFs (except for two newly introduced ETFs) made Forbes’ list of "Best ETFs for Investors in 2017" in 11 of 13 categories (August 2016).1
  • 17 Vanguard funds—the most of any fund family—made the Money 50 list of recommended funds (January 2017).2
  • 10 Vanguard funds were named on Morningstar's "Fantastic 45" list (August 2016).3
  • Morningstar designated 10 Vanguard ETFs gold-rated and 18 more silver-rated, the highest count in each category for any investment firm (November 2016).4
  • Kiplinger's Personal Finance selected six Vanguard ETFs for its "Kiplinger's ETF 20" list (September 2015).5
  • 32 Vanguard funds appeared on Kiplinger's "101 Most Popular Funds for Retirement Savers" list (August 2015).6
  • Morningstar named the advisory teams of Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund and Vanguard Market Neutral Fund to its "Managers of the Year" list in 2016.
  • Risk magazine named Vanguard as Asset Manager of the Year for Risk Management in 2016.
  • Morningstar named The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, sponsored by the State of Nevada, one of its three "gold-rated" 529 Plans out of 63 plans evaluated. The analysis was based on investment choices, management, costs, and state oversight (October 2016).7
  • Fortune included Vanguard on its first "Change the World" list in 2015 for our influence in reducing investment costs.
  • Forbes magazine named Vanguard one of America's Best Employers in 2015.
  • CIO magazine named Vanguard a CIO 100 Award honoree in 2015. The annual award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in IT.
  • For the seventh consecutive year, Computerworld magazine named Vanguard to its list of Best Places to Work in IT in 2015.
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer named Vanguard as one of the Top Workplaces 2015 (for the sixth consecutive year).
  • Vanguard was named to AZ Business Magazine's list of 2015 Arizona's Most Admired Companies.
  • The Arizona Republic named Vanguard one of its Top Companies to Work For in AZ for 2015.
  • Vanguard was honored as one of North Carolina's best employers in 2015 by Business North Carolina magazine.

Note that past performance cannot be used to predict future returns and that fund share prices will fluctuate, so investors could lose money if they sell shares when prices have fallen.

Vanguard ETF Shares are not redeemable with the issuing Fund other than in very large aggregations worth millions of dollars. Instead, investors must buy and sell Vanguard ETF Shares in the secondary market and hold those shares in a brokerage account. In doing so, the investor may incur brokerage commissions and may pay more than net asset value when buying and receive less than net asset value when selling.

1 Based on funds that managed at least $50 million (as of May 2016) and had expense ratios no higher than 0.40%. Funds were scored based on their costs, including trading spreads and securities lending, and on trading volume and bid/ask spreads.
2 Based on a low expense ratio, a strong record for putting shareholder interests first, a consistent investment strategy, experienced and trustworthy managers, and long-term performance.
3 Based on various criteria, including low costs, risk-adjusted performance, and stewardship.
4 The Morningstar Analyst Rating™ is the summary expression of the firm's forward-looking analysis of a fund. Morningstar analyst ratings are assigned globally on a five-tier scale running from gold to negative. The top three ratings, gold, silver, and bronze, all indicate that the analysts think highly of a fund; the difference between them corresponds to differences in the level of analyst conviction in a fund's ability to outperform its benchmark and peers through time within the context of the level of risk taken. The analyst rating does not express a view on a given asset class or peer group; rather, it seeks to evaluate each fund within the context of its objective, an appropriate benchmark, and peer group. For more information on Morningstar's methodology, go to Morningstar Analyst Rating™ for Funds Methodology Document.
5 Based on a low expense ratio, an above-average trading volume, and minimal tracking error.
6 Based on assets under management; as compiled by BrightScope.
7 The Morningstar Analyst Rating® for 529 College-Savings Plans is not a credit or risk rating. The rating is the subjective summary expression of the firm's forward-looking quantitative and qualitative analysis of a 529 college savings plan. Analyst ratings are assigned on a five-tier scale running from gold to negative. The top three ratings (gold, silver, and bronze) indicate that Morningstar's analysts think highly of a 529 plan; the differences correspond to the level of analyst conviction in the ability a plan's investment options have to collectively outperform their respective benchmarks and peers through time, within the context of the level of risk taken. The analyst rating seeks to evaluate each plan's investment options within the context of its objectives, appropriate benchmarks, and peer groups. Usually annually (although subject to change), Morningstar evaluates 529 plans in five different areas—process, performance, price, parent, and people—and assigns an analyst rating for more than 50 529 plans. Gold plans are the analysts' highest-conviction recommendations. By giving a plan a gold rating, Morningstar analysts are expressing an expectation that the plan's investment options collectively will outperform their relevant performance benchmarks and/or peer groups within the context of the level of risk taken over the long term (defined as a full market cycle or at least five years). Plans earning silver or bronze medalist ratings are also viewed positively by Morningstar analysts, have notable advantages, and are likely to outperform their peers. A neutral rating indicates plans that are not likely to deliver standout returns, but are also unlikely to significantly underperform. A negative rating indicates, in Morningstar's view, that a plan's investment options have at least one major flaw likely to significantly hinder future performance. While these ratings can help with the selection process, they should not be the only factor used to choose the investment. For more information about the analyst ratings, as well as other Morningstar ratings and fund rankings, please visit

Quote from Morningstar, May 2013:  “There's reason to trust the firm, which earns an A grade for its culture in Morningstar's Stewardship methodology.” Quote from Harvard Business Review, March 2012: “... if [a Wall Street firm's] senior management and board would like to study a culture that puts clients first, they should hop in a limo and go 110 miles southwest to Valley Forge, Pa.—the home of the Vanguard Group.”