From the December 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

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Vanguard is planning to merge the $3.2 billion Vanguard Insured Long-Term Tax-Exempt Fund into the $2.8 billion Vanguard Long-Term Tax-Exempt Fund on December 12, 2008. In conjunction with the planned merger, Vanguard Insured Long-Term Tax-Exempt Fund has closed to new accounts. Reid Smith will remain as portfolio manager for the merged Vanguard Long-Term Tax Exempt Fund. Vanguard also reopened two mutual funds that were long closed to new investors: the International Explorer Fund, which closed in August 2004 and had $1.5 billion in assets as of October 31; and the Precious Metals and Mining Fund, which closed in February 2006 and has $3 billion in assets.

Rydex Investments announced that assets in its Managed Futures Strategy Fund, launched in March 2007, have surpassed the $1 billion mark. As of October 31, 2008, Rydex Managed Futures Strategy Fund H-share class returned 10.53% YTD compared to the S&P 500's -32.84%. The fund allocates 50% to financial futures and 50% to commodity futures.

Direxion announced its entrance into the ETF space with the Direxion Shares 3x Exchange-Traded Funds--a group of leveraged bull and bear index funds that seek 300% of the daily performance, or 300% of the inverse of the daily performance (before fees and expenses), of the four distinct Russell indexes they benchmark.

MassMutual announced the launch of a new national multicultural scholarship program that will offer $60,000 in scholarships and potential internship opportunities in financial services to outstanding college students of color who reside in the Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

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