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Vanguard reopened the Strategic Equity Fund and increased its minimum initial investment to $10,000. The firm also lifted the $25,000 annual investment limits on Vanguard Windsor II and Wellington Funds. Furthermore, the Vanguard 529 Plan will reduce expenses across its entire lineup of investment options by 10 to 12 basis points. The results equal a savings of more than $2 million annually for plan participants, marking the third time in two years that Vanguard has reduced the plan’s expenses.

…Two new families of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) trading on the American Stock Exchange have been launched. Rydex introduced nine ETFs based on the S&P Equal Weight Sector Indexes, providing investors with exposure to the consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, basic materials, technology, and utilities sectors. State Street Global Advisors launched a new series of international ETFs, including two Japan-focused funds based upon indexes created by the Russell Investment Group and Nomura Securities.

Franklin Templeton launched a new mutual fund, Templeton Emerging Markets Small Cap Fund. The fund’s mandate requires its managers to invest a minimum of 80% of its net assets in securities of small-cap companies located in emerging market countries. Small-cap companies whose principal securities trading markets are in emerging market countries, or that derive significant revenue or profits from emerging market countries, qualify for investment.

OppenheimerFunds has launched Oppenheimer Rochester Minnesota Municipal Fund, one of eight state-specific municipal bond funds launched by the firm in 2006. Oppenheimer currently offers 15 state-specific funds and three national municipal bond funds.


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