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Vanguard to Offer Russell-Based Index Funds and ETFs

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Vanguard introduced seven equity index funds and exchange-traded funds on Wednesday based on Russell domestic stock benchmarks.

According to the Valley Forge, Pa.-based mutual fund behemoth, the new offerings feature ETF and institutional shares, and provide exposure to the value, growth and blend segments of the large-cap Russell 1000 Index and small-cap Russell 2000 Index. A broad market fund and ETF seeking to track the Russell 3000 Index are also being offered.

“Russell benchmarks are well-constructed and well-recognized, and meet Vanguard’s ‘best practice’ standards for index construction. Institutional investors, consultants, financial advisors, and others with a preference for Russell indexes now have low-cost Vanguard optionsto consider,” said Vanguard Chairman and CEO Bill McNabb, in a prepared statement.

The new Vanguard Russell ETFs will have an average expense ratio of 0.16%, which it touts as considerably lower than the 0.23% average expense ratio of competing ETFs, according to Morningstar.

The latest announcement comes soon after Vanguard launched nine ETFs based on S&P benchmarks earlier this month, including ETF Shares of the first mutual index fund for individual investors, the $92 billion Vanguard 500 Index Fund.

Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (ticker: VOO) features an expense ratio of 0.06%, which it claims is the lowest expense ratio for an ETF based on the S&P 500 Index.

In the coming months, Vanguard plans to introduce its first municipal bond index funds. Vanguard will offer three funds, with traditional and exchange-traded shares, tracking benchmarks in the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index series. Vanguard’s new municipal ETFs will feature estimated expense ratios of 0.12%.

Vanguard has also filed for a new real estate fund, which will be benchmarked to the S&PGlobalex-U.S. Property Index. Vanguard Global ex-U.S. Real Estate Index Fund will offer Investor Shares, Institutional Shares, Signal Shares, and ETF Shares.

After the introduction of these products, Vanguard will offer a total of 66 ETFs.