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Vanguard Switches Benchmark, Drops Fee for World Fund

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Vanguard said early Monday that it had changed the target benchmark for its $1.4 billion Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund to the FTSE Global All Cap Index from the FTSE All-World Index. It has also eliminated the fund’s 0.25% purchase fee on investor (VTWSX) and institutional shares (VTWIX).

According to Vanguard, the fund’s new target benchmark offers broader diversification to the fund’s shareholders by adding exposure to U.S. and international small-capitalization stocks. “The fund now offers even broader exposure to the world’s equity markets in a single, low-cost vehicle,” said Vanguard Chief Investment Officer Gus Sauter, in a statement.

The Total World Stock Index Fund, with total returns that are down about 10.5% this year on a trailing-12-month basis according to Morningstar, invests in a broadly diversified sampling of securities from the benchmark, which comprises some 7,400 securities in 47 countries and captures 98% of the world’s investable stock market capitalization. Roughly 56% of the index is made up of stocks from outside the United States.

The FTSE Global All Cap Index is a float-adjusted, market-capitalization-weighted index designed to measure the equity market performance of large-, mid-, and small-cap stocks worldwide.

In addition to dropping the purchase fee for the fund’s shares, Vanguard says it expects the expense ratios to remain at 0.45% for investor Shares, 0.23% for institutional shares, and 0.25% for ETF Shares (VT).

Vanguard also said Monday that it filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund, which will seek to track the investment performance of the broad international bond market as represented by the Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Float Adjusted Index (hedged).