[Editor's note: This version corrects an earlier story that contained an error describing the relationship between the new bond fund and three major index funds.]
Vanguard said Wednesday it was tweaking the asset mix of 20 funds, including several target-date retirement funds, “to further diversify these broad, balanced portfolios” and to incorporate the new Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund, now in registration with the SEC.
The fund giant is adding the international bond index fund to 12 Target Retirement Funds, four LifeStrategy Funds, two Managed Payout Funds and two Variable Insurance Funds will allocate 20% of their fixed-income holdings to the new bond fund.
(The fund giants says the new bond fund will complement the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTI, VTSMX), Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VXUS, VGTSX) and Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Fund (VTBIX).)
“We make changes to our Target Retirement Funds and other funds of funds only after careful analysis and when we’ve identified long-term benefits for investors,” said Vanguard Chief Investment Officer Tim Buckley, in a press release. The moves should “better dampen volatility for pre-retirees and retirees, for whom diversification on the fixed income side matters most.”
In addition, the company says the Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index Fund will replace the Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund in the three Target Retirement Funds that offer exposure to TIPS: the Target Retirement Income, 2010, and 2015 Funds.
The overall strategic asset allocation and glidepath of the Target Retirement Funds will not change, according to Vanguard, and the changes should be wrapped up by June 30.
Vanguard says that only one fund could experience a change in its expense ratio: the LifeStrategy Income Fund, which could experience an estimated one-basis-point increase. (Current expense ratios are 0.16% to 0.18% for the Target Retirement Funds, 0.13% to 0.17% for the LifeStrategy Funds, and 0.34% to 0.46% for the Managed Payout Funds.)
“The addition of hedged international bonds represents a refinement of the funds’ fixed income component, bringing long-term diversification benefits,” the company said in a statement. “An allocation to short-term TIPS provides retirees and pre-retirees with improved inflation protection with less volatility.”