Mutual fund fees & expenses at a glance
A mutual fund's or exchange-traded fund's (ETF's) annual operating expenses, expressed as a percentage of the fund's average net assets. It's calculated annually and removed from the fund's earnings before they're distributed to investors, directly reducing investors' returns.
An expense ratio includes management, administrative, marketing, and distribution fees. It doesn't include loads or purchase or redemption fees.
A sales fee that's charged when you sell fund shares. Fees can start as high as 5% to 7% but typically decline each year you're invested in the fund, ultimately disappearing after 5 to 10 years.
This may also be referred to as a "contingent deferred sales charge."
A sales fee that's charged when you buy fund shares. Fees can be as high as 8.5% of your purchase amount—which would reduce a $100,000 investment to $91,500.
Vanguard funds with purchase & redemption fees
Purchase fees are charged generally by funds that routinely face higher transaction costs when buying securities for the portfolio.
Redemption fees are charged generally by funds that want to discourage market-timing.
Neither is considered a sales charge or "load" because both are paid directly to the fund to offset higher transaction costs.
There are currently only a few Vanguard funds (each with multiple share classes) that charge one or both of these fees. Each has a corresponding ETF (exchange-traded fund) share class that excludes these fees and can be bought and sold commission-free in your Vanguard account.
|Fund name & ticker||Purchase fee||Redemption fee|
|Emerging Markets Government Bond Index Fund Admiral™ Shares (VGAVX)||0.75%||None|
Emerging Markets Government Bond Index Fund Institutional Shares (VGIVX)
Global ex-U.S. Real Estate Index Fund Admiral Shares (VGRLX)
|Global ex-U.S. Real Estate Index Fund Institutional Shares (VGRNX)||0.25%||0.25%|
Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares (VICSX)
Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund Institutional Shares (VICBX)
International Dividend Appreciation Index Fund Admiral Shares (VIAAX)
International High Dividend Yield Index Fund Admiral Shares (VIHAX)
Long-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund Institutional Shares (VLCIX)
You must buy and sell Vanguard ETF Shares through Vanguard Brokerage Services (we offer them commission-free) or through another broker (which may charge commissions). See the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules for limits. Vanguard ETF Shares are not redeemable directly with the issuing fund other than in very large aggregations worth millions of dollars. ETFs are subject to market volatility. When buying or selling an ETF, you will pay or receive the current market price, which may be more or less than net asset value.
Minimum investment requirements
The following minimums apply to individual and joint accounts, Roth and traditional IRAs, UGMA/UTMA accounts, and most other account types.
- $1,000 for Vanguard Target Retirement Funds and Vanguard STAR® Fund.
- $3,000 for most actively managed Vanguard funds.***
Most Vanguard index funds are now available in lower-cost Admiral Shares.
- $3,000 for most index funds.
- $50,000 for most actively managed funds.
- $100,000 for certain sector-specific index funds.
For more information about Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs, visit Vanguard mutual fund prospectuses or Vanguard ETF prospectuses to obtain a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are contained in the prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing.
*Vanguard average mutual fund expense ratio: 0.10%. Industry average mutual fund expense ratio: 0.55%. All averages are asset-weighted. Industry average excludes Vanguard. Sources: Vanguard and Morningstar, Inc., as of December 31, 2021.
**Commission-free trading of Vanguard ETFs applies to trades placed both online and by phone. Commission-free trading of non-Vanguard ETFs excludes leveraged and inverse ETFs and applies only to trades placed online; most clients will pay a commission to buy or sell non-Vanguard ETFs by phone. Commission-free trading of non-Vanguard ETFs also excludes 401(k) participants using the Self-Directed Brokerage Option; see your plan's current commission schedule. Vanguard Brokerage reserves the right to change the non-Vanguard ETFs included in these offers at any time. All ETFs are subject to management fees and expenses; refer to each ETF's prospectus for more information. Account service fees may also apply. All ETF sales are subject to a securities transaction fee. See the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules for limits.
***Some funds have higher minimums to protect the funds from short-term trading activity. Fund-specific details are provided in each fund profile.
You must buy and sell Vanguard ETF Shares through Vanguard Brokerage Services (we offer them commission-free) or through another broker (which may charge commissions). Vanguard ETF Shares aren't redeemable directly with the issuing fund other than in very large aggregations worth millions of dollars. ETFs are subject to market volatility. When buying or selling an ETF, you'll pay or receive the current market price, which may be more or less than net asset value.
Investments in Target Retirement Funds are subject to the risks of their underlying funds. The year in the fund name refers to the approximate year (the "target date") when an investor in the fund would retire and leave the workforce. The fund will gradually shift its emphasis from more aggressive investments to more conservative ones based on its target date. An investment in a Target Retirement Fund is not guaranteed at any time, including on or after the target date.
All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.