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Share classes of Vanguard mutual funds

Understand the similarities and differences among our 3 mutual fund share classes, including how each helps you keep your costs under control.

What are share classes?

Mutual funds are frequently offered in different share classes. The funds' objectives, management, and underlying investments are identical across all classes. But each class has different expense ratios and minimum initial investment requirements.

What share classes does Vanguard offer?


SHARE CLASS

Investor Shares

MINIMUM INITIAL INVESTMENT

$1,000 for Vanguard Target Retirement Funds and Vanguard STAR® Fund.

$3,000 for most actively managed funds.

Most Vanguard index funds no longer offer Investor Shares to new investors. For the few that do, most have $3,000 minimums.

EXPENSE RATIO*

Range
0.07% to 0.90%**

Average
0.18%


SHARE CLASS

Admiral™ Shares

MINIMUM INITIAL INVESTMENT

$3,000 for most index funds.

$50,000 for most actively managed funds.

$100,000 for certain sector-specific index funds.

EXPENSE RATIO*

Range
0.04% to 0.45%

Average
0.11%


SHARE CLASS

Institutional Shares

MINIMUM INITIAL INVESTMENT

$5 million.†

EXPENSE RATIO*

Range
0.01% to 0.29%**

Average
0.05%

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DO YOU QUALIFY FOR A LOWER-COST SHARE CLASS?

Do you already own Investor Shares and think you qualify for lower-cost Admiral Shares?

UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF COSTS

REFERENCE CONTENT

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Minimum initial investment

The minimum amount of money you need to begin investing in a specific mutual fund.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have no minimum initial investment requirement beyond the price of 1 share.

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Expense ratio

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.