Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors, The

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Barry Northrop
Barry Northrop
February 1, 2009 5:37 pm

I have subscibed off and on to this newsletter for the past five years. I initially subscribed because Vanguard was the first mutual fund family in which I invested substantially and I wanted more independent analysis, which this newsletter delivers. While the editor, Dan Weiner, is a dedicated fan of Vanguard for its many positive attributes (he is a big investor there), he does not hesitate to offer opinions that are critical of this Valley Forge, PA giant. He does so backed with well researched data to make his point. The monthly newsletter is generally 16 pages long and includes month-do-date performance that include his buy/sell recommendations and a proprietary risk factor, 4 model portfolios, interviews with Vanguard fund managers, timely news, and in depth coverage on a handful of funds each issue. There is definitely information and backstory here that you will never read on Vanguard’s site or in its publications. In addition to bottom-up fund-specific details, Weiner also offers his own top-down economic big-picture view which is generally sanguine if not somewhat calming. He is not given to panic, but does make changes and recommendations from time to time based on fund/company management and to a lesser extent, outside economic forces. Far more Vanguard funds are on his sell list than his buy list, so he stands by his opinions, which is what you want in a newsletter editor. Maybe 50% of what I own in Vanguard is on his buy list, and the rest isn’t, so I have relied on him as an additional source of information, as opposed to a guru. And in many cases, I have been happy with my “outside the box” picks. If you’re looking for independent sound recommendations on how to build a fairly stable long-term investment with Vanguard funds among their better choices, this is a good newsletter–at least for a year while you get a sense of its style and patter. Over the years, I have have moved a fair amount of money out of Vanguard, mostly to other fund companies, although I still have a substantial stake in Vanguard funds. They are a kind of ballast to my portfolio. Plus I am familiar and comfortable with their product, due in large part to Dan Weiner’s newsletter. I have found that you can often beat the regular subscription price either by occasional special offers or, if renewing, letting your subscription lapse for awhile and then getting a better deal some months later. Lately, however, I tend to use Morningstar’s Premium Service for info on mutual funds, so I may not re-subscribe to the Independent Advisor for Vanguard Investors. If I was exclusively or mostly invested in Vanguard, however, I would reconsider that position.

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pirgnori
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pirgnori
May 24, 2010 7:55 am