Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
asif408
Posts: 1446
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:34 am
Location: Florida

Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by asif408 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:27 pm

https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... A:MUF:0323

For anyone who owns this fund, just an FYI, and another reason to avoid active funds, as it appears they are completely changing the investment strategy.

afan
Posts: 3841
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by afan » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:37 pm

Wow! that is quite a change.

I would never buy an active sector fund, but I find it hard to believe that many people who bought into this as a precious metals fund will be excited to no longer own a precious metals fund.

If they are in taxable and have gains, then getting out could be expensive. But even if they don't have gains on the fund price, the process of completely changing the portfolio could force gains on anyone invested in it. Did Vanguard take this step because the fund was going down the drain?
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

Theoretical
Posts: 1422
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:09 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Theoretical » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:44 pm

Invesco’s PSAU is the next best alternative that’s a pure PME.

User avatar
TimeRunner
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by TimeRunner » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:49 pm

25% mining and metals, 75% 'Dogs of the World'. :oops:
"...There're just so many summers, and just so many springs." -Don Henley "What'd ya expect in an opera, a happy ending?" -Bugs Bunny

User avatar
Artsdoctor
Posts: 3504
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:09 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Artsdoctor » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:51 pm

This fund has never been "tax efficient" so my hope would be that most investors would be holding this fund in a tax-advantaged account. Therefore, switching it out for something else that might fit their needs would not carry with it a taxable event. Although you're probably not going to find many Bogleheads holding this particular fund, it's always a good reminder that actively managed funds should be held in a tax-advantaged account because investment strategies can change, managers can change, and the tax structure of dividends can change.

User avatar
SquawkIdent
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:14 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by SquawkIdent » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:20 pm

Bogus. :oops:

david1082b
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:35 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by david1082b » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:54 pm

Bogleheads talked about VGPMX a few times earlier in the year, pointing out how it could put up to 20% of its assets in physical gold bullion, while the Vanguard CEO was saying that Vanguard avoids things like cryptocurrency and physical gold due to there being no cash flow. So it seems this new strategy will not have the ability to buy physical gold? I don't know if Vanguard was influenced by the discussions here. I joked that I was looking forward to Vanguard opening a cryptocurrency mining fund that could put 20% of its assets in crypto tokens.

I don't think that the previous version of VGPMX had any physical gold when I looked at it early this year, and I don't know if it had ever had any. It would seem weird to have a fund that could buy gold but never actually do so.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Pajamas » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:35 pm

I couldn't get your link to work because it has tracking information appended to it by Vanguard.

Here's the plain link:

https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... ls-changes

I agree that this is totally inexcusable. The fund has underperformed for years so now they are trying to significantly change it but without losing current investors. This is following a change that was not so dramatic but still significant just a few years ago.

User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 27436
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Taylor Larimore » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:38 pm

asif408 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:27 pm
https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... A:MUF:0323

For anyone who owns this fund, just an FYI, and another reason to avoid active funds, as it appears they are completely changing the investment strategy.
asif408:

Investors who own total market index funds are unaffected by a change from one fund to another.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

sport
Posts: 7290
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by sport » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:13 pm

I love Vanguard. However, when it comes to "staying the course", that is something they tell others to do, but do not follow themselves. I am still unhappy about the change to what used to be the Tax Managed International Fund. It is no longer tax managed, but I am locked in.

Whakamole
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Whakamole » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:18 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:38 pm
asif408 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:27 pm
https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... A:MUF:0323

For anyone who owns this fund, just an FYI, and another reason to avoid active funds, as it appears they are completely changing the investment strategy.
asif408:

Investors who own total market index funds are unaffected by a change from one fund to another.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Indices can change and have changed. I think China A shares still aren't in Vanguard Total International (VTIAX) yet, but joined Vanguard Emerging Markets (VEMAX) and may be coming into the "Total International" fund. Then there are countries that move into/out of emerging market status which means they get dropped from the underlying index. Of course the understanding is that if you bought VTIAX, you are buying a "Total International" fund. It's still a total international fund, just hopefully a more representative one.

Vanguard Precious Metals & Mining was at one point the Gold & Precious Metals fund, then changed to include other types of mining, now seems to have little to do with mining, with a large portion of the fund subject to sector market timing. If Vanguard wants to start a sector market timing fund, they are free to start one. I don't think there is even a shortage of sector timing funds out there for investors who want to bet on whatever the fund managers think is an undervalued sector.

If Vanguard is going to be changing the goals of existing funds (I think VGPMX has been around since the mid-90s) to this extent, there is no reason to think that an index fund will be safe. Yes it sounds absurd that Vanguard would put out a press release saying "we've decided to include developed market stocks in Vanguard Total Stock Market VTSAX" but I wouldn't have imagined Vanguard would be putting out this release either.

User avatar
Dale_G
Posts: 3097
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:43 pm
Location: Central Florida - on the grown up side of 81

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Dale_G » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:24 pm

Well no worries about a capital gain distribution for a while. And it is unlikely that many investors have much of a capital gain in the fund.

Still, a very radical change. I owned the fund for a short time, probably 30 years ago. I'm glad I didn't "stay the course" :D

Dale
Volatility is my friend

User avatar
Sheepdog
Posts: 5159
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:05 pm
Location: Indiana, retired 1998 at age 65

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Sheepdog » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:34 pm

Dale_G wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:24 pm

Still, a very radical change. I owned the fund for a short time, probably 30 years ago. I'm glad I didn't "stay the course" :D

Dale
Me too!! Oh, the days of not knowing anything. Glad they're gone.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

Walkure
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Walkure » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:38 pm

Artsdoctor wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:51 pm
This fund has never been "tax efficient" so my hope would be that most investors would be holding this fund in a tax-advantaged account. Therefore, switching it out for something else that might fit their needs would not carry with it a taxable event. Although you're probably not going to find many Bogleheads holding this particular fund, it's always a good reminder that actively managed funds should be held in a tax-advantaged account because investment strategies can change, managers can change, and the tax structure of dividends can change.
I do hold this fund in tax-advantaged space. I originally bought it years ago when a divergence opened up in pricing between bullion pricing and miners. I was correct that the gap would close, wrong in guessing which direction as bullion prices collapsed. Stuck underwater, I tried "staying the course" for the better part of a decade. Over that time it emerged that the entire mining sector was horribly mismanaged, overleveraged, environmentally untouchable, and a geopolitical punching bag to boot. In short, their problems were more than just "cyclical." At the beginning of this year, I set up monthly automatic transactions to DCA my way out of the fund as the only psychologically palatable way of exiting this boondoggle. Seems Vanguard finally wised up and is now attempting the high wire act of having a fund exit itself without actually closing. I'll keep a steadily-diminishing exposure for the next year or two as the withdrawals run their course.

The only positive I gained from this was that it gave me an opportunity early in my investing career to assess my risk tolerance in an otherwise sideways market as I watched it drop 80% in value over three years and never recover at a time when it was roughly 25% of my entire portfolio. Now I have the confidence to stomach anything :twisted:

User avatar
Artsdoctor
Posts: 3504
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:09 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Artsdoctor » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:58 pm

sport wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:13 pm
I love Vanguard. However, when it comes to "staying the course", that is something they tell others to do, but do not follow themselves. I am still unhappy about the change to what used to be the Tax Managed International Fund. It is no longer tax managed, but I am locked in.
Actually, this is something that I sympathize with because I had reasonable stakes in the Tax-Managed International fund years ago. I was disappointed when it was re-jiggered but it's something that's easy to correct. It's now essentially a developed markets fund without any emerging market exposure. The dividends as very tax-efficient, and it's worked out "OK" (still would have preferred the Tax-Managed fund but I can live with this). Total International now makes up the bulk of the international holdings; if you'd like to have emerging markets somewhere (probably a tax-advantaged account?), you can augment the developed markets component with the emerging market fund.

User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 27436
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

Sector Funds are Dangerous

Post by Taylor Larimore » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:25 pm

Bogleheads:

This is an older post of mine which may be of interest:
Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:41 am

We owned Vanguard's Gold Fund (now called Precious Metals) in 1993 when it zoomed +93%. It was Vanguard's BEST performing fund. Everyone was "jumping in."

In 1995 Gold was Vanguard's worst fund.
In 1996 Gold was Vanguard's fourth worst fund.
In 1997 Gold was Vanguard's worst fund. (-38.9%)
In 1998 Gold had the WORST 5 and 10 year return of ALL Vanguard funds.

IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN.

(Source: 1999 Independent Guide to the Vanguard Funds)
Note: For the 10-year period ending 12/31/2017 Vanguard's Precious Metals and Mining Fund (VGPMX) had the WORST return of ALL Vanguard funds with an annualized return of -49.5%.

Lesson learned: Sector funds are dangerous.

Best wishes:
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

JBTX
Posts: 4043
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by JBTX » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:29 pm

I had a comparatively small amount (less the 0.5% of portfolio) left in this fund in a retirement account. I finally sold it today.

tibbitts
Posts: 8006
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:52 pm

I owned a small amount of the fund for many years, but haven't owned it for several years now. It seemed like there was just something off with the fund - nothing the managers did seemed to ever work, even considering its objective, which did change somewhat in previous years, I believe. So I think it was a case of Vanguard having to do something - anything. I'm curious about the changes - it might be a more interesting fund in its new form. Not something I'd invest a lot in but maybe a little after the changes are implemented.

User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 27436
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Taylor Larimore » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:53 pm

JBTX wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:29 pm
I had a comparatively small amount (less the 0.5% of portfolio) left in this fund in a retirement account. I finally sold it today.
JBTX:

Good move to simplify your portfolio (like I did). Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund already holds the market value in U.S. gold stocks.

Read my "Simplicity" link below

Best wishes
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

User avatar
rob
Posts: 2974
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by rob » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:01 pm

Artsdoctor wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:58 pm
sport wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:13 pm
I love Vanguard. However, when it comes to "staying the course", that is something they tell others to do, but do not follow themselves. I am still unhappy about the change to what used to be the Tax Managed International Fund. It is no longer tax managed, but I am locked in.
Actually, this is something that I sympathize with because I had reasonable stakes in the Tax-Managed International fund years ago. I was disappointed when it was re-jiggered but it's something that's easy to correct. It's now essentially a developed markets fund without any emerging market exposure. The dividends as very tax-efficient, and it's worked out "OK" (still would have preferred the Tax-Managed fund but I can live with this). Total International now makes up the bulk of the international holdings; if you'd like to have emerging markets somewhere (probably a tax-advantaged account?), you can augment the developed markets component with the emerging market fund.
I also started out with the TM fund and it's completely different now..... If preferred tax treatment of non-US changes back to the old rules it will be a larger issue since it is now forced to match the index regardless. The change to the Prec Metals is a HUGE change but there are likely far less people who hold this in taxable... it was never designed to be a taxable holding. Still very poor form from Vanguard.... again.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

david1082b
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:35 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by david1082b » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:32 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:52 pm
I owned a small amount of the fund for many years, but haven't owned it for several years now. It seemed like there was just something off with the fund - nothing the managers did seemed to ever work, even considering its objective, which did change somewhat in previous years, I believe. So I think it was a case of Vanguard having to do something - anything. I'm curious about the changes - it might be a more interesting fund in its new form. Not something I'd invest a lot in but maybe a little after the changes are implemented.
It seems to have been highly correlated with the Metals and Mining ETF $XME that started in 2006, so essentially it delivered what you would expect from mid-cap metal mining stocks http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/fun ... A%5B%5D%7D

The huge runup from 2000 to 2008 seems consistent with what gold mining stocks did during the big part of the gold boom, with a lot of bad performance in the 80s and 90s reflecting how badly they did during gold's long slide. The limitations of the asset class doomed the manager to wretched performance. It's a very odd fund for Vanguard to have. 1984 seemed to be a year where active managers got some crumbs from Vanguard, with the energy and healthcare funds starting the same year as Precious Metals and Mining.

JBTX
Posts: 4043
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by JBTX » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:36 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:53 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:29 pm
I had a comparatively small amount (less the 0.5% of portfolio) left in this fund in a retirement account. I finally sold it today.
JBTX:

Good move to simplify your portfolio (like I did). Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund already holds the market value in U.S. gold stocks.

Read my "Simplicity" link below

Best wishes
Taylor
I bought some decades ago when I did not really understand what the fund was. I didn't grasp that it was gold and mutual company equities, not actual commodities. I sold some but hung on to a little bit.

Another thing that I subsequently learned about these mining companies is that they are often valued at their estimated unextracted commodity reserves, and not so much the actual profitability of their operations. The result being you pay healthy premiums for companies that are sometimes horribly run. The PEs can be absurdly high, or undefined when they lose money.

I will say to your point that they are "dangerous", with their returns as evidence, is that those who invest in commodity type investments are generally looking for a hedge and uncorrelated returns, and maybe even negative correlations. To the extent this fund stunk in an otherwise roaring market could be evidence that they are doing what they are supposed to. But for the different reasons I listed above it doesn't seem like an efficient investment.

As to simplicity my portfolio is so horribly complex,it is hard to decipher. Dozens of different funds bought for different reasons. Ultimately I don't think it has hurt me much in terms of risk/return, and I do track them at a top level to make sure the AA is appropriate, but I'm not sure the complexity is buying me anything. I'm slowly selling off my more expensive fee active funds and rolling into index funds, target dates and life strategy. My problem is that I get attached to the bits and pieces so doing a onetime massive overhaul just isn't going to happen. Plus the fact that I have more than a dozen accounts (various retirement accounts, etc) makes simplification harder. Three fund won't really buy me much because I'd have to rebalance against multiple accounts. For me target dates/ life strategies may work better across multiple accounts. I've already gone that way in our 401ks where we could some good institutional fee rates.

stlutz
Posts: 4748
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by stlutz » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:43 pm

Perhaps this is the buy signal for gold that I've been waiting for for a long time...

User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 5820
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:50 pm

I don't understand why those who didn't want to own gold and silver didn't just buy the physical metals and hold them in a safe deposit box, unless they were trying to just trade them in the short-term.

Portfolio Visualizer has used this fund as their proxy for the "precious metals" asset class. I've just notified them that they'll want to change their proxy to something else now.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

JBTX
Posts: 4043
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by JBTX » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:54 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:50 pm
I don't understand why those who didn't want to own gold and silver didn't just buy the physical metals and hold them in a safe deposit box, unless they were trying to just trade them in the short-term.

Portfolio Visualizer has used this fund as their proxy for the "precious metals" asset class. I've just notified them that they'll want to change their proxy to something else now.
I don't like the idea of having things of substantial value sitting around that could be lost or stolen.

User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 5820
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:56 pm

JBTX wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:54 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:50 pm
I don't understand why those who didn't want to own gold and silver didn't just buy the physical metals and hold them in a safe deposit box, unless they were trying to just trade them in the short-term.

Portfolio Visualizer has used this fund as their proxy for the "precious metals" asset class. I've just notified them that they'll want to change their proxy to something else now.
I don't like the idea of having things of substantial value sitting around that could be lost or stolen.
How could gold or silver be lost or stolen in a safe deposit box in a bank? The contents of safe deposit boxes are not insured, but if they're kept in a bank vault, they're about as secure as a physical asset can be.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

JBTX
Posts: 4043
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by JBTX » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:19 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:56 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:54 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:50 pm
I don't understand why those who didn't want to own gold and silver didn't just buy the physical metals and hold them in a safe deposit box, unless they were trying to just trade them in the short-term.

Portfolio Visualizer has used this fund as their proxy for the "precious metals" asset class. I've just notified them that they'll want to change their proxy to something else now.
I don't like the idea of having things of substantial value sitting around that could be lost or stolen.
How could gold or silver be lost or stolen in a safe deposit box in a bank? The contents of safe deposit boxes are not insured, but if they're kept in a bank vault, they're about as secure as a physical asset can be.
Mostly it is just a quirk with me. Possessing and having to account for significant physical valuables is a burden that I don't like. For some arguably irrational reason having financial accounts at fidelity of vanguard that can lose half or more of their value don't bother me.

If I were going to want something more tangible than GLD I'd probably go with this:

http://sprott.com/investment-strategies ... nd-silver/

As to the safety of bank safe deposit boxes, I'll just leave this here.....

http://www.gainesville.com/news/2013020 ... n-mix-up/1

User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 5820
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:27 pm

JBTX wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:19 pm
As to the safety of bank safe deposit boxes, I'll just leave this here.....

http://www.gainesville.com/news/2013020 ... n-mix-up/1
Of course nothing is foolproof. An electromagnetic pulse could wipe out your portfolio's holdings. But considering the number of safe deposit boxes out there, the odds of something bad happening to yours are likely less than the odds of being struck by lightning.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

JBTX
Posts: 4043
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by JBTX » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:41 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:27 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:19 pm
As to the safety of bank safe deposit boxes, I'll just leave this here.....

http://www.gainesville.com/news/2013020 ... n-mix-up/1
Of course nothing is foolproof. An electromagnetic pulse could wipe out your portfolio's holdings. But considering the number of safe deposit boxes out there, the odds of something bad happening to yours are likely less than the odds of being struck by lightning.
I'm not arguing with your logic. But I happen to know people who bank at that very bank. Luckily their SDB was ultimately unaffected.

Apparently contents getting lost, or the entire box getting lost isn't an unheard of thing.

tibbitts
Posts: 8006
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:47 am

david1082b wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:32 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:52 pm
I owned a small amount of the fund for many years, but haven't owned it for several years now. It seemed like there was just something off with the fund - nothing the managers did seemed to ever work, even considering its objective, which did change somewhat in previous years, I believe. So I think it was a case of Vanguard having to do something - anything. I'm curious about the changes - it might be a more interesting fund in its new form. Not something I'd invest a lot in but maybe a little after the changes are implemented.
It seems to have been highly correlated with the Metals and Mining ETF $XME that started in 2006, so essentially it delivered what you would expect from mid-cap metal mining stocks http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/fun ... A%5B%5D%7D

The huge runup from 2000 to 2008 seems consistent with what gold mining stocks did during the big part of the gold boom, with a lot of bad performance in the 80s and 90s reflecting how badly they did during gold's long slide. The limitations of the asset class doomed the manager to wretched performance. It's a very odd fund for Vanguard to have. 1984 seemed to be a year where active managers got some crumbs from Vanguard, with the energy and healthcare funds starting the same year as Precious Metals and Mining.
I was just going by the benchmark Vanguard selected for the fund. I'd think the fund managers would have objected if they felt the benchmark wasn't appropriate.

afan
Posts: 3841
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by afan » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:11 am

We keep important papers in a safe deposit box to diversify against the risk of a fire at home. But not the only copies. I would never store physical valuables in SDB. Not insured and I don't know whether my homeowner's insurance would cover it.

It sounds easy to say "just buy physical silver and keep it in a box." But at the current spot price half a million in silver would require owning a ton, as in 2,000 lbs, of bars. What safe deposit box is going to accommodate that? How much is it going to cost? What are the transaction costs of accumulating that hoard? What will it cost to sell it?
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 5820
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:32 am

afan wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:11 am
It sounds easy to say "just buy physical silver and keep it in a box." But at the current spot price half a million in silver would require owning a ton, as in 2,000 lbs, of bars. What safe deposit box is going to accommodate that? How much is it going to cost? What are the transaction costs of accumulating that hoard? What will it cost to sell it?
I personally know people who keep precious metals in safe deposit boxes and have done so for years. It's quite simple. They are very secure though they are not insured. Homeowner's insurance typically does not cover them.

I know of no one interested in owning half a million in precious metals, but if they did so, they'd probably hold it mostly in gold rather than silver. 26 pounds of gold at current prices would be around $500k in value.

Transaction costs are definitely a factor, but those who are interested in significant holdings of precious metals aren't usually trading them often enough for it to be a big concern.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

User avatar
jeffyscott
Posts: 7235
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:12 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:11 am

stlutz wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:43 pm
Perhaps this is the buy signal for gold that I've been waiting for for a long time...
I think the last Vanguard fund to undergo a big change like this was the Utilities fund that became Dividend Growth (VDIGX).

Dividend growth has done well enough since the change that they closed it, not sure if the old Utilities fund would've done even better, but the largest utilities ETF (XLU) did much better than VDIGX for a few years just after the change (IDU had similar performance to XLU and other utilities ETFs appear not to have existed in 2002).

Image
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 12842
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by abuss368 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:56 pm

Bogleheads -

When we moved to Vanguard we mistakingly believed we needed to own many different funds. We had in excess of 15 different funds and the Precious Metals & Mining Fund was one of them. In time we removed this fund and simplified with Total Stock and Total International Stock index funds.

Keep investing simple.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 12842
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by abuss368 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:57 pm

Jack Bogle has often said that most investors could probably go their entire lifetime without the need for a sector fund.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

User avatar
cfs
Posts: 4154
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:22 am
Location: ~ Mi Propio Camino ~

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by cfs » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:40 pm

This is interesting:

(1) OLD name: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund
(2) NEW name: Vanguard Global Capital Cycles Fund

To all individual investors, good luck with your Vanguard Global Capital Cycles Fund, y gracias por leer ~cfs~
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

david1082b
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:35 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by david1082b » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:26 pm

cfs wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:40 pm
This is interesting:

(1) OLD name: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund
(2) NEW name: Vanguard Global Capital Cycles Fund

To all individual investors, good luck with your Vanguard Global Capital Cycles Fund, y gracias por leer ~cfs~
I think you can afford to be out of this fund for one day and all other days too. It never made sense to me for Vanguard to have sector funds. Yes the healthcare fund has been their greatest performer ever I think since it started in 1984, but the whole point of diverse funds is that you capture those good sectors guaranteed, not rely on good luck of picking the right sector.

informal guide
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by informal guide » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:19 pm

One interesting element of the fund going forward - -they have a huge tax loss carryforward - -$8.36 per share or over 86% of NAV as of 6/30/2018. So if the new strategy is successful and generates realized capital gains, shareholders will not be taxed for an extended period of time as long as they continue to hold the fund..

User avatar
cfs
Posts: 4154
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:22 am
Location: ~ Mi Propio Camino ~

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by cfs » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:26 pm

david1082b wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:26 pm
. . . I think you can afford to be out of this fund for one day and all other days too . . .
Thank you Mister David. For those holding the fund, wishing you better luck under Wellington's management. Gracias por leer ~cfs~
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

saves nine
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:46 am

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by saves nine » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:11 pm

A couple comments:
1. From the revised prospectus: "Under the new strategy, the Fund will no longer invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its assets in stocks of foreign and U.S. companies principally engaged in the exploration, mining, development, fabrication, processing, marketing, or distribution of (or other activities related to) metals or minerals. The Fund will invest globally across a range of sectors and market capitalizations and will continue to maintain meaningful exposure to the precious metals and mining industry." and later on "The Fund‘s board of trustees, which oversees the Fund‘s management, may change investment strategies or policies in the interest of shareholders without a shareholder vote, unless those strategies or policies are designated as fundamental."

The change in strategy seems fundamental.

2. My google search of "Global Capital Cycles Fund" returned only Wellington Global Capital Cycles Fund, a long/short fund based in Luxembourg. I hope only the name and goal, not the style of investing, is borrowed.

barberakb
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:14 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by barberakb » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:10 am

abuss368 wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:57 pm
Jack Bogle has often said that most investors could probably go their entire lifetime without the need for a sector fund.
could probably go and should or will be better off are different things.

I actually own this fund and maybe I just got in at the right time but I am up a nice 20% profit on it.

I also have a sizeable portion in the healthcare fund which has given me a 13% return over the last decade.

Different strokes for different folks...

asif408
Posts: 1446
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:34 am
Location: Florida

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by asif408 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:43 am

stlutz wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:43 pm
Perhaps this is the buy signal for gold that I've been waiting for for a long time...
VGPMX has done impressively poor since the bottom on the market in 2009 relative to almost everything else. Even emerging markets have doubled in price since the bottom of March 2009, while VGPMX has actually had close to a 0% return in that time: http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/etf ... 2%3A955%7D

And that was after a 70% fall in 2008/2009. So maybe so.......

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 12842
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by abuss368 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:05 pm

barberakb wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:10 am
abuss368 wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:57 pm
Jack Bogle has often said that most investors could probably go their entire lifetime without the need for a sector fund.
could probably go and should or will be better off are different things.

I actually own this fund and maybe I just got in at the right time but I am up a nice 20% profit on it.

I also have a sizeable portion in the healthcare fund which has given me a 13% return over the last decade.

Different strokes for different folks...
I did invest in the healthcare fund many years ago. Was that the fund that Ed Owens managed? I believe he may have retired.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

User avatar
DartThrower
Posts: 838
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:10 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by DartThrower » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:41 pm

sport wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:13 pm
I love Vanguard. However, when it comes to "staying the course", that is something they tell others to do, but do not follow themselves. I am still unhappy about the change to what used to be the Tax Managed International Fund. It is no longer tax managed, but I am locked in.
Same here. That's frustrating - locked in.
A Boglehead can stay the course longer than the market can stay irrational.

drg02b
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:08 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by drg02b » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:17 pm

Walkure wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:38 pm
Artsdoctor wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:51 pm
This fund has never been "tax efficient" so my hope would be that most investors would be holding this fund in a tax-advantaged account. Therefore, switching it out for something else that might fit their needs would not carry with it a taxable event. Although you're probably not going to find many Bogleheads holding this particular fund, it's always a good reminder that actively managed funds should be held in a tax-advantaged account because investment strategies can change, managers can change, and the tax structure of dividends can change.
I do hold this fund in tax-advantaged space. I originally bought it years ago when a divergence opened up in pricing between bullion pricing and miners. I was correct that the gap would close, wrong in guessing which direction as bullion prices collapsed. Stuck underwater, I tried "staying the course" for the better part of a decade. Over that time it emerged that the entire mining sector was horribly mismanaged, overleveraged, environmentally untouchable, and a geopolitical punching bag to boot. In short, their problems were more than just "cyclical." At the beginning of this year, I set up monthly automatic transactions to DCA my way out of the fund as the only psychologically palatable way of exiting this boondoggle. Seems Vanguard finally wised up and is now attempting the high wire act of having a fund exit itself without actually closing. I'll keep a steadily-diminishing exposure for the next year or two as the withdrawals run their course.

The only positive I gained from this was that it gave me an opportunity early in my investing career to assess my risk tolerance in an otherwise sideways market as I watched it drop 80% in value over three years and never recover at a time when it was roughly 25% of my entire portfolio. Now I have the confidence to stomach anything :twisted:
I started buying this fund in my Roth IRA at ~$14 (when I thought it was low) and continued buying on the the way down, but I gave up once it got below $8, as it was approaching 10% of my portfolio. I am still a bit underwater and haven't mustered the courage to sell it because I keep waiting for that boom cycle, but given this change, it seems VG has even recognized it's a lost cause. It's still hard to cut my losses and dump it back into the market index, despite the near-total impossibility of a boom under the new fund criteria that could catch me back up my other total market index performance.

This fund has taught me a valuable lesson in not trying to buy cyclical/sector funds on a the notion of them having bottomed.

User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 12:02 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by alpenglow » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:00 pm

My parents were invested in this fund for a while. When I started helping them with their money, it was the first fund to go.

I don't understand the point of the change here. If someone wants a sector fund, they want a sector fund. Not a diluted sector fund. I guess Vanguard was tired of having such a poorly performing fund in their stable.

Dead Man Walking
Posts: 698
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:51 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Dead Man Walking » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:43 pm

If one is thinking of investing in sector funds, why not try to determine which sector will be hot and choose the Fidelity sector fund that invests in that sector.

DMW

User avatar
aspirit
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:52 am
Location: Bos/Mia-south

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by aspirit » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:52 pm

Additionally if not mentioned

Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund

Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund (VMMSX) will add Baillie Gifford Overseas Ltd. (Baillie Gifford) as an investment advisor. On or about July 27, 2018, M&G Investment Management Limited will no longer advise the fund.

Baillie Gifford is an employee-owned asset management firm founded in Edinburgh in 1908. It manages global equity, fixed income and multi-asset portfolios on behalf of institutional and retail investors. Baillie Gifford's portion of the fund will be managed by three portfolio managers from the dedicated emerging markets team, each of whom has, on average, more than 20 years of experience in the industry and at the firm.

Baillie Gifford will join Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Pzena Investment Management, LLC, and Wellington Management Company LLP, the fund's other advisors. Each will manage approximately 25% of the fund's assets.

The portfolio managers who will oversee the Baillie Gifford portion of Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund are:

Richard Sneller, partner and head of emerging markets equities and a portfolio manager who has worked in investment management since joining Baillie Gifford in 1994. He earned an M.S. from the University of Stirling.
Andrew Stobart, a portfolio manager who has worked in investment management since joining Baillie Gifford in 1991. He earned an M.A. from the University of Cambridge.
Mike Gush, a portfolio manager who has worked in investment management since joining Baillie Gifford in 2003. He earned an M.Eng. from Durham University.
Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund is an all-capitalization emerging markets fund that has used a multimanager approach since its inception in 2011.

The fund's expense ratio of 0.92% is not expected to change. ??
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations.

Whakamole
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Whakamole » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:24 pm

aspirit wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:52 pm
Additionally if not mentioned

Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund

Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund (VMMSX) will add Baillie Gifford Overseas Ltd. (Baillie Gifford) as an investment advisor. On or about July 27, 2018, M&G Investment Management Limited will no longer advise the fund.

Baillie Gifford is an employee-owned asset management firm founded in Edinburgh in 1908. It manages global equity, fixed income and multi-asset portfolios on behalf of institutional and retail investors. Baillie Gifford's portion of the fund will be managed by three portfolio managers from the dedicated emerging markets team, each of whom has, on average, more than 20 years of experience in the industry and at the firm.

Baillie Gifford will join Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Pzena Investment Management, LLC, and Wellington Management Company LLP, the fund's other advisors. Each will manage approximately 25% of the fund's assets.

The portfolio managers who will oversee the Baillie Gifford portion of Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund are:

Richard Sneller, partner and head of emerging markets equities and a portfolio manager who has worked in investment management since joining Baillie Gifford in 1994. He earned an M.S. from the University of Stirling.
Andrew Stobart, a portfolio manager who has worked in investment management since joining Baillie Gifford in 1991. He earned an M.A. from the University of Cambridge.
Mike Gush, a portfolio manager who has worked in investment management since joining Baillie Gifford in 2003. He earned an M.Eng. from Durham University.
Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund is an all-capitalization emerging markets fund that has used a multimanager approach since its inception in 2011.

The fund's expense ratio of 0.92% is not expected to change. ??
The fund description page at Vanguard says "This actively managed fund provides exposure to emerging markets outside of the United States at a relatively low cost." :confused

Angst
Posts: 1847
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:31 am

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

Post by Angst » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:48 pm

aspirit wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:52 pm
Additionally if not mentioned

Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund

Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Fund (VMMSX) will add Baillie Gifford Overseas Ltd. (Baillie Gifford) as an investment advisor. On or about July 27, 2018, M&G Investment Management Limited will no longer advise the fund.

[Snip...]

Baillie Gifford will join Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Pzena Investment Management, LLC, and Wellington Management Company LLP, the fund's other advisors. Each will manage approximately 25% of the fund's assets.

[Snip...]
Huh? Where on Earth did this fund come from? I'm clearly out of the loop. According to the Vanguard page for this fund, it's been around at least since 2011. Well, I had no idea. :shock:

Post Reply