On the heels of Vanguard's warning about the dangers of chasing hot performance, the firm has closed one of its best performers: Vanguard Capital Value (VCVLX). Vanguard says the large-blend offering currently has $742 million in assets, which is 3 times the size it was at the end of February, due to both inflows and stock appreciation. Capital Value is the category's top-performing fund for the year to date and trailing 12 months. The fund's fierce comeback is welcome following its poor relative performance in 2007 and 2008 when it trailed 95% and 97% of its peers, respectively. Stemming inflows is an important step toward ensuring that manager Peter Higgins, who took over in June 2008, can effectively execute his bold contrarian approach.
Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb noted that closing Vanguard Capital Value serves two key purposes: Current shareholders won't have to bear the added costs generated by short-term investors moving in and out of the fund, and performance-chasing investors are protected from themselves. Vanguard has instituted these "cooling off" periods a few times in the past, reopening the funds once investor interest subsided.
Courtney Goethals Dobrow does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.