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Investing Specialists

Vanguard Strikes Back in Mutual Fund Price Wars

Family makes low-cost Admiral Shares more widely available.

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More people can be admirals at Vanguard now.

Vanguard on Wednesday morning lowered the minimum initial investments for the low-cost Admiral Share classes of more than 50 active and passive funds. It dropped the ante for broad market index fund Admiral Shares to $10,000 from $100,000. Many of Vanguard's actively managed stock and bond funds also lowered their Admiral Shares minimums to $50,000 from $100,000.

The news means big savings for investors. For example, Admiral Shares of  Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSAX) charge a rock-bottom fee of 0.07%, while Investor Shares with a minimum investment of $3,000 cost 0.18%. Fees for the Admiral Shares narrowly eke past  Schwab Total Stock Market Index (SWTSX), which last year lowered its expense ratio to 0.09% (after fee waivers) and has a minimum investment of $100. Meanwhile,  Fidelity Spartan Total Market Index (FSTMX) has a minimum investment of $10,000 and charges 0.10%.

David Falkof does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.