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Weekly Wrap: The Future of Vanguard, the COVID Vaccine Market, and Inflation-Protected Bond Funds

We recap the week on and note the most popular stocks, funds, and exchange-traded funds.

Editor's note: Read the latest on how the coronavirus is rattling the markets and what investors can do to navigate it.

Innovator. Disruptor. Game changer. These terms get tossed around a lot in the financial media--they’re shorthand for companies that adeptly harness new technologies and promise to transform the way we live.

We tipped our hat to such game-changers this week on For starters, we focused on undervalued transformative stocks plucked from the Morningstar Exponential Technologies Index. We also examined the innovative drug companies that have developed vaccines to slow the spread of the coronavirus. And we discussed how one of the fund industry's most notable disruptors, Vanguard, is trying to avoid becoming the disrupted.

We also indulged in a little innovation of our own, albeit on a smaller scale. We developed a slugging percentage metric to find funds that hit for power. And we unveiled a framework for how to add sustainable investing strategies to your portfolio.

Those interested in "disrupting" your portfolio a bit, take note: My colleague Christine Benz is accepting submissions for's annual Portfolio Makeover Week, which features the before and after portfolios of five investors at various life stages and asset levels. Complete this form by Oct. 8 for your chance to have your questions answered and your portfolio profiled--in what may be a game-changer for your financial wellness.

--Susan Dziubinski

Editor's Picks

The Best Funds for Built-In Diversification Balanced funds can play a useful role, but target-date funds look more compelling overall.

7 Undervalued Innovative Stocks These names from the Morningstar Exponential Technologies Index are trading at 4-star levels.

What's Next for Vanguard? Here's how the behemoth plans to continue to innovate.

COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Solid Even as Delta Extends Pandemic Hopes for eradication fade, further highlighting the benefits of vaccination and boosters.

4 Steps to Add Sustainable Investing Strategies to Your Portfolio Your guide to uncovering what your sustainability goals look like and how to put them into practice.

When the Numbers Lie The 30-day SEC yields for inflation-protected bond funds.

Portfolio Planning and Personal Finance With Christine Benz

There's No Magic Number for Self-Funding Long-Term Care A single asset threshold seems appealing, but it may provide a false sense of security.

What High(ish) Equity Valuations Mean for Your Retirement Plan All the consternation is around low bond yields, but high equity prices are also worth troubleshooting.

Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds

Process Concerns Drive the Downgrades of These Funds From Eaton Vance and Vanguard Here are some highlights from August.

The Old and New Guard of Durable Dividend Funds Should you favor one or the other?

Emerging-Markets Bonds Are August's Fixed-Income Leader We look at emerging-markets debt through the Morningstar Emerging Markets Bond Index.

A Sneak Peek at Vanguard's High-Conviction Active Equity Funds for Advisory Clients These strategies' potential shouldn't cloud their risks or lessons from Vanguard's own history.

Can These Bond ETFs Deliver? Strategic-beta corporate-bond ETFs may outperform, but investors should proceed with caution.

3 Funds That Hit for Power What looking at a fund's "slugging percentage" can tell you.

Why Funds Die A closer look at the traits associated with funds that have shut down in recent years.

U.S. Equity Managers Not Overreacting to Restive Retail Investors They have taken notice of recent investor behavior but aren't altering their processes.


What Litigation Risk Means for Big Pharma and Biotech Valuations As we incorporate ESG factors into our analysis, we see a manageable headwind.

9 Undervalued Chinese Stocks That Have Been Oversold For those willing to take on extra risk, the Chinese equity market's recent correction provides investors with undervalued opportunities.

Stock Analyst Updates What Drug Pricing Policy Talk May Mean for Biopharma We don't expect any changes to fair value estimates or moat ratings for our biopharma coverage.

Rekenthaler Report

When Indexing Is Not an Improvement The curious case of target-date funds.

The Long View Podcast

Laura Carstensen: 'I'm Suggesting We Change the Way We Work' Americans don't just need to work longer, they need to work differently, according to a noted longevity researcher.

Sustainability Matters

What Investors Should Know About the $26 Billion Opioid Settlement We review potential impact on valuation for the four companies involved.

More North American Firms Are Disclosing Diversity Data, New Study Shows Despite a more than threefold increase, most companies still don't publicly release their diversity data.


Expanding the Saver's Credit to Help More People A few changes to the Saver's Credit could have long-term benefits for lower-income workers.


Do U.S. Stocks Merit Higher Valuations? Meb Faber, the CIO of Cambria Investments, doesn't think so.

Building a Business on a Passion for Value Investing 'We have a lot of conviction in what we do,' says Ryan Batchelor of Clifford Capital Partners.

The Psychology of Saving Habits What helps and hinders different types of households' saving behaviors.

Most Requested Stock Quotes

Apple Alibaba Group Microsoft Facebook

Most Requested Fund Quotes

Dodge & Cox Stock Vanguard 500 Index Fidelity 500 Index Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Vanguard Total Stock Market Index

Most Requested ETF Quotes

Vanguard S&P 500 ETF SPDR S&P 500 ETF Invesco QQQ Trust Vanguard Total Stock Market ETFSchwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF

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