MarketMuse update courtesy of ETF Trends’ Tom Lydon’s 6 January story.
Vanguard, the third-largest U.S. issuer of exchange traded funds, has filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission to introduce the firm’s municipal bond ETF.
The Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund will be the firm’s first tax-exempt index fund and ETF. Pennsylvania-based Vanguard already has a substantial municipal bond footprint with about $140 billion in tax-exempt bond and money market funds, according to a statement issued by the firm.
Vanguard offers 12 actively managed municipal bond funds (five national, seven state-specific) and six tax-exempt money market funds (one national, five state-specific), according to the statement.
The Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund is expected to debut in the second quarter with three share classes – Investor Shares, Admiral Shares and ETF. The new ETF will have an annual expense ratio of 0.12%, well below the average annual fee of 0.49% on municipal bond ETFs, said Vanguard, citing Lipper data.
The statement did not include a ticker for the new ETF.
“For investors in high tax brackets, a high-quality, broadly diversified municipal bond fund or ETF can provide tax advantages as well as diversification from the risks of the equity market,” said Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb in the statement. “Vanguard is pleased to bring a low-cost index option to the municipal category as a complement to our lineup of low-cost actively managed tax-exempt bond funds.”
That jibes with Vanguard’s reputation for being one of the low-cost leaders in the ETF space. In December, Vanguard lowered fees on 12 of its equity-based ETFs, including 10 sector funds, moving the issuer into a tie with Fidelity for the least expensive sector ETFs.
Vanguard currently sponsors 13 fixed income ETFs, including the behemoth VanguardTotal Bond Market ETF (NYSEArca: BND). Home to nearly $24 billion in assets under management, BND was one of 2014’s top asset-gathering ETFs. Other Vanguard bond ETFs include the Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury ETF (NYSEArca: EDV) and the Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (NYSEArca: BNDX), two last year’s top performing bond funds.
Last year, investors poured a record $215.5 billion into Vanguard funds, including $75.3 billion into Vanguard ETFs. Including BND, four Vanguard ETFs were among the top 10 asset-gathering ETFs in 2014.
For the original story in ETF Trends, click here.