Investment philosophy

Bedrock of institutional principles

No matter which investment strategy fits your institutional purposes, you can be assured that our investments are built on the same kind of institutional philosophy you employ:

  • Long-term thinking, resisting the latest fad.
  • An emphasis on continuity, whether it's avoiding excessive turnover of assets or changes in portfolio management.
  • A disciplined, thoughtful approach that relies on diversification.

Learn more about our investment approach >>

At the core: Clients first

At the center of Vanguard's philosophy of investing is the concept that our clients come first in everything we do. This focus on the best interest of our investors drives the decisions and actions of everyone at Vanguard, from portfolio managers to phone associates.

Client structure

From a name you trust

With decades of experience based on like-minded principles, Vanguard is known and respected throughout the institutional investor community. Our unique structure as a client-owned company—as an investment firm that's neither publicly traded nor privately owned, we have no parent company to satisfy or pressure to meet short-term earnings expectations—gives us a well-deserved reputation for integrity and investor focus.

Manager selection and oversight at Vanguard

Our approach to selecting and monitoring managers:

  • Uses a blend of quantitative and qualitative analysis to evaluate funds and fund advisors—refined over decades.
  • Seeks firms and individuals with an investment focus and culture that have the ability and commitment to deliver strong long-term investment results for Vanguard shareholders.
  • Results in a blend of internal and external talent for active management, covering a broad range of sectors and styles.

Equity investments »

Value Blend Growth
Large 9 16 8
Med 4 4 4
Small 4 5 4
Int'l 1 14 3
Sector 14

Fixed income investments »

Short Inter Long
Trsy/Agcy 5 8 4
Inv grd 2 2 2
Below inv grd - 1 -
Muni 2 2 8
Int'l 2

Balanced and target–date funds »

Traditional Target risk Target date Managed payout


5 4 5 1

Money markets »

Taxable Federal muni State  muni


4 2 5


Note: All investments are subject to risk. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

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