|Expense Ratio (net)||0.20%|
|Last Cap Gain||0.00|
|Morningstar Risk Rating||Average|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.38|
|5y Average Return||N/A|
|Average for Category||N/A|
|Inception Date||Oct 29, 1982|
If you've built a solid portfolio of funds, the last thing you want to do is tear it apart and build a new one simply because the stock market is doing one of its periodic swan dives. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't tinker around the edges in a market that acts like it wants to go down. You might cut, say, 5% of your stock allocation and put the proceeds into a low-risk bond fund. If you think your investments need more rearranging, you might take your most volatile fund and replace it with a lower-risk offering. Where to look for a replacement? Vanguard funds include a fistful of first-rate defensive offerings that, while they'll still likely lose money in a bear market, they should still hold up better than most other funds. Here are the six best Vanguard funds to own in a bear market. Note: Some of these funds are only available directly from the low-cost provider. At the same time, if you use a discount broker, you may be able to buy cheaper Admiral shares without meeting Vanguard's minimum, which typically ranges from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on the fund. ### SEE ALSO: The 25 Best Low-Fee Mutual Funds You Can Buy
Bond funds are for your "safe" money. They give your portfolio ballast - and they're a ready source of cash when you spot opportunities in the stock market. Just keep the very long-term in mind and don't get greedy with bonds in 2019. Almost every flavor of bond and bond fund lost at least a little money last year, and the same could happen this year. For instance: Even the best long-term and even intermediate-term bonds and bond funds will likely do well only if there's a dramatic slowdown in the economy, which would push down bond yields and boost their prices. (Bond yields and prices move opposite one another). Lower-credit-quality bonds, meanwhile, will only earn big profits if the economy, which seems likely to grow at a slower pace this year, instead continues to grow as rapidly as it did in 2018. Neither event looks likely. But while bond funds may not make you rich, they'll likely at least keep up with inflation, and they almost certainly won't make you poor. They're a safety play in a Wall Street environment that makes safety a necessity. With that in mind, here are my favorite bond funds for retirement savers in 2019. The focus? Low-risk bond funds that invest mainly in short-term, high-quality bonds. The goal? Protection. ### SEE ALSO: The 27 Best Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans
Lucky for you, there are plenty of good short-term investment options that can earn you decent returns. A short-term investment, sometimes called a temporary investment or marketable security, is an investment that will yield its returns typically in less than five years (or in some cases within a year). Because of their time frame, short term investments are often safer than long term investments, especially on the stock market.
Well, I mentioned that she needed to realize that short-term investments — say with periods of one to three years — are at risk of losing their principal. After all, in a few days, the stock market can easily lose 10% or more! The good news is that with interest rates increasing, there are more opportunities to snag higher returns from short-term investments — while also minimizing risks.
Vanguard remains a class act on top of the retail mutual fund world, and it is poised to stay that way under new CEO Tim Buckley, a firm veteran who took over in January of this year. The firm Buckley inherited has come a long way since its days as a disruptive upstart in the 1970s, but it hasn't lost its drive to bring more investors into the fold and further transform the industry it now dominates. In highlighting these themes, this Fund Spy reflects Morningstar's ongoing stewardship evaluation of Vanguard, which includes a recent visit with Buckley and other firm leadership.
In April, Morningstar Manager Research analysts affirmed the Morningstar Analyst Ratings of 143 funds and three target-date series, upgraded the ratings of eight funds, downgraded the ratings of 10 funds, placed three funds' ratings under review, and assigned new ratings to three funds. The fund's leaders--Scott Mather, Mihir Worah, and Mark Kiesel (Morningstar Fixed-Income Fund Manager of 2012)--have found their groove as a team, and PIMCO's world-class research staff has been augmented, in some cases by senior-level alumni returning to the firm. While the fund had some hiccups under its current team in 2015, it has done well since, benefiting from well-timed interest-rate calls and a continued bet on nonagency mortgages.