Want a Vanguard mutual fund? You'll need an advisor

Costs of four actively managed funds will be reduced if they lag benchmarks.

Rudy Luukko 23 February, 2018 | 6:00PM

Unlike in the U.S., where Vanguard is a champion of low-fee direct investing, individual Canadian investors won't be able to buy Vanguard mutual funds directly from the company once they go on sale. If you want to invest in a Vanguard mutual fund, once they receive final regulatory approval, you'll need to be a client of a fee-based advisor.

Vanguard Investments Canada Inc.'s advisor-only distribution strategy for mutual funds will set it apart from its giant U.S. parent, Vanguard Group Inc., a dominant player in direct sales of mutual funds in the U.S.

Here in Canada, where Vanguard's family of 36 exchange-traded funds now ranks third in market share with more than $14 billion in assets, there are no toll-free numbers to call, nor chat lines nor any other venue for investors to communicate directly with Vanguard. As Vanguard notes on its website, its current registration in Canada allows the company to discuss its products only with registered dealers and financial advisors.

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About Author

Rudy Luukko

Rudy Luukko  Rudy Luukko is a freelance writer who contributes to Morningstar.ca on topics involving fund industry trends and regulatory issues. He retired in May 2018 from his position as editor, investment and personal finance, at Morningstar Canada, where he had worked since 2004. He has also worked as an editor and writer for various general, specialty and institutional media, and he has co-authored courses for the Canadian Securities Institute. Follow Rudy on Twitter: @RudyLuukko.

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