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Best Vanguard Funds for 401(k) Retirement Savers


Index funds have made Vanguard a 401(k) behemoth. A total of 33 Vanguard funds rank among the 100 largest funds in 401(k) assets, according to consulting firm BrightScope. Of those funds, 14 track market benchmarks, such as Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index (including Vanguard Institutional Index, the largest 401(k) fund in the country). Another eight are Vanguard Target Retirement funds: blends of stocks and bonds that mirror market bogeys.

Yet Vanguard doesn’t just dominate with index funds. The firm has a stable of 11 actively managed funds that also rank among the 100 most popular 401(k) funds in the country.

We analyze each of these actively managed funds, rating them “buy,” “sell” or “hold.” Some of these funds may be available through lower-cost share classes in your 401(k). Returns and data are as of Oct. 31; three- and five-year returns are annualized.

SEE ALSO: 25 Best Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans


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