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VANGUARD® WORLD FUND
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
December 22, 2020
This Statement of Additional Information is not a prospectus but should be read in conjunction with a Fund’s current prospectus (dated December 22, 2020). To obtain, without charge, a prospectus or the most recent Annual Report to Shareholders, which contains the Fund’s financial statements as hereby incorporated by reference, please contact The Vanguard Group, Inc. (Vanguard).
Phone: Investor Information Department at 800-662-7447
Online: vanguard.com
Vanguard World Fund (the Trust) currently offers the following funds and share classes (identified by ticker symbol):
 
Share Classes1
Vanguard Fund2
Investor
Admiral
Institutional
Institutional
Plus
ETF
Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund
VWUSX
VWUAX
Vanguard International Growth Fund
VWIGX
VWILX
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund
VEDTX
VEDIX
EDV
Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund
VFTAX
VFTNX
Vanguard Communication Services Index Fund3
VTCAX
VOX
Vanguard Consumer Discretionary Index Fund
VCDAX
VCR
Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund
VCSAX
VDC
Vanguard Energy Index Fund
VENAX
VDE
Vanguard Financials Index Fund
VFAIX
VFH
Vanguard Health Care Index Fund
VHCIX
VHT
Vanguard Industrials Index Fund
VINAX
VIS
Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund
VITAX
VGT
Vanguard Materials Index Fund
VMIAX
VAW
Vanguard Utilities Index Fund
VUIAX
VPU
Vanguard Mega Cap Index Fund
VMCTX
MGC
Vanguard Mega Cap Value Index Fund
VMVLX
MGV
Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund
VMGAX
MGK
Vanguard Global Wellington Fund
VGWLX
VGWAX
Vanguard Global Wellesley® Income Fund
VGWIX
VGYAX
Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF
ESGV
Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF
VSGX
Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF
VCEB
1 Individually, a class; collectively, the classes.
2 Individually, a Fund; collectively, the Funds.
3 Prior to May 2, 2018, the Fund was named Vanguard Telecommunication Services Index Fund.
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The Trust has the ability to offer additional funds or classes of shares. There is no limit on the number of full and fractional shares that may be issued for a single fund or class of shares.
Organization
Vanguard World Fund was organized as Ivest Fund, a Massachusetts corporation, in 1959. It became a Maryland corporation in 1973, and was reorganized as a Delaware statutory trust in 1998. Prior to its reorganization as a Delaware statutory trust, the Trust was known as Vanguard World Fund, Inc. The Trust is registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the 1940 Act) as an open-end management investment company. All Funds within the Trust, other than Vanguard Communication Services Index Fund, Vanguard Consumer Discretionary Index Fund, Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund, Vanguard Energy Index Fund, Vanguard Financials Index Fund, Vanguard Health Care Index Fund, Vanguard Industrials Index Fund, Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund, Vanguard Materials Index Fund, and Vanguard Utilities Index Fund (together, Vanguard U.S. Sector Index Funds), are classified as diversified within the meaning of the 1940 Act. Vanguard U.S. Sector Index Funds are classified as nondiversified within the meaning of the 1940 Act. Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund may become nondiversified solely as a result of a change in relative market capitalization or index weightings of one or more constituents of its target index.
Service Providers
Custodians. Bank of New York Mellon, 240 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10286 (for Vanguard International Growth Fund); JPMorgan Chase Bank, 383 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10179 (for Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF, Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF, Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF, Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund, Vanguard Global Wellington Fund, and Vanguard Global Wellesley Income Fund); and State Street Bank and Trust Company, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111 (for Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund, Vanguard U.S. Sector Index Funds, Vanguard Mega Cap Index Funds, and Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund), serve as the Funds’ custodians. The custodians are responsible for maintaining the Funds' assets, keeping all necessary accounts and records of Fund assets, and appointing any foreign subcustodians or foreign securities depositories.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Two Commerce Square, Suite 1800, 2001 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-7042, serves as the Funds' independent registered public accounting firm. The independent registered public accounting firm audits the Funds' annual financial statements and provides other related services.
Transfer and Dividend-Paying Agent. The Funds' transfer agent and dividend-paying agent is Vanguard, P.O. Box 2600, Valley Forge, PA 19482.
Characteristics of the Funds' Shares
Restrictions on Holding or Disposing of Shares. There are no restrictions on the right of shareholders to retain or dispose of a Fund’s shares, other than those described in the Fund’s current prospectus and elsewhere in this Statement of Additional Information. Each Fund or class may be terminated by reorganization into another mutual fund or class or by liquidation and distribution of the assets of the Fund or class. Unless terminated by reorganization or liquidation, each Fund and share class will continue indefinitely.
Shareholder Liability. The Trust is organized under Delaware law, which provides that shareholders of a statutory trust are entitled to the same limitations of personal liability as shareholders of a corporation organized under Delaware law. This means that a shareholder of a Fund generally will not be personally liable for payment of the Fund’s debts. Some state courts, however, may not apply Delaware law on this point. We believe that the possibility of such a situation arising is remote.
Dividend Rights. The shareholders of each class of a Fund are entitled to receive any dividends or other distributions declared by the Fund for each such class. No shares of a Fund have priority or preference over any other shares of the Fund with respect to distributions. Distributions will be made from the assets of the Fund and will be paid ratably to all shareholders of a particular class according to the number of shares of the class held by shareholders on the record date. The amount of dividends per share may vary between separate share classes of the Fund based upon differences in the net asset values of the different classes and differences in the way that expenses are allocated between share classes pursuant to a multiple class plan approved by the Fund's board of trustees.
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Voting Rights. Shareholders are entitled to vote on a matter if (1) the matter concerns an amendment to the Declaration of Trust that would adversely affect to a material degree the rights and preferences of the shares of a Fund or any class; (2) the trustees determine that it is necessary or desirable to obtain a shareholder vote; (3) a merger or consolidation, share conversion, share exchange, or sale of assets is proposed and a shareholder vote is required by the 1940 Act to approve the transaction; or (4) a shareholder vote is required under the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act requires a shareholder vote under various circumstances, including to elect or remove trustees upon the written request of shareholders representing 10% or more of a Fund's net assets, to change any fundamental policy of a Fund (please see Fundamental Policies), and to enter into certain merger transactions. Unless otherwise required by applicable law, shareholders of a Fund receive one vote for each dollar of net asset value owned on the record date and a fractional vote for each fractional dollar of net asset value owned on the record date. However, only the shares of the Fund or the class affected by a particular matter are entitled to vote on that matter. In addition, each class has exclusive voting rights on any matter submitted to shareholders that relates solely to that class, and each class has separate voting rights on any matter submitted to shareholders in which the interests of one class differ from the interests of another. Voting rights are noncumulative and cannot be modified without a majority vote by the shareholders.
Liquidation Rights. In the event that a Fund is liquidated, shareholders will be entitled to receive a pro rata share of the Fund's net assets. In the event that a class of shares is liquidated, shareholders of that class will be entitled to receive a pro rata share of the Fund’s net assets that are allocated to that class. Shareholders may receive cash, securities, or a combination of the two.
Preemptive Rights. There are no preemptive rights associated with the Funds' shares.
Conversion Rights. Shareholders of each Fund (except those of Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF, Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF and Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF) may convert their shares to another class of shares of the same Fund upon the satisfaction of any then-applicable eligibility requirements, as described in the Fund’s current prospectus. ETF Shares cannot be converted into conventional shares of a fund by a shareholder. For additional information about the conversion rights applicable to ETF Shares, please see Information About the ETF Share Class. There are no conversion rights associated with Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF, Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF and Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF.
Redemption Provisions. Each Fund's redemption provisions are described in its current prospectus and elsewhere in this Statement of Additional Information.
Sinking Fund Provisions. The Funds have no sinking fund provisions.
Calls or Assessment. Each Fund's shares, when issued, are fully paid and non-assessable.
Tax Status of the Funds
Each Fund expects to qualify each year for treatment as a “regulated investment company” under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the IRC). This special tax status means that the Fund will not be liable for federal tax on income and capital gains distributed to shareholders. In order to preserve its tax status, each Fund must comply with certain requirements relating to the source of its income and the diversification of its assets. If a Fund fails to meet these requirements in any taxable year, the Fund will, in some cases, be able to cure such failure, including by paying a fund-level tax, paying interest, making additional distributions, and/or disposing of certain assets. If the Fund is ineligible to or otherwise does not cure such failure for any year, it will be subject to tax on its taxable income at corporate rates, and all distributions from earnings and profits, including any distributions of net tax-exempt income and net long-term capital gains, will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. In addition, a Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make substantial distributions before regaining its tax status as a regulated investment company.
Dividends received and distributed by each Fund on shares of stock of domestic corporations (excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)) and certain foreign corporations generally may be eligible to be reported by the Fund, and treated by individual shareholders, as “qualified dividend income” taxed at long-term capital gain rates instead of at higher ordinary income tax rates. Individuals must satisfy holding period and other requirements in order to be eligible for such treatment. Also, distributions attributable to income earned on a Fund’s securities lending transactions, including substitute dividend payments received by a Fund with respect to a security out on loan, will not be eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income.
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Taxable ordinary dividends received and distributed by each Fund on its REIT holdings may be eligible to be reported by a Fund, and treated by individual shareholders, as “qualified REIT dividends” that are eligible for a 20% deduction on its federal income tax returns. Individuals must satisfy holding period and other requirements in order to be eligible for this deduction. A Fund’s ability to pass-through this deduction to Fund shareholders is based on preliminary IRS guidance and is subject to change. Shareholders should consult their own tax professionals concerning their eligibility for this deduction.
Dividends received and distributed by each Fund on shares of stock of domestic corporations (excluding REITs) may be eligible for the dividends-received deduction applicable to corporate shareholders. Corporations must satisfy certain requirements in order to claim the deduction. Also, distributions attributable to income earned on a Fund's securities lending transactions, including substitute dividend payments received by a Fund with respect to a security out on loan, will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction.
Each Fund may declare a capital gain dividend consisting of the excess (if any) of net realized long-term capital gains over net realized short-term capital losses. Net capital gains for a fiscal year are computed by taking into account any capital loss carryforwards of the Fund. For Fund fiscal years beginning on or after December 22, 2010, capital losses may be carried forward indefinitely and retain their character as either short-term or long-term. Under prior law, net capital losses could be carried forward for eight tax years and were treated as short-term capital losses. A Fund is required to use capital losses arising in fiscal years beginning on or after December 22, 2010, before using capital losses arising in fiscal years beginning prior to December 22, 2010.
Fundamental Policies
Each Fund is subject to the following fundamental investment policies, which cannot be changed in any material way without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s shares. For these purposes, a “majority” of shares means shares representing the lesser of (1) 67% or more of the Fund's net assets voted, so long as shares representing more than 50% of the Fund’s net assets are present or represented by proxy or (2) more than 50% of the Fund's net assets.
Borrowing. Each Fund may borrow money only as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund.
Commodities. Each Fund may invest in commodities only as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund.
Diversification. With respect to 75% of its total assets, each Fund (other than Vanguard U.S. Sector Index Funds) may not (1) purchase more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer or (2) purchase securities of any issuer if, as a result, more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in that issuer’s securities. This limitation does not apply to obligations of the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities.
For Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund only, with respect to 75% of its total assets, the Fund may not: (1) purchase more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer; or (2) purchase securities of any issuer if, as a result, more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in that issuer’s securities; except as may be necessary to approximate the composition of its target index. This limitation does not apply to obligations of the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities.
Industry Concentration. For the FTSE Social Index, Extended Duration Treasury Index, Mega Cap Index, Mega Cap Value Index, and Mega Cap Growth Index Funds, and for the U.S. and International ESG ETFs: Each Fund will not concentrate its investments in the securities of issuers whose principal business activities are in the same industry or group of industries, except as may be necessary to approximate the composition of its target index.
For the U.S. Growth, International Growth, Global Wellington, and Global Wellesley Income Funds: Each Fund will not concentrate its investments in the securities of issuers whose principal business activities are in the same industry or group of industries.
For the U.S. Sector Index Funds: Each Fund will concentrate its investments in the securities of issuers whose principal business activities are in the industry or group of industries denoted by the Fund name.
Investment Objective. The investment objectives of the U.S. Growth, International Growth, and FTSE Social Index Funds may not be materially changed without a shareholder vote.
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Loans. Each Fund may make loans to another person only as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund.
Real Estate. Each Fund may not invest directly in real estate unless it is acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments. This restriction shall not prevent a Fund from investing in securities or other instruments (1) issued by companies that invest, deal, or otherwise engage in transactions in real estate or (2) backed or secured by real estate or interests in real estate.
Senior Securities. Each Fund may not issue senior securities except as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund.
Underwriting. Each Fund may not act as an underwriter of another issuer’s securities, except to the extent that the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 (the 1933 Act), in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities.
Compliance with the fundamental policies previously described is generally measured at the time the securities are purchased. Unless otherwise required by the 1940 Act (as is the case with borrowing), if a percentage restriction is adhered to at the time the investment is made, a later change in percentage resulting from a change in the market value of assets will not constitute a violation of such restriction. All fundamental policies must comply with applicable regulatory requirements. For more details, see Investment Strategies, Risks, and Nonfundamental Policies.
None of these policies prevents the Funds from having an ownership interest in Vanguard. As a part owner of Vanguard, each Fund may own securities issued by Vanguard, make loans to Vanguard, and contribute to Vanguard’s costs or other financial requirements. See Management of the Funds for more information.
Shareholder approval will not be sought if Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund crosses from diversified to nondiversified status in order to approximate the composition of its target index.
Investment Strategies, Risks, and Nonfundamental Policies
Some of the investment strategies and policies described on the following pages and in each Fund's prospectus set forth percentage limitations on a Fund's investment in, or holdings of, certain securities or other assets. Unless otherwise required by law, compliance with these strategies and policies will be determined immediately after the acquisition of such securities or assets by the Fund. Subsequent changes in values, net assets, or other circumstances will not be considered when determining whether the investment complies with the Fund's investment strategies and policies.
The following investment strategies, risks, and policies supplement each Fund's investment strategies, risks, and policies set forth in the prospectus. With respect to the different investments discussed as follows, a Fund may acquire such investments to the extent consistent with its investment strategies and policies.
Asset-Backed Securities. Asset-backed securities represent a participation in, or are secured by and payable from, pools of underlying assets such as debt securities, bank loans, motor vehicle installment sales contracts, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, receivables from revolving credit (i.e., credit card) agreements, and other categories of receivables. These underlying assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose entities. Payment of interest and repayment of principal on asset-backed securities may be largely dependent upon the cash flows generated by the underlying assets backing the securities and, in certain cases, may be supported by letters of credit, surety bonds, or other credit enhancements. The rate of principal payments on asset-backed securities is related to the rate of principal payments, including prepayments, on the underlying assets. The credit quality of asset-backed securities depends primarily on the quality of the underlying assets, the level of credit support, if any, provided for the securities, and the credit quality of the credit-support provider, if any. The value of asset-backed securities may be affected by the various factors described above and other factors, such as changes in interest rates, the availability of information concerning the pool and its structure, the creditworthiness of the servicing agent for the pool, the originator of the underlying assets, or the entities providing the credit enhancement.
Asset-backed securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate, as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying assets. Prepayments of principal by borrowers or foreclosure or other enforcement action by creditors shortens the term of the underlying assets. The occurrence of prepayments is a function of several factors, such as the level of interest rates, the general economic conditions, the location and age of the underlying obligations, and other social and demographic conditions. A fund’s ability to maintain positions in asset-backed securities is affected by the reductions in the principal amount of the underlying assets
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because of prepayments. A fund’s ability to reinvest such prepayments of principal (as well as interest and other distributions and sale proceeds) at a comparable yield is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. The value of asset-backed securities varies with changes in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of U.S. government securities, mortgage-backed securities, and asset-backed securities. In periods of rising interest rates, the rate of prepayment tends to decrease, thereby lengthening the average life of the underlying securities. Conversely, in periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayment tends to increase, thereby shortening the average life of such assets. Because prepayments of principal generally occur when interest rates are declining, an investor, such as a fund, generally has to reinvest the proceeds of such prepayments at lower interest rates than those at which the assets were previously invested. Therefore, asset-backed securities have less potential for capital appreciation in periods of falling interest rates than other income-bearing securities of comparable maturity.
Because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in the underlying assets that is comparable to a mortgage, asset-backed securities present certain additional risks that are not present with mortgage-backed securities. For example, revolving credit receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles rather than by real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying assets. If the servicer of a pool of underlying assets sells them to another party, there is the risk that the purchaser could acquire an interest superior to that of holders of the asset-backed securities. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issue of asset-backed securities and technical requirements under state law, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in the automobiles. Therefore, there is the possibility that recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities. Asset-backed securities have been, and may continue to be, subject to greater liquidity risks when worldwide economic and liquidity conditions deteriorate. In addition, government actions and proposals that affect the terms of underlying home and consumer loans, thereby changing demand for products financed by those loans, as well as the inability of borrowers to refinance existing loans, have had and may continue to have a negative effect on the valuation and liquidity of asset-backed securities.
Borrowing. A fund’s ability to borrow money is limited by its investment policies and limitations; by the 1940 Act; and by applicable exemptions, no-action letters, interpretations, and other pronouncements issued from time to time by the SEC and its staff or any other regulatory authority with jurisdiction. Under the 1940 Act, a fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage (i.e., total assets including borrowings, less liabilities exclusive of borrowings) of 300% of the amount borrowed, with an exception for borrowings not in excess of 5% of the fund’s total assets (at the time of borrowing) made for temporary or emergency purposes. Any borrowings for temporary purposes in excess of 5% of the fund’s total assets must maintain continuous asset coverage. If the 300% asset coverage should decline as a result of market fluctuations or for other reasons, a fund may be required to sell some of its portfolio holdings within three days (excluding Sundays and holidays) to reduce the debt and restore the 300% asset coverage, even though it may be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint to sell securities at that time.
Borrowing will tend to exaggerate the effect on net asset value of any increase or decrease in the market value of a fund’s portfolio. Money borrowed will be subject to interest costs that may or may not be recovered by earnings on the securities purchased with the proceeds of such borrowing. A fund also may be required to maintain minimum average balances in connection with a borrowing or to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit; either of these requirements would increase the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate.
The SEC takes the position that transactions that have a leveraging effect on the capital structure of a fund or are economically equivalent to borrowing can be viewed as constituting a form of borrowing by the fund for purposes of the 1940 Act. These transactions can include entering into reverse repurchase agreements; engaging in mortgage-dollar-roll transactions; selling securities short (other than short sales “against-the-box”); buying and selling certain derivatives (such as futures contracts); selling (or writing) put and call options; engaging in sale-buybacks; entering into firm-commitment and standby-commitment agreements; engaging in when-issued, delayed-delivery, or forward-commitment transactions; and participating in other similar trading practices. (Additional discussion about a number of these transactions can be found on the following pages.)
A borrowing transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund maintains an offsetting financial position; segregates liquid assets (with such liquidity determined by the advisor in accordance with procedures established by the board of trustees) equal (as determined on a daily mark-to-market basis) in value to the fund’s
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potential economic exposure under the borrowing transaction; or otherwise “covers” the transaction in accordance with applicable SEC guidance (collectively, “covers” the transaction). A fund may have to buy or sell a security at a disadvantageous time or price in order to cover a borrowing transaction. In addition, segregated assets may not be available to satisfy redemptions or to fulfill other obligations.
Common Stock. Common stock represents an equity or ownership interest in an issuer. Common stock typically entitles the owner to vote on the election of directors and other important matters, as well as to receive dividends on such stock. In the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of bonds, other debt holders, and owners of preferred stock take precedence over the claims of those who own common stock.
Convertible Securities. Convertible securities are hybrid securities that combine the investment characteristics of bonds and common stocks. Convertible securities typically consist of debt securities or preferred stock that may be converted (on a voluntary or mandatory basis) within a specified period of time (normally for the entire life of the security) into a certain amount of common stock or other equity security of the same or a different issuer at a predetermined price. Convertible securities also include debt securities with warrants or common stock attached and derivatives combining the features of debt securities and equity securities. Other convertible securities with features and risks not specifically referred to herein may become available in the future. Convertible securities involve risks similar to those of both fixed income and equity securities. In a corporation’s capital structure, convertible securities are senior to common stock but are usually subordinated to senior debt obligations of the issuer.
The market value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” and its “conversion value.” A security’s “investment value” represents the value of the security without its conversion feature (i.e., a nonconvertible debt security). The investment value may be determined by reference to its credit quality and the current value of its yield to maturity or probable call date. At any given time, investment value is dependent upon such factors as the general level of interest rates, the yield of similar nonconvertible securities, the financial strength of the issuer, and the seniority of the security in the issuer’s capital structure. A security’s “conversion value” is determined by multiplying the number of shares the holder is entitled to receive upon conversion or exchange by the current price of the underlying security. If the conversion value of a convertible security is significantly below its investment value, the convertible security will trade like nonconvertible debt or preferred stock and its market value will not be influenced greatly by fluctuations in the market price of the underlying security. In that circumstance, the convertible security takes on the characteristics of a bond, and its price moves in the opposite direction from interest rates. Conversely, if the conversion value of a convertible security is near or above its investment value, the market value of the convertible security will be more heavily influenced by fluctuations in the market price of the underlying security. In that case, the convertible security’s price may be as volatile as that of common stock. Because both interest rates and market movements can influence its value, a convertible security generally is not as sensitive to interest rates as a similar debt security, nor is it as sensitive to changes in share price as its underlying equity security. Convertible securities are often rated below investment-grade or are not rated, and they are generally subject to a high degree of credit risk.
Although all markets are prone to change over time, the generally high rate at which convertible securities are retired (through mandatory or scheduled conversions by issuers or through voluntary redemptions by holders) and replaced with newly issued convertible securities may cause the convertible securities market to change more rapidly than other markets. For example, a concentration of available convertible securities in a few economic sectors could elevate the sensitivity of the convertible securities market to the volatility of the equity markets and to the specific risks of those sectors. Moreover, convertible securities with innovative structures, such as mandatory-conversion securities and equity-linked securities, have increased the sensitivity of the convertible securities market to the volatility of the equity markets and to the special risks of those innovations, which may include risks different from, and possibly greater than, those associated with traditional convertible securities. A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price set in the governing instrument of the convertible security. If a convertible security held by a fund is subject to such redemption option and is called for redemption, the fund must allow the issuer to redeem the security, convert it into the underlying common stock, or sell the security to a third party.
Cybersecurity Risks. The increased use of technology to conduct business could subject a fund and its third-party service providers (including, but not limited to, investment advisors, transfer agents, and custodians) to risks associated with cybersecurity. In general, a cybersecurity incident can occur as a result of a deliberate attack designed to gain unauthorized access to digital systems. If the attack is successful, an unauthorized person or persons could misappropriate assets or sensitive information, corrupt data, or cause operational disruption. A cybersecurity incident could also occur unintentionally if, for example, an authorized person inadvertently released proprietary or confidential information. Vanguard has developed robust technological safeguards and business continuity plans to prevent, or reduce the impact of, potential cybersecurity incidents. Additionally, Vanguard has a process for assessing the
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information security and/or cybersecurity programs implemented by a fund’s third-party service providers, which helps minimize the risk of potential incidents that could impact a Vanguard fund or its shareholders. Despite these measures, a cybersecurity incident still has the potential to disrupt business operations, which could negatively impact a fund and/or its shareholders. Some examples of negative impacts that could occur as a result of a cybersecurity incident include, but are not limited to, the following: a fund may be unable to calculate its net asset value (NAV), a fund’s shareholders may be unable to transact business, a fund may be unable to process transactions, or a fund may be unable to safeguard its data or the personal information of its shareholders.
Debt Securities. A debt security, sometimes called a fixed income security, consists of a certificate or other evidence of a debt (secured or unsecured) upon which the issuer of the debt security promises to pay the holder a fixed, variable, or floating rate of interest for a specified length of time and to repay the debt on the specified maturity date. Some debt securities, such as zero-coupon bonds, do not make regular interest payments but are issued at a discount to their principal or maturity value. Debt securities include a variety of fixed income obligations, including, but not limited to, corporate bonds, government securities, municipal securities, convertible securities, mortgage-backed securities, and asset-backed securities. Debt securities include investment-grade securities, non-investment-grade securities, and unrated securities. Debt securities are subject to a variety of risks, such as interest rate risk, income risk, call risk, prepayment risk, extension risk, inflation risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, coupon deferral risk, lower recovery value risk, and (in the case of foreign securities) country risk and currency risk. The reorganization of an issuer under the federal bankruptcy laws or an out-of-court restructuring of an issuer’s capital structure may result in the issuer’s debt securities being cancelled without repayment, repaid only in part, or repaid in part or in whole through an exchange thereof for any combination of cash, debt securities, convertible securities, equity securities, or other instruments or rights in respect to the same issuer or a related entity.
Debt Securities—Bank Obligations. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in a banking institution for a specified period of time at a stated interest rate. Certificates of deposit are negotiable short-term obligations of commercial banks. Variable rate certificates of deposit have an interest rate that is periodically adjusted prior to their stated maturity based upon a specified market rate. As a result of these adjustments, the interest rate on these obligations may be increased or decreased periodically. Frequently, dealers selling variable rate certificates of deposit to a fund will agree to repurchase such instruments, at the fund’s option, at par on or near the coupon dates. The dealers’ obligations to repurchase these instruments are subject to conditions imposed by various dealers; such conditions typically are the continued credit standing of the issuer and the existence of reasonably orderly market conditions. A fund is also able to sell variable rate certificates of deposit on the secondary market. Variable rate certificates of deposit normally carry a higher interest rate than comparable fixed-rate certificates of deposit. A banker’s acceptance is a time draft drawn on a commercial bank by a borrower usually in connection with an international commercial transaction (to finance the import, export, transfer, or storage of goods). The borrower is liable for payment, as is the bank, which unconditionally guarantees to pay the draft at its face amount on the maturity date. Most acceptances have maturities of 6 months or less and are traded in the secondary markets prior to maturity.
Debt Securities—Commercial Paper. Commercial paper refers to short-term, unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations to finance short-term credit needs. It is usually sold on a discount basis and has a maturity at the time of issuance not exceeding 9 months. High-quality commercial paper typically has the following characteristics: (1) liquidity ratios are adequate to meet cash requirements; (2) long-term senior debt is also high credit quality; (3) the issuer has access to at least two additional channels of borrowing; (4) basic earnings and cash flow have an upward trend with allowance made for unusual circumstances; (5) typically, the issuer’s industry is well established and the issuer has a strong position within the industry; and (6) the reliability and quality of management are unquestioned. In assessing the credit quality of commercial paper issuers, the following factors may be considered: (1) evaluation of the management of the issuer, (2) economic evaluation of the issuer’s industry or industries and the appraisal of speculative-type risks that may be inherent in certain areas, (3) evaluation of the issuer’s products in relation to competition and customer acceptance, (4) liquidity, (5) amount and quality of long-term debt, (6) trend of earnings over a period of ten years, (7) financial strength of a parent company and the relationships that exist with the issuer, and (8) recognition by the management of obligations that may be present or may arise as a result of public-interest questions and preparations to meet such obligations. The short-term nature of a commercial paper investment makes it less susceptible to interest rate risk than longer-term fixed income securities because interest rate risk typically increases as maturity lengths increase. Additionally, an issuer may expect to repay commercial paper obligations at maturity from the proceeds of the issuance of new commercial paper. As a result, investment in commercial paper is subject to the risk the issuer cannot issue enough new commercial paper to satisfy its outstanding commercial paper payment obligations, also known as rollover risk. Commercial paper may suffer from reduced liquidity due to certain circumstances, in particular, during stressed markets. In addition, as with all fixed income securities, an issuer may default on its commercial paper obligation.
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Variable-amount master-demand notes are demand obligations that permit the investment of fluctuating amounts at varying market rates of interest pursuant to an arrangement between the issuer and a commercial bank acting as agent for the payees of such notes, whereby both parties have the right to vary the amount of the outstanding indebtedness on the notes. Because variable-amount master-demand notes are direct lending arrangements between a lender and a borrower, it is not generally contemplated that such instruments will be traded, and there is no secondary market for these notes, although they are redeemable (and thus immediately repayable by the borrower) at face value, plus accrued interest, at any time. In connection with a fund’s investment in variable-amount master-demand notes, Vanguard’s investment management staff will monitor, on an ongoing basis, the earning power, cash flow, and other liquidity ratios of the issuer, along with the borrower’s ability to pay principal and interest on demand.
Debt Securities—Emerging Market Risk. Investing in emerging market countries involves certain risks not typically associated with investing in the United States, and imposes risks greater than, or in addition to, risks of investing in more developed foreign countries. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following: nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; greater social, economic, and political uncertainty and instability (including amplified risk of war and terrorism); more substantial government involvement in the economy; less government supervision and regulation of the securities markets and participants in those markets; controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital; generally, smaller, less seasoned, and newly organized companies; the difference in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards, which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; difficulty in obtaining and/or enforcing a judgment in a court outside the United States; and greater price volatility, substantially less liquidity, and significantly smaller market capitalization of bond markets. Also, any change in the leadership or politics of emerging market countries, or the countries that exercise a significant influence over those countries, may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities. Furthermore, high rates of inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and bond markets of certain emerging market countries.
Debt Securities—Foreign Securities. The Global Wellington and Global Wellesley Income Funds invest a substantial portion of their assets in foreign debt securities. Typically, foreign debt securities are issued by entities organized, domiciled, or with a principal executive office outside the United States, such as foreign corporations and governments. Foreign debt securities may trade in U.S. or foreign securities markets. Investing in foreign debt securities involves certain special risk considerations that are not typically associated with investing in debt securities of U.S. companies or governments.
Because foreign issuers are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing, and financial reporting standards and practices comparable to those applicable to U.S. issuers, there may be less publicly available information about certain foreign issuers than about U.S. issuers. Evidence of securities ownership may be uncertain in many foreign countries. As a result, there are risks that could result in a loss to the fund, including, but not limited to, the risk that a fund’s trade details could be incorrectly or fraudulently entered at the time of the transaction. Securities of foreign issuers are generally more volatile and less liquid than securities of comparable U.S. issuers, and foreign investments may be effected through structures that may be complex or confusing. In certain countries, there is less government supervision and regulation of bond markets, bond dealers, and bond issuers than in the United States. In addition, with respect to certain foreign countries, there is the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, political or social instability, war, terrorism, nationalization, limitations on the removal of funds or other assets, or diplomatic developments that could affect U.S. investments in those countries. Additionally, economic or other sanctions imposed on the United States by a foreign country, or imposed on a foreign country by the United States, could impair a fund’s ability to buy, sell, hold, receive, deliver, or otherwise transact in certain investment securities. Sanctions could also affect the value and/or liquidity of a foreign security.
Although an advisor will endeavor to achieve the most favorable execution costs for a fund’s portfolio transactions in foreign securities under the circumstances, mark-ups and other transaction costs are generally higher than those on U.S. securities. In addition, it is expected that the custodian arrangement expenses for a fund that invests primarily in foreign securities will be somewhat greater than the expenses for a fund that invests primarily in domestic securities. Certain foreign governments levy withholding or other taxes against dividend and interest income from or transactions in foreign securities. Although in some countries a portion of these taxes is recoverable by the fund, the nonrecovered portion of foreign withholding taxes will reduce the income received from such securities.
The value of the foreign securities held by a fund that are not U.S. dollar-denominated may be significantly affected by changes in currency exchange rates. The U.S. dollar value of a foreign security generally decreases when the value of the U.S. dollar rises against the foreign currency in which the security is denominated, and it tends to increase when
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the value of the U.S. dollar falls against such currency. The Global Wellington and Global Wellesley Income Funds will attempt to hedge local currency risk, as discussed under the heading “Foreign Securities—Foreign Currency Transactions.” In addition, the value of fund assets may be affected by losses and other expenses incurred in converting between various currencies in order to purchase and sell foreign securities, as well as by currency restrictions, exchange control regulation, currency devaluations, and political and economic developments.
Debt Securities—Inflation-Indexed Securities. Inflation-indexed securities are debt securities, the principal value of which is periodically adjusted to reflect the rate of inflation as indicated by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Inflation-indexed securities may be issued by the U.S. government, by agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. government, and by corporations. Two structures are common. The U.S. Treasury and some other issuers use a structure that accrues inflation into the principal value of the bond. Most other issuers pay out the CPI accruals as part of a semiannual coupon payment.
The periodic adjustment of U.S. inflation-indexed securities is tied to the CPI, which is calculated monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation, and energy. Inflation-indexed securities issued by a foreign government are generally adjusted to reflect a comparable inflation index, calculated by that government. There can be no assurance that the CPI or any foreign inflation index will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the rate of inflation in a foreign country will correlate to the rate of inflation in the United States.
Inflation—a general rise in prices of goods and services—erodes the purchasing power of an investor’s portfolio. For example, if an investment provides a “nominal” total return of 5% in a given year and inflation is 2% during that period, the inflation-adjusted, or real, return is 3%. Inflation, as measured by the CPI, has generally occurred during the past 50 years, so investors should be conscious of both the nominal and real returns of their investments. Investors in inflation-indexed securities funds who do not reinvest the portion of the income distribution that is attributable to inflation adjustments will not maintain the purchasing power of the investment over the long term. This is because interest earned depends on the amount of principal invested, and that principal will not grow with inflation if the investor fails to reinvest the principal adjustment paid out as part of a fund’s income distributions. Although inflation-indexed securities are expected to be protected from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may lead to a decline in value. If interest rates rise because of reasons other than inflation (e.g., changes in currency exchange rates), investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bond’s inflation measure.
If the periodic adjustment rate measuring inflation (i.e., the CPI) falls, the principal value of inflation-indexed securities will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed in the case of U.S. Treasury inflation-indexed securities, even during a period of deflation. However, the current market value of the inflation-indexed securities is not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Other inflation-indexed securities include inflation-related bonds, which may or may not provide a similar guarantee. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the bond repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal.
The value of inflation-indexed securities should change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates, in turn, are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. Therefore, if inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation-indexed securities. In contrast, if nominal interest rates were to increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation-indexed securities.
Coupon payments that a fund receives from inflation-indexed securities are included in the fund’s gross income for the period during which they accrue. Any increase in principal for an inflation-indexed security resulting from inflation adjustments is considered by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations to be taxable income in the year it occurs. For direct holders of an inflation-indexed security, this means that taxes must be paid on principal adjustments, even though these amounts are not received until the bond matures. By contrast, a fund holding these securities distributes both interest income and the income attributable to principal adjustments each quarter in the form of cash or reinvested shares (which, like principal adjustments, are taxable to shareholders). It may be necessary for the fund to liquidate portfolio positions, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to make required distributions.
Debt Securities—Non-Investment-Grade Securities. Non-investment-grade securities, also referred to as “high-yield securities” or “junk bonds,” are debt securities that are rated lower than the four highest rating categories by a
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nationally recognized statistical rating organization (e.g., lower than Baa3/P-2 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Moody’s) or below BBB–/A-2 by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (Standard & Poor’s)) or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the fund’s advisor. These securities are generally considered to be, on balance, predominantly speculative with respect to capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the obligation, and they will generally involve more credit risk than securities in the investment-grade categories. Non-investment-grade securities generally provide greater income and opportunity for capital appreciation than higher quality securities, but they also typically entail greater price volatility and principal and income risk.
Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of high-yield securities may be more complex than for issuers of investment-grade securities. Thus, reliance on credit ratings in making investment decisions entails greater risks for high-yield securities than for investment-grade securities. The success of a fund’s advisor in managing high-yield securities is more dependent upon its own credit analysis than is the case with investment-grade securities.
Some high-yield securities are issued by smaller, less-seasoned companies, while others are issued as part of a corporate restructuring such as an acquisition, a merger, or a leveraged buyout. Companies that issue high-yield securities are often highly leveraged and may not have more traditional methods of financing available to them. Therefore, the risk associated with acquiring the securities of such issuers generally is greater than is the case with investment-grade securities. Some high-yield securities were once rated as investment-grade but have been downgraded to junk bond status because of financial difficulties experienced by their issuers.
The market values of high-yield securities tend to reflect individual issuer developments to a greater extent than do investment-grade securities, which in general react to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. High-yield securities also tend to be more sensitive to economic conditions than are investment-grade securities. An actual or anticipated economic downturn or sustained period of rising interest rates, for example, could cause a decline in junk bond prices because the advent of a recession could lessen the ability of a highly leveraged company to make principal and interest payments on its debt securities. If an issuer of high-yield securities defaults, in addition to risking payment of all or a portion of interest and principal, a fund investing in such securities may incur additional expenses to seek recovery.
The secondary market on which high-yield securities are traded may be less liquid than the market for investment-grade securities. Less liquidity in the secondary trading market could adversely affect the ability of a fund’s advisor to sell a high-yield security or the price at which a fund’s advisor could sell a high-yield security, and it could also adversely affect the daily net asset value of fund shares. When secondary markets for high-yield securities are less liquid than the market for investment-grade securities, it may be more difficult to value the securities because such valuation may require more research, and elements of judgment may play a greater role in the valuation of the securities.
Except as otherwise provided in a fund’s prospectus, if a credit rating agency changes the rating of a portfolio security held by a fund, the fund may retain the portfolio security if the advisor deems it in the best interests of shareholders.
Debt Securities—Structured and Indexed Securities. Structured securities (also called “structured notes”) and indexed securities are derivative debt securities, the interest rate or principal of which is determined by an unrelated indicator. Indexed securities include structured notes as well as securities other than debt securities. The value of the principal of and/or interest on structured and indexed securities is determined by reference to changes in the value of a specific asset, reference rate, or index (the reference) or the relative change in two or more references. The interest rate or the principal amount payable upon maturity or redemption may be increased or decreased, depending upon changes in the applicable reference. The terms of the structured and indexed securities may provide that, in certain circumstances, no principal is due at maturity and, therefore, may result in a loss of invested capital. Structured and indexed securities may be positively or negatively indexed, so that appreciation of the reference may produce an increase or a decrease in the interest rate or value of the security at maturity. In addition, changes in the interest rate or the value of the structured or indexed security at maturity may be calculated as a specified multiple of the change in the value of the reference; therefore, the value of such security may be very volatile. Structured and indexed securities may entail a greater degree of market risk than other types of debt securities because the investor bears the risk of the reference. Structured or indexed securities may also be more volatile, less liquid, and more difficult to accurately price than less complex securities or more traditional debt securities, which could lead to an overvaluation or an undervaluation of the securities.
Debt Securities—U.S. Government Securities. The term “U.S. government securities” refers to a variety of debt securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury, by various agencies of the U.S. government, or by various instrumentalities that have been established or sponsored by the U.S. government. The term also refers to repurchase agreements collateralized by such securities.
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U.S. Treasury securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, meaning that the U.S. government is required to repay the principal in the event of default. Other types of securities issued or guaranteed by federal agencies and U.S. government-sponsored instrumentalities may or may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The U.S. government, however, does not guarantee the market price of any U.S. government securities. In the case of securities not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, the investor must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the obligation for ultimate repayment and may not be able to assert a claim against the United States itself in the event the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitment.
Some of the U.S. government agencies that issue or guarantee securities include the Government National Mortgage Association, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Federal Housing Administration, the Maritime Administration, the Small Business Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. An instrumentality of the U.S. government is a government agency organized under federal charter with government supervision. Instrumentalities issuing or guaranteeing securities include, among others, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Banks, and the Federal National Mortgage Association.
Debt Securities—Variable and Floating Rate Securities. Variable and floating rate securities are debt securities that provide for periodic adjustments in the interest rate paid on the security. Variable rate securities provide for a specified periodic adjustment in the interest rate, while floating rate securities have interest rates that change whenever there is a change in a designated benchmark or reference rate (such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), or another reference rate) or the issuer’s credit quality. There is a risk that the current interest rate on variable and floating rate securities may not accurately reflect current market interest rates or adequately compensate the holder for the current creditworthiness of the issuer. Some variable or floating rate securities are structured with liquidity features such as (1) put options or tender options that permit holders (sometimes subject to conditions) to demand payment of the unpaid principal balance plus accrued interest from the issuers or certain financial intermediaries or (2) auction-rate features, remarketing provisions, or other maturity-shortening devices designed to enable the issuer to refinance or redeem outstanding debt securities (market-dependent liquidity features). Variable or floating rate securities that include market-dependent liquidity features may have greater liquidity risk than other securities. The greater liquidity risk may exist, for example, because of the failure of a market-dependent liquidity feature to operate as intended (as a result of the issuer’s declining creditworthiness, adverse market conditions, or other factors) or the inability or unwillingness of a participating broker-dealer to make a secondary market for such securities. As a result, variable or floating rate securities that include market-dependent liquidity features may lose value, and the holders of such securities may be required to retain them until the later of the repurchase date, the resale date, or the date of maturity. A demand instrument with a demand notice exceeding seven days may be considered illiquid if there is no secondary market for such security.
Debt Securities—Zero-Coupon and Pay-in-Kind Securities. Zero-coupon and pay-in-kind securities are debt securities that do not make regular cash interest payments. Zero-coupon securities generally do not pay interest. Zero-coupon Treasury bonds are U.S. Treasury notes and bonds that have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons, or the coupons themselves, and also receipts or certificates representing an interest in such stripped debt obligations and coupons. The timely payment of coupon interest and principal on these instruments remains guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Pay-in-kind securities pay interest through the issuance of additional securities. These securities are generally issued at a discount to their principal or maturity value. Because such securities do not pay current cash income, the price of these securities can be volatile when interest rates fluctuate. Although these securities do not pay current cash income, federal income tax law requires the holders of zero-coupon and pay-in-kind securities to include in income each year the portion of the original issue discount and other noncash income on such securities accrued during that year. Each fund that holds such securities intends to pass along such interest as a component of the fund’s distributions of net investment income. It may be necessary for the fund to liquidate portfolio positions, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to make required distributions.
Depositary Receipts. Depositary receipts (also sold as participatory notes) are securities that evidence ownership interests in a security or a pool of securities that have been deposited with a “depository.” Depositary receipts may be sponsored or unsponsored and include American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), European Depositary Receipts (EDRs), and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs). For ADRs, the depository is typically a U.S. financial institution, and the underlying securities are issued by a foreign issuer. For other depositary receipts, the depository may be a foreign or a U.S. entity, and the underlying securities may have a foreign or a U.S. issuer. Depositary receipts will not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities. Generally, ADRs are issued in registered form, denominated in U.S. dollars, and designed for use in the U.S. securities markets. Other depositary receipts, such as
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GDRs and EDRs, may be issued in bearer form and denominated in other currencies, and they are generally designed for use in securities markets outside the United States. Although the two types of depositary receipt facilities (sponsored and unsponsored) are similar, there are differences regarding a holder’s rights and obligations and the practices of market participants.
A depository may establish an unsponsored facility without participation by (or acquiescence of) the underlying issuer; typically, however, the depository requests a letter of nonobjection from the underlying issuer prior to establishing the facility. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the costs of the facility. The depository usually charges fees upon the deposit and withdrawal of the underlying securities, the conversion of dividends into U.S. dollars or other currency, the disposition of noncash distributions, and the performance of other services. The depository of an unsponsored facility frequently is under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications received from the underlying issuer or to pass through voting rights to depositary receipt holders with respect to the underlying securities.
Sponsored depositary receipt facilities are created in generally the same manner as unsponsored facilities, except that sponsored depositary receipts are established jointly by a depository and the underlying issuer through a deposit agreement. The deposit agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities of the underlying issuer, the depository, and the depositary receipt holders. With sponsored facilities, the underlying issuer typically bears some of the costs of the depositary receipts (such as dividend payment fees of the depository), although most sponsored depositary receipt holders may bear costs such as deposit and withdrawal fees. Depositories of most sponsored depositary receipts agree to distribute notices of shareholder meetings, voting instructions, and other shareholder communications and information to the depositary receipt holders at the underlying issuer’s request.
For purposes of a fund’s investment policies, investments in depositary receipts will be deemed to be investments in the underlying securities. Thus, a depositary receipt representing ownership of common stock will be treated as common stock. Depositary receipts do not eliminate all of the risks associated with directly investing in the securities of foreign issuers.
Derivatives. A derivative is a financial instrument that has a value based on—or “derived from”—the values of other assets, reference rates, or indexes. Derivatives may relate to a wide variety of underlying references, such as commodities, stocks, bonds, interest rates, currency exchange rates, and related indexes. Derivatives include futures contracts and options on futures contracts, certain forward-commitment transactions, options on securities, caps, floors, collars, swap agreements, and certain other financial instruments. Some derivatives, such as futures contracts and certain options, are traded on U.S. commodity and securities exchanges, while other derivatives, such as swap agreements, may be privately negotiated and entered into in the over-the-counter market (OTC Derivatives) or may be cleared through a clearinghouse (Cleared Derivatives) and traded on an exchange or swap execution facility. As a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act), certain swap agreements, such as certain standardized credit default and interest rate swap agreements, must be cleared through a clearinghouse and traded on an exchange or swap execution facility. This could result in an increase in the overall costs of such transactions. While the intent of derivatives regulatory reform is to mitigate risks associated with derivatives markets, the regulations could, among other things, increase liquidity and decrease pricing for more standardized products while decreasing liquidity and increasing pricing for less standardized products. The risks associated with the use of derivatives are different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in the securities or assets on which the derivatives are based.
Derivatives may be used for a variety of purposes, including—but not limited to—hedging, managing risk, seeking to stay fully invested, seeking to reduce transaction costs, seeking to simulate an investment in equity or debt securities or other investments, and seeking to add value by using derivatives to more efficiently implement portfolio positions when derivatives are favorably priced relative to equity or debt securities or other investments. Some investors may use derivatives primarily for speculative purposes while other uses of derivatives may not constitute speculation. There is no assurance that any derivatives strategy used by a fund’s advisor will succeed. The other parties to a fund’s OTC Derivatives contracts (usually referred to as “counterparties”) will not be considered the issuers thereof for purposes of certain provisions of the 1940 Act and the IRC, although such OTC Derivatives may qualify as securities or investments under such laws. A fund’s advisor(s), however, will monitor and adjust, as appropriate, the fund’s credit risk exposure to OTC Derivative counterparties.
Derivative products are highly specialized instruments that require investment techniques and risk analyses different from those associated with stocks, bonds, and other traditional investments. The use of a derivative requires an understanding not only of the underlying instrument but also of the derivative itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the derivative under all possible market conditions.
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When a fund enters into a Cleared Derivative, an initial margin deposit with a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) is required. Initial margin deposits are typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in market value of a Cleared Derivative over a fixed period. If the value of the fund’s Cleared Derivatives declines, the fund will be required to make additional “variation margin” payments to the FCM to settle the change in value. If the value of the fund’s Cleared Derivatives increases, the FCM will be required to make additional “variation margin” payments to the fund to settle the change in value. This process is known as “marking-to-market” and is calculated on a daily basis.
For OTC Derivatives, a fund is subject to the risk that a loss may be sustained as a result of the insolvency or bankruptcy of the counterparty or the failure of the counterparty to make required payments or otherwise comply with the terms of the contract. Additionally, the use of credit derivatives can result in losses if a fund’s advisor does not correctly evaluate the creditworthiness of the issuer on which the credit derivative is based.
Derivatives may be subject to liquidity risk, which exists when a particular derivative is difficult to purchase or sell. If a derivative transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid (as is the case with certain OTC Derivatives), it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price.
Derivatives may be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when a particular derivative becomes extraordinarily expensive relative to historical prices or the prices of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions, it may not be economically feasible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity.
Because certain derivatives have a leverage component, adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, reference rate, or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the derivative itself. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. A derivative transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund covers the transaction in accordance with the requirements described under the heading “Borrowing.
Like most other investments, derivative instruments are subject to the risk that the market value of the instrument will change in a way detrimental to a fund’s interest. A fund bears the risk that its advisor will incorrectly forecast future market trends or the values of assets, reference rates, indexes, or other financial or economic factors in establishing derivative positions for the fund. If the advisor attempts to use a derivative as a hedge against, or as a substitute for, a portfolio investment, the fund will be exposed to the risk that the derivative will have or will develop imperfect or no correlation with the portfolio investment. This could cause substantial losses for the fund. Although hedging strategies involving derivative instruments can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in other fund investments. Many derivatives (in particular, OTC Derivatives) are complex and often valued subjectively. Improper valuations can result in increased cash payment requirements to counterparties or a loss of value to a fund.
Each Fund intends to comply with Rule 4.5 under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), under which a mutual fund may be excluded from the definition of the term Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) if the fund meets certain conditions such as limiting its investments in certain CEA-regulated instruments (e.g., futures, options, or swaps) and complying with certain marketing restrictions. Accordingly, Vanguard is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO with respect to each Fund under the CEA. Each Fund will only enter into futures contracts and futures options that are traded on a U.S. or foreign exchange, board of trade, or similar entity or that are quoted on an automated quotation system.
Exchange-Traded Funds. A fund may purchase shares of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Typically, a fund would purchase ETF shares for the same reason it would purchase (and as an alternative to purchasing) futures contracts: to obtain exposure to all or a portion of the stock or bond market. ETF shares enjoy several advantages over futures. Depending on the market, the holding period, and other factors, ETF shares can be less costly and more tax-efficient than futures. In addition, ETF shares can be purchased for smaller sums, offer exposure to market sectors and styles for which there is no suitable or liquid futures contract, and do not involve leverage.
An investment in an ETF generally presents the same principal risks as an investment in a conventional fund (i.e., one that is not exchange-traded) that has the same investment objective, strategies, and policies. The price of an ETF can fluctuate within a wide range, and a fund could lose money investing in an ETF if the prices of the securities owned by the ETF go down. In addition, ETFs are subject to the following risks that do not apply to conventional funds: (1) the market price of an ETF’s shares may trade at a discount or a premium to their net asset value; (2) an active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained; and (3) trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted by the
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activation of individual or marketwide trading halts (which halt trading for a specific period of time when the price of a particular security or overall market prices decline by a specified percentage). Trading of an ETF’s shares may also be halted if the shares are delisted from the exchange without first being listed on another exchange or if the listing exchange’s officials determine that such action is appropriate in the interest of a fair and orderly market or for the protection of investors.
Most ETFs are investment companies. Therefore, a fund’s purchases of ETF shares generally are subject to the limitations on, and the risks of, a fund’s investments in other investment companies, which are described under the heading “Other Investment Companies.”
Vanguard ETF®* Shares are exchange-traded shares that represent an interest in an investment portfolio held by Vanguard funds. A fund’s investments in Vanguard ETF Shares are also generally subject to the descriptions, limitations, and risks described under the heading “Other Investment Companies,” except as provided by an exemption granted by the SEC that permits registered investment companies to invest in a Vanguard fund that issues ETF Shares beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, subject to certain terms and conditions.
* U.S. Patent Nos. 6,879,964; 7,337,138; 7,720,749; 7,925,573; 8,090,646; and 8,417,623.
Foreign Securities. Typically, foreign securities are considered to be equity or debt securities issued by entities organized, domiciled, or with a principal executive office outside the United States, such as foreign corporations and governments. Securities issued by certain companies organized outside the United States may not be deemed to be foreign securities if the company’s principal operations are conducted from the United States or when the company’s equity securities trade principally on a U.S. stock exchange. Foreign securities may trade in U.S. or foreign securities markets. A fund may make foreign investments either directly by purchasing foreign securities or indirectly by purchasing depositary receipts or depositary shares of similar instruments (depositary receipts) for foreign securities. Direct investments in foreign securities may be made either on foreign securities exchanges or in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets. Investing in foreign securities involves certain special risk considerations that are not typically associated with investing in securities of U.S. companies or governments.
Because foreign issuers are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing, and financial reporting standards and practices comparable to those applicable to U.S. issuers, there may be less publicly available information about certain foreign issuers than about U.S. issuers. Evidence of securities ownership may be uncertain in many foreign countries. As a result, there are risks that could result in a loss to the fund, including, but not limited to, the risk that a fund’s trade details could be incorrectly or fraudulently entered at the time of a transaction. Securities of foreign issuers are generally more volatile and less liquid than securities of comparable U.S. issuers, and foreign investments may be effected through structures that may be complex or confusing. In certain countries, there is less government supervision and regulation of stock exchanges, brokers, and listed companies than in the United States. The risk that securities traded on foreign exchanges may be suspended, either by the issuers themselves, by an exchange, or by government authorities, is also heightened. In addition, with respect to certain foreign countries, there is the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, political or social instability, war, terrorism, nationalization, limitations on the removal of funds or other assets, or diplomatic developments that could affect U.S. investments in those countries. Additionally, economic or other sanctions imposed on the United States by a foreign country, or imposed on a foreign country or issuer by the United States, could impair a fund’s ability to buy, sell, hold, receive, deliver, or otherwise transact in certain investment securities. Sanctions could also affect the value and/or liquidity of a foreign security.
Although an advisor will endeavor to achieve the most favorable execution costs for a fund’s portfolio transactions in foreign securities under the circumstances, commissions and other transaction costs are generally higher than those on U.S. securities. In addition, it is expected that the custodian arrangement expenses for a fund that invests primarily in foreign securities will be somewhat greater than the expenses for a fund that invests primarily in domestic securities. Additionally, bankruptcy laws vary by jurisdiction and cash deposits may be subject to a custodian’s creditors. Certain foreign governments levy withholding or other taxes against dividend and interest income from, capital gains on the sale of, or transactions in foreign securities. Although in some countries a portion of these taxes is recoverable by the fund, the nonrecovered portion of foreign withholding taxes will reduce the income received from such securities.
The value of the foreign securities held by a fund that are not U.S. dollar-denominated may be significantly affected by changes in currency exchange rates. The U.S. dollar value of a foreign security generally decreases when the value of the U.S. dollar rises against the foreign currency in which the security is denominated, and it tends to increase when the value of the U.S. dollar falls against such currency (as discussed under the heading “Foreign Securities—Foreign
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Currency Transactions,” a fund may attempt to hedge its currency risks). In addition, the value of fund assets may be affected by losses and other expenses incurred from converting between various currencies in order to purchase and sell foreign securities, as well as by currency restrictions, exchange control regulations, currency devaluations, and political and economic developments.
Foreign Securities—China A-shares Risk. China A-shares (A-shares) are shares of mainland Chinese companies that are traded locally on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. A-shares investment by foreign investors are currently only available through the QFII/RQFII license or the China Stock Connect program. The developing state of the investment and banking systems of the People’s Republic of China (China, or the PRC) subjects the settlement, clearing, and registration of securities transactions to heightened risks. Additionally, there are foreign ownership limitations that may result in limitations on investment or the return of profits if a fund purchases and sells shares of an issuer in which it owns 5% or more of the shares issued within a six-month period. It is unclear if the 5% ownership will be determined by aggregating the holdings of a fund with affiliated funds.
Due to these restrictions, it is possible that the A-shares available to a fund as a foreign investor may not be sufficient to meet the fund’s investment needs. In this situation, a fund may seek an alternative method of economic exposure, such as by purchasing other classes of securities or depositary receipts or by utilizing derivatives. Any of these options could increase a fund’s index sampling risk (for index funds) or investment cost. Additionally, investing in A-shares generally increases emerging markets risk due in part to government and issuer market controls and the developing settlement and legal systems.
Investing in China A-shares through Stock Connect. The China Stock Connect program (Stock Connect) is a mutual market access program designed to, among other things, enable foreign investment in the PRC via brokers in Hong Kong. A QFII/RQFII license is not required to trade via Stock Connect. There are significant risks inherent in investing in A-shares through Stock Connect. Specifically, trading can be affected by a number of issues. Stock Connect can only operate when both PRC and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. As such, if one or both markets are closed on a U.S. trading day, a fund may not be able to dispose of its shares in a timely manner, which could adversely affect the fund’s performance. Trading through Stock Connect may require pre-delivery or pre-validation of cash or securities to or by a broker. If the cash or securities are not in the broker’s possession before the market opens on the day of selling, the sell order will be rejected. This requirement may limit a fund’s ability to dispose of its A-shares purchased through Stock Connect in a timely manner.
Additionally, Stock Connect is subject to daily quota limitations on purchases into the PRC. Once the daily quota is reached, orders to purchase additional A-shares through Stock Connect will be rejected. In addition, a fund’s purchase of A-shares through Stock Connect may only be subsequently sold through Stock Connect and is not otherwise transferable. Stock Connect utilizes an omnibus clearing structure, and the fund’s shares will be registered in its custodian’s name on the Hong Kong Central Clearing and Settlement System. This may limit an advisor’s ability to effectively manage a fund’s holdings, including the potential enforcement of equity owner rights.
Foreign Securities—Emerging Market Risk. Investing in emerging market countries involves certain risks not typically associated with investing in the United States, and it imposes risks greater than, or in addition to, risks of investing in more developed foreign countries. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following: nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; currency devaluations and other currency exchange rate fluctuations; greater social, economic, and political uncertainty and instability (including amplified risk of war and terrorism); more substantial government involvement in the economy; less government supervision and regulation of the securities markets and participants in those markets and possible arbitrary and unpredictable enforcement of securities regulations and other laws; controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on the fund’s ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; unavailability of currency-hedging techniques in certain emerging market countries; generally smaller, less seasoned, or newly organized companies; differences in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards, which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; difficulty in obtaining and/or enforcing a judgment in a court outside the United States; and greater price volatility, substantially less liquidity, and significantly smaller market capitalization of securities markets. Also, any change in the leadership or politics of emerging market countries, or the countries that exercise a significant influence over those countries, may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities. Furthermore, high rates of inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation
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rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging market countries. Custodial expenses and other investment-related costs are often more expensive in emerging market countries, which can reduce a fund’s income from investments in securities or debt instruments of emerging market country issuers.
Foreign Securities—Foreign Currency Transactions. The value in U.S. dollars of a fund’s non-dollar-denominated foreign securities may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations, and the fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. To seek to minimize the impact of such factors on net asset values, a fund may engage in foreign currency transactions in connection with its investments in foreign securities. A fund will enter into foreign currency transactions only to attempt to “hedge” the currency risk associated with investing in foreign securities. Although such transactions tend to minimize the risk of loss that would result from a decline in the value of the hedged currency, they also may limit any potential gain that might result should the value of such currency increase.
Currency exchange transactions may be conducted either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the rate prevailing in the currency exchange market or through forward contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies. A forward currency contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are entered into with large commercial banks or other currency traders who are participants in the interbank market. Currency exchange transactions also may be effected through the use of swap agreements or other derivatives.
Currency exchange transactions may be considered borrowings. A currency exchange transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund covers the transaction in accordance with the requirements described under the heading “Borrowing.”
By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale of foreign currency involved in underlying security transactions, a fund may be able to protect itself against part or all of the possible loss between trade and settlement dates for that purchase or sale resulting from an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and such foreign currency. This practice is sometimes referred to as “transaction hedging.” In addition, when the advisor reasonably believes that a particular foreign currency may suffer a substantial decline against the U.S. dollar, a fund may enter into a forward contract to sell an amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of its portfolio securities denominated in such foreign currency. This practice is sometimes referred to as “portfolio hedging.” Similarly, when the advisor reasonably believes that the U.S. dollar may suffer a substantial decline against a foreign currency, a fund may enter into a forward contract to buy that foreign currency for a fixed dollar amount.
A fund may also attempt to hedge its foreign currency exchange rate risk by engaging in currency futures, options, and “cross-hedge” transactions. In cross-hedge transactions, a fund holding securities denominated in one foreign currency will enter into a forward currency contract to buy or sell a different foreign currency (one that the advisor reasonably believes generally tracks the currency being hedged with regard to price movements). The advisor may select the tracking (or substitute) currency rather than the currency in which the security is denominated for various reasons, including in order to take advantage of pricing or other opportunities presented by the tracking currency or to take advantage of a more liquid or more efficient market for the tracking currency. Such cross-hedges are expected to help protect a fund against an increase or decrease in the value of the U.S. dollar against certain foreign currencies.
A fund may hold a portion of its assets in bank deposits denominated in foreign currencies so as to facilitate investment in foreign securities as well as protect against currency fluctuations and the need to convert such assets into U.S. dollars (thereby also reducing transaction costs). To the extent these assets are converted back into U.S. dollars, the value of the assets so maintained will be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations.
Forecasting the movement of the currency market is extremely difficult. Whether any hedging strategy will be successful is highly uncertain. Moreover, it is impossible to forecast with precision the market value of portfolio securities at the expiration of a forward currency contract. Accordingly, a fund may be required to buy or sell additional currency on the spot market (and bear the expense of such transaction) if its advisor’s predictions regarding the movement of foreign currency or securities markets prove inaccurate. In addition, the use of cross-hedging transactions
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may involve special risks and may leave a fund in a less advantageous position than if such a hedge had not been established. Because forward currency contracts are privately negotiated transactions, there can be no assurance that a fund will have flexibility to roll over a forward currency contract upon its expiration if it desires to do so. Additionally, there can be no assurance that the other party to the contract will perform its services thereunder.
Foreign Securities—Foreign Investment Companies. Some of the countries in which a fund may invest may not permit, or may place economic restrictions on, direct investment by outside investors. Fund investments in such countries may be permitted only through foreign government-approved or authorized investment vehicles, which may include other investment companies. Such investments may be made through registered or unregistered closed-end investment companies that invest in foreign securities. Investing through such vehicles may involve layered fees or expenses and may also be subject to the limitations on, and the risks of, a fund’s investments in other investment companies, which are described under the heading “Other Investment Companies.”
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts. Futures contracts and options on futures contracts are derivatives. A futures contract is a standardized agreement between two parties to buy or sell at a specific time in the future a specific quantity of a commodity at a specific price. The commodity may consist of an asset, a reference rate, or an index. A security futures contract relates to the sale of a specific quantity of shares of a single equity security or a narrow-based securities index. The value of a futures contract tends to increase and decrease in tandem with the value of the underlying commodity. The buyer of a futures contract enters into an agreement to purchase the underlying commodity on the settlement date and is said to be “long” the contract. The seller of a futures contract enters into an agreement to sell the underlying commodity on the settlement date and is said to be “short” the contract. The price at which a futures contract is entered into is established either in the electronic marketplace or by open outcry on the floor of an exchange between exchange members acting as traders or brokers. Open futures contracts can be liquidated or closed out by physical delivery of the underlying commodity or payment of the cash settlement amount on the settlement date, depending on the terms of the particular contract. Some financial futures contracts (such as security futures) provide for physical settlement at maturity. Other financial futures contracts (such as those relating to interest rates, foreign currencies, and broad-based securities indexes) generally provide for cash settlement at maturity. In the case of cash-settled futures contracts, the cash settlement amount is equal to the difference between the final settlement or market price for the relevant commodity on the last trading day of the contract and the price for the relevant commodity agreed upon at the outset of the contract. Most futures contracts, however, are not held until maturity but instead are “offset” before the settlement date through the establishment of an opposite and equal futures position.
The purchaser or seller of a futures contract is not required to deliver or pay for the underlying commodity unless the contract is held until the settlement date. However, both the purchaser and seller are required to deposit “initial margin” with a futures commission merchant (FCM) when the futures contract is entered into. Initial margin deposits are typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in market value of a contract over a fixed period. If the value of the fund’s position declines, the fund will be required to make additional “variation margin” payments to the FCM to settle the change in value. If the value of the fund’s position increases, the FCM will be required to make additional “variation margin” payments to the fund to settle the change in value. This process is known as “marking-to-market” and is calculated on a daily basis. A futures transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund covers the transaction in accordance with the requirements described under the heading “Borrowing.”
An option on a futures contract (or futures option) conveys the right, but not the obligation, to purchase (in the case of a call option) or sell (in the case of a put option) a specific futures contract at a specific price (called the “exercise” or “strike” price) any time before the option expires. The seller of an option is called an option writer. The purchase price of an option is called the premium. The potential loss to an option buyer is limited to the amount of the premium plus transaction costs. This will be the case, for example, if the option is held and not exercised prior to its expiration date. Generally, an option writer sells options with the goal of obtaining the premium paid by the option buyer. If an option sold by an option writer expires without being exercised, the writer retains the full amount of the premium. The option writer, however, has unlimited economic risk because its potential loss, except to the extent offset by the premium received when the option was written, is equal to the amount the option is “in-the-money” at the expiration date. A call option is in-the-money if the value of the underlying futures contract exceeds the exercise price of the option. A put option is in-the-money if the exercise price of the option exceeds the value of the underlying futures contract. Generally, any profit realized by an option buyer represents a loss for the option writer.
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A fund that takes the position of a writer of a futures option is required to deposit and maintain initial and variation margin with respect to the option, as previously described in the case of futures contracts. A futures option transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund covers the transaction in accordance with the requirements described under the heading “Borrowing.”
Each Fund intends to comply with Rule 4.5 under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), under which a mutual fund may be excluded from the definition of the term Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) if the fund meets certain conditions such as limiting its investments in certain CEA-regulated instruments (e.g., futures, options, or swaps) and complying with certain marketing restrictions. Accordingly, Vanguard is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO with respect to each Fund under the CEA. A Fund will only enter into futures contracts and futures options that are traded on a U.S. or foreign exchange, board of trade, or similar entity or that are quoted on an automated quotation system.
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts—Risks. The risk of loss in trading futures contracts and in writing futures options can be substantial because of the low margin deposits required, the extremely high degree of leverage involved in futures and options pricing, and the potential high volatility of the futures markets. As a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures position may result in immediate and substantial loss (or gain) for the investor. For example, if at the time of purchase, 10% of the value of the futures contract is deposited as margin, a subsequent 10% decrease in the value of the futures contract would result in a total loss of the margin deposit, before any deduction for the transaction costs, if the account were then closed out. A 15% decrease would result in a loss equal to 150% of the original margin deposit if the contract were closed out. Thus, a purchase or sale of a futures contract, and the writing of a futures option, may result in losses in excess of the amount invested in the position. In the event of adverse price movements, a fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin. In such situations, if the fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell portfolio securities to meet daily margin requirements (and segregation requirements, if applicable) at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, on the settlement date, a fund may be required to make delivery of the instruments underlying the futures positions it holds.
A fund could suffer losses if it is unable to close out a futures contract or a futures option because of an illiquid secondary market. Futures contracts and futures options may be closed out only on an exchange that provides a secondary market for such products. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular futures product at any specific time. Thus, it may not be possible to close a futures or option position. Moreover, most futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price at the end of a trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular type of contract, no trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movement during a particular trading day, and therefore does not limit potential losses because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. Futures contract prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of future positions and subjecting some futures traders to substantial losses. The inability to close futures and options positions also could have an adverse impact on the ability to hedge a portfolio investment or to establish a substitute for a portfolio investment. U.S. Treasury futures are generally not subject to such daily limits.
A fund bears the risk that its advisor will incorrectly predict future market trends. If the advisor attempts to use a futures contract or a futures option as a hedge against, or as a substitute for, a portfolio investment, the fund will be exposed to the risk that the futures position will have or will develop imperfect or no correlation with the portfolio investment. This could cause substantial losses for the fund. Although hedging strategies involving futures products can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in other fund investments.
A fund could lose margin payments it has deposited with its FCM if, for example, the FCM breaches its agreement with the fund or becomes insolvent or goes into bankruptcy. In that event, the fund may be entitled to return of margin owed to it only in proportion to the amount received by the FCM’s other customers, potentially resulting in losses to the fund.
Hybrid Instruments. A hybrid instrument, or hybrid, is an interest in an issuer that combines the characteristics of an equity security, a debt security, a commodity, and/or a derivative. A hybrid may have characteristics that, on the whole, more strongly suggest the existence of a bond, stock, or other traditional investment, but a hybrid may also have prominent features that are normally associated with a different type of investment. Moreover, hybrid instruments may
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be treated as a particular type of investment for one regulatory purpose (such as taxation) and may be simultaneously treated as a different type of investment for a different regulatory purpose (such as securities or commodity regulation). Hybrids can be used as an efficient means of pursuing a variety of investment goals, including increased total return, duration management, and currency hedging. Because hybrids combine features of two or more traditional investments and may involve the use of innovative structures, hybrids present risks that may be similar to, different from, or greater than those associated with traditional investments with similar characteristics.
Examples of hybrid instruments include convertible securities, which combine the investment characteristics of bonds and common stocks; perpetual bonds, which are structured like fixed income securities, have no maturity date, and may be characterized as debt or equity for certain regulatory purposes; contingent convertible securities, which are fixed income securities that, under certain circumstances, either convert into common stock of the issuer or undergo a principal write-down by a predetermined percentage if the issuer’s capital ratio falls below a predetermined trigger level; and trust-preferred securities, which are preferred stocks of a special-purpose trust that holds subordinated debt of the corporate parent. Another example of a hybrid is a commodity-linked bond, such as a bond issued by an oil company that pays a small base level of interest with additional interest that accrues in correlation to the extent to which oil prices exceed a certain predetermined level. Such a hybrid would be a combination of a bond and a call option on oil.
In the case of hybrids that are structured like fixed income securities (such as structured notes), the principal amount or the interest rate is generally tied (positively or negatively) to the price of some commodity, currency, securities index, interest rate, or other economic factor (each, a benchmark). For some hybrids, the principal amount payable at maturity or the interest rate may be increased or decreased, depending on changes in the value of the benchmark. Other hybrids do not bear interest or pay dividends. The value of a hybrid or its interest rate may be a multiple of a benchmark and, as a result, may be leveraged and move (up or down) more steeply and rapidly than the benchmark, thus magnifying movements within the benchmark. These benchmarks may be sensitive to economic and political events, such as commodity shortages and currency devaluations, which cannot be readily foreseen by the purchaser of a hybrid. Under certain conditions, the redemption value of a hybrid could be zero. Thus, an investment in a hybrid may entail significant market risks that are not associated with a similar investment in a traditional, U.S. dollar-denominated bond with a fixed principal amount that pays a fixed rate or floating rate of interest. The purchase of hybrids also exposes a fund to the credit risk of the issuer of the hybrids. Depending on the level of a fund’s investment in hybrids, these risks may cause significant fluctuations in the fund’s net asset value. Hybrid instruments may also carry liquidity risk since the instruments are often “customized” to meet the needs of an issuer or, sometimes, the portfolio needs of a particular investor, and therefore the number of investors that are willing and able to buy such instruments in the secondary market may be smaller than that for more traditional securities.
Certain issuers of hybrid instruments known as structured products may be deemed to be investment companies as defined in the 1940 Act. As a result, a fund’s investments in these products may be subject to the limitations described under the heading “Other Investment Companies.”
Industry Concentration. The SEC staff takes the position that a fund concentrates its investments if it invests more than 25% of its assets in any particular industry. (For this purpose investments do not include certain items such as cash, U.S. government securities, securities of other investment companies, and certain tax-exempt securities.)
Interfund Borrowing and Lending. The SEC has granted an exemption permitting registered open-end Vanguard funds to participate in Vanguard’s interfund lending program. This program allows the Vanguard funds to borrow money from and lend money to each other for temporary or emergency purposes. The program is subject to a number of conditions, including, among other things, the requirements that (1) no fund may borrow or lend money through the program unless it receives a more favorable interest rate than is typically available from a bank for a comparable transaction, (2) no fund may lend money if the loan would cause its aggregate outstanding loans through the program to exceed 15% of its net assets at the time of the loan, and (3) a fund’s interfund loans to any one fund shall not exceed 5% of the lending fund’s net assets. In addition, a Vanguard fund may participate in the program only if and to the extent that such participation is consistent with the fund’s investment objective and investment policies. The boards of trustees of the Vanguard funds are responsible for overseeing the interfund lending program. Any delay in repayment to a lending fund could result in a lost investment opportunity or additional borrowing costs.
Investing for Control. Each Vanguard fund invests in securities and other instruments for the sole purpose of achieving a specific investment objective. As such, a Vanguard fund does not seek to acquire, individually or collectively with any other Vanguard fund, enough of a company’s outstanding voting stock to have control over management decisions. A Vanguard fund does not invest for the purpose of controlling a company’s management.
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Loan Interests and Direct Debt Instruments. Loan interests and direct debt instruments are interests in amounts owed by a corporate, governmental, or other borrower to lenders or lending syndicates (in the case of loans and loan participations); to suppliers of goods or services (in the case of trade claims or other receivables); or to other parties. These investments involve a risk of loss in case of default, insolvency, or the bankruptcy of the borrower and may offer less legal protection to the purchaser in the event of fraud or misrepresentation, or there may be a requirement that a purchaser supply additional cash to a borrower on demand.
Purchasers of loans and other forms of direct indebtedness depend primarily upon the creditworthiness of the borrower for payment of interest and repayment of principal. Direct debt instruments may not be rated by a rating agency. If scheduled interest or principal payments are not made, or are not made in a timely manner, the value of the instrument may be adversely affected. Loans that are fully secured provide more protections than unsecured loans in the event of failure to make scheduled interest or principal payments. However, there is no assurance that the liquidation of collateral from a secured loan would satisfy the borrower’s obligation or that the collateral could be liquidated. Indebtedness of borrowers whose creditworthiness is poor involves substantially greater risks and may be highly speculative. Borrowers that are in bankruptcy or restructuring may never pay off their indebtedness, or they may pay only a small fraction of the amount owed. Direct indebtedness of countries, particularly developing countries, also involves a risk that the governmental entities responsible for the repayment of the debt may be unable, or unwilling, to pay interest and repay principal when due.
Corporate loans and other forms of direct corporate indebtedness in which a fund may invest generally are made to finance internal growth, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, refinancing of existing debt, leveraged buyouts, and other corporate activities. A significant portion of the corporate indebtedness purchased by a fund may represent interests in loans or debt made to finance highly leveraged corporate acquisitions (known as “leveraged buyout” transactions), leveraged recapitalization loans, and other types of acquisition financing. Another portion may also represent loans incurred in restructuring or “work-out” scenarios, including super-priority debtor-in-possession facilities in bankruptcy and acquisition of assets out of bankruptcy. Loans in restructuring or work-out scenarios may be especially vulnerable to the inherent uncertainties in restructuring processes. In addition, the highly leveraged capital structure of the borrowers in any such transactions, whether in acquisition financing or restructuring, may make such loans especially vulnerable to adverse or unusual economic or market conditions.
Loans and other forms of direct indebtedness generally are subject to restrictions on transfer, and only limited opportunities may exist to sell them in secondary markets. As a result, a fund may be unable to sell loans and other forms of direct indebtedness at a time when it may otherwise be desirable to do so or may be able to sell them only at a price that is less than their fair value.
Investments in loans through direct assignment of a financial institution’s interests with respect to a loan may involve additional risks. For example, if a loan is foreclosed, the purchaser could become part owner of any collateral and would bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral. In addition, it is at least conceivable that, under emerging legal theories of lender liability, a purchaser could be held liable as a co-lender. Direct debt instruments may also involve a risk of insolvency of the lending bank or other intermediary.
A loan is often administered by a bank or other financial institution that acts as agent for all holders. The agent administers the terms of the loan, as specified in the loan agreement. Unless the purchaser has direct recourse against the borrower, the purchaser may have to rely on the agent to apply appropriate credit remedies against a borrower under the terms of the loan or other indebtedness. If assets held by the agent for the benefit of a purchaser were determined to be subject to the claims of the agent’s general creditors, the purchaser might incur certain costs and delays in realizing payment on the loan or loan participation and could suffer a loss of principal and/or interest.
Direct indebtedness may include letters of credit, revolving credit facilities, or other standby financing commitments that obligate purchasers to make additional cash payments on demand. These commitments may have the effect of requiring a purchaser to increase its investment in a borrower when it would not otherwise have done so, even if the borrower’s condition makes it unlikely that the amount will ever be repaid.
A fund’s investment policies will govern the amount of total assets that it may invest in any one issuer or in issuers within the same industry. For purposes of these limitations, a fund generally will treat the borrower as the “issuer” of indebtedness held by the fund. In the case of loan participations in which a bank or other lending institution serves as financial intermediary between a fund and the borrower, if the participation does not shift to the fund the direct debtor-creditor relationship with the borrower, SEC interpretations require the fund, in some circumstances, to treat
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both the lending bank or other lending institution and the borrower as “issuers” for purposes of the fund’s investment policies. Treating a financial intermediary as an issuer of indebtedness may restrict a fund’s ability to invest in indebtedness related to a single financial intermediary, or a group of intermediaries engaged in the same industry, even if the underlying borrowers represent many different companies and industries.
Market Disruption. Significant market disruptions, such as those caused by pandemics, natural or environmental disasters, war, acts of terrorism, or other events, can adversely affect local and global markets and normal market operations. Market disruptions may exacerbate political, social, and economic risks discussed above and in a fund’s prospectus. Additionally, market disruptions may result in increased market volatility; regulatory trading halts; closure of domestic or foreign exchanges, markets, or governments; or market participants operating pursuant to business continuity plans for indeterminate periods of time. Such events can be highly disruptive to economies and markets and significantly impact individual companies, sectors, industries, markets, currencies, interest and inflation rates, credit ratings, investor sentiment, and other factors affecting the value of a fund’s investments and operation of a fund. These events could also result in the closure of businesses that are integral to a fund’s operations or otherwise disrupt the ability of employees of fund service providers to perform essential tasks on behalf of a fund.
Mortgage-Backed Securities. Mortgage-backed securities represent direct or indirect participation in, or are collateralized by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property or instruments derived from such loans and may be based on different types of mortgages, including those on residential properties or commercial real estate. Mortgage-backed securities include various types of securities, such as government stripped mortgage-backed securities, adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities, and collateralized mortgage obligations.
Generally, mortgage-backed securities represent partial interests in pools of mortgage loans assembled for sale to investors by various governmental agencies, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA); by government-related organizations, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC); and by private issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, and mortgage bankers. The average maturity of pass-through pools of mortgage-backed securities in which a fund may invest varies with the maturities of the underlying mortgage instruments. In addition, a pool’s average maturity may be shortened by unscheduled payments on the underlying mortgages. Factors affecting mortgage prepayments include the level of interest rates, the general economic and social conditions, the location of the mortgaged property, and the age of the mortgage. Because prepayment rates of individual mortgage pools vary widely, the average life of a particular pool cannot be predicted accurately.
Mortgage-backed securities may be classified as private, government, or government-related, depending on the issuer or guarantor. Private mortgage-backed securities represent interest in pass-through pools consisting principally of conventional residential or commercial mortgage loans created by nongovernment issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loan associations, and private mortgage insurance companies. Private mortgage-backed securities may not be readily marketable. In addition, mortgage-backed securities have been subject to greater liquidity risk when worldwide economic and liquidity conditions deteriorate. U.S. government mortgage-backed securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. GNMA, the principal U.S. guarantor of these securities, is a wholly owned U.S. government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Government-related mortgage-backed securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Issuers include FNMA and FHLMC, which are congressionally chartered corporations. In September 2008, the U.S. Treasury placed FNMA and FHLMC under conservatorship and appointed the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to manage their daily operations. In addition, the U.S. Treasury entered into purchase agreements with FNMA and FHLMC to provide them with capital in exchange for senior preferred stock. Pass-through securities issued by FNMA are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by FNMA. Participation certificates representing interests in mortgages from FHLMC’s national portfolio are guaranteed as to the timely payment of interest and principal by FHLMC. Private, government, or government-related entities may create mortgage loan pools offering pass-through investments in addition to those described above. The mortgages underlying these securities may be alternative mortgage instruments (i.e., mortgage instruments whose principal or interest payments may vary or whose terms to maturity may be shorter than customary).
Mortgage-backed securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. Prepayments of principal by mortgagors or mortgage foreclosures shorten the term of the mortgage pool underlying the mortgage-backed security. A fund’s ability to maintain positions in mortgage-backed securities is affected by the reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments. A fund’s ability to reinvest prepayments of principal at comparable yield is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. The values of mortgage-backed securities vary with changes
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in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of government securities, mortgage-backed securities, and asset-backed securities. In periods of rising interest rates, the rate of prepayment tends to decrease, thereby lengthening the average life of a pool of mortgages supporting a mortgage-backed security. Conversely, in periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayment tends to increase, thereby shortening the average life of such a pool. Because prepayments of principal generally occur when interest rates are declining, an investor, such as a fund, generally has to reinvest the proceeds of such prepayments at lower interest rates than those at which its assets were previously invested. Therefore, mortgage-backed securities have less potential for capital appreciation in periods of falling interest rates than other income-bearing securities of comparable maturity.
Mortgage-Backed Securities—Adjustable Rate Mortgage-Backed Securities. Adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities (ARMBSs) have interest rates that reset at periodic intervals. Acquiring ARMBSs permits a fund to participate in increases in prevailing current interest rates through periodic adjustments in the coupons of mortgages underlying the pool on which ARMBSs are based. Such ARMBSs generally have higher current yield and lower price fluctuations than is the case with more traditional fixed income debt securities of comparable rating and maturity. However, because the interest rates on ARMBSs are reset only periodically, changes in market interest rates or in the issuer’s creditworthiness may affect their value. In addition, when prepayments of principal are made on the underlying mortgages during periods of rising interest rates, a fund can reinvest the proceeds of such prepayments at rates higher than those at which they were previously invested. Mortgages underlying most ARMBSs, however, have limits on the allowable annual or lifetime increases that can be made in the interest rate that the mortgagor pays. Therefore, if current interest rates rise above such limits over the period of the limitation, a fund holding an ARMBS does not benefit from further increases in interest rates. Moreover, when interest rates are in excess of coupon rates (i.e., the rates being paid by mortgagors) of the mortgages, ARMBSs behave more like fixed income securities and less like adjustable rate securities and are thus subject to the risks associated with fixed income securities. In addition, during periods of rising interest rates, increases in the coupon rate of adjustable rate mortgages generally lag current market interest rates slightly, thereby creating the potential for capital depreciation on such securities.
Mortgage-Backed Securities—Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. Collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) are mortgage-backed securities that are collateralized by whole loan mortgages or mortgage pass-through securities. The bonds issued in a CMO transaction are divided into groups, and each group of bonds is referred to as a “tranche.” Under the traditional CMO structure, the cash flows generated by the mortgages or mortgage pass-through securities in the collateral pool are used to first pay interest and then pay principal to the CMO bondholders. The bonds issued under a traditional CMO structure are retired sequentially as opposed to the pro-rata return of principal found in traditional pass-through obligations. Subject to the various provisions of individual CMO issues, the cash flow generated by the underlying collateral (to the extent it exceeds the amount required to pay the stated interest) is used to retire the bonds. Under a CMO structure, the repayment of principal among the different tranches is prioritized in accordance with the terms of the particular CMO issuance. The “fastest-pay” tranches of bonds, as specified in the prospectus for the issuance, would initially receive all principal payments. When those tranches of bonds are retired, the next tranche (or tranches) in the sequence, as specified in the prospectus, receives all of the principal payments until that tranche is retired. The sequential retirement of bond groups continues until the last tranche is retired. Accordingly, the CMO structure allows the issuer to use cash flows of long-maturity, monthly pay collateral to formulate securities with short, intermediate, and long final maturities and expected average lives and risk characteristics.
In recent years, new types of CMO tranches have evolved. These include floating rate CMOs, planned amortization classes, accrual bonds, and CMO residuals. These newer structures affect the amount and timing of principal and interest received by each tranche from the underlying collateral. Under certain of these new structures, given classes of CMOs have priority over others with respect to the receipt of prepayments on the mortgages. Therefore, depending on the type of CMOs in which a fund invests, the investment may be subject to a greater or lesser risk of prepayment than other types of mortgage-backed securities.
CMOs may include real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs). REMICs, which were authorized under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, are private entities formed for the purpose of holding a fixed pool of mortgages secured by an interest in real property. A REMIC is a CMO that qualifies for special tax treatment under the IRC and invests in certain mortgages principally secured by interests in real property. Investors may purchase beneficial interests in REMICs, which are known as “regular” interests, or “residual” interests. Guaranteed REMIC pass-through certificates (REMIC Certificates) issued by FNMA or FHLMC represent beneficial ownership interests in a REMIC trust consisting principally of mortgage loans or FNMA, FHLMC, or GNMA-guaranteed mortgage pass-through certificates. For FHLMC REMIC Certificates, FHLMC guarantees the timely payment of interest and also guarantees the payment of principal, as payments are required to be made on the underlying mortgage participation certificates. FNMA REMIC Certificates are issued and guaranteed as to timely distribution of principal and interest by FNMA.
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The primary risk of CMOs is the uncertainty of the timing of cash flows that results from the rate of prepayments on the underlying mortgages serving as collateral and from the structure of the particular CMO transaction (i.e., the priority of the individual tranches). An increase or decrease in prepayment rates (resulting from a decrease or increase in mortgage interest rates) will affect the yield, the average life, and the price of CMOs. The prices of certain CMOs, depending on their structure and the rate of prepayments, can be volatile. Some CMOs may also not be as liquid as other securities.
Mortgage-Backed Securities—Hybrid ARMs. A hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (hybrid ARM) is a type of mortgage in which the interest rate is fixed for a specified period and then resets periodically, or floats, for the remaining mortgage term. Hybrid ARMs are usually referred to by their fixed and floating periods. For example, a 5/1 ARM refers to a mortgage with a 5-year fixed interest rate period, followed by a 1-year interest rate adjustment period. During the initial interest period (i.e., the initial five years for a 5/1 hybrid ARM), hybrid ARMs behave more like fixed income securities and are thus subject to the risks associated with fixed income securities. All hybrid ARMs have reset dates. A reset date is the date when a hybrid ARM changes from a fixed interest rate to a floating interest rate. At the reset date, a hybrid ARM can adjust by a maximum specified amount based on a margin over an identified index. Like ARMBSs, hybrid ARMs have periodic and lifetime limitations on the increases that can be made to the interest rates that mortgagors pay. Therefore, if during a floating rate period interest rates rise above the interest rate limits of the hybrid ARM, a fund holding the hybrid ARM does not benefit from further increases in interest rates.
Mortgage-Backed Securities—Mortgage Dollar Rolls. A mortgage dollar roll is a transaction in which a fund sells a mortgage-backed security to a dealer and simultaneously agrees to purchase a similar security (but not the same security) in the future at a predetermined price. A mortgage-dollar-roll program may be structured to simulate an investment in mortgage-backed securities at a potentially lower cost, or with potentially reduced administrative burdens, than directly holding mortgage-backed securities. For accounting purposes, each transaction in a mortgage dollar roll is viewed as a separate purchase and sale of a mortgage-backed security. These transactions may increase a fund’s portfolio turnover rate. The fund receives cash for a mortgage-backed security in the initial transaction and enters into an agreement that requires the fund to purchase a similar mortgage-backed security in the future.
The counterparty with which a fund enters into a mortgage-dollar-roll transaction is obligated to provide the fund with similar securities to purchase as those originally sold by the fund. These securities generally must (1) be issued by the same agency and be part of the same program; (2) have similar original stated maturities; (3) have identical net coupon rates; and (4) satisfy “good delivery” requirements, meaning that the aggregate principal amounts of the securities delivered and received back must be within a certain percentage of the initial amount delivered. Mortgage dollar rolls will be used only if consistent with a fund’s investment objective and strategies and will not be used to change a fund’s risk profile.
Mortgage-Backed Securities—Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. Stripped mortgage-backed securities (SMBSs) are derivative multiclass mortgage-backed securities. SMBSs may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks, and special purpose entities formed or sponsored by any of the foregoing.
SMBSs are usually structured with two classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of SMBS will have one class receiving some of the interest and most of the principal from the mortgage assets, while the other class will receive most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (the “IO” class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal-only or “PO” class). The price and yield to maturity on an IO class are extremely sensitive to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on a fund’s yield to maturity from these securities. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, a fund may fail to recoup some or all of its initial investment in these securities, even if the security is in one of the highest rating categories.
Although SMBSs are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, these securities were only recently developed. As a result, established trading markets have not yet developed, and accordingly, these securities may be deemed “illiquid” and thus subject to a fund’s limitations on investment in illiquid securities.
Mortgage-Backed Securities— To Be Announced (TBA) Securities. A TBA securities transaction, which is a type of forward-commitment transaction, represents an agreement to buy or sell mortgage-backed securities with agreed-upon
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characteristics for a fixed unit price, with settlement on a scheduled future date, typically within 30 calendar days of the trade date. With TBA transactions, the particular securities (i.e., specified mortgage pools) to be delivered or received are not identified at the trade date; however, securities delivered to a purchaser must meet specified criteria, including face value, coupon rate, and maturity, and be within industry-accepted “good delivery” standards. A fund may sell TBA securities to hedge its portfolio positions or to dispose of mortgage-backed securities it owns under delayed-delivery arrangements. Proceeds of TBA securities sold are not received until the contractual settlement date. For TBA purchases, a fund will maintain sufficient liquid assets (e.g., cash or marketable securities) until settlement date in an amount sufficient to meet the purchase price. Unsettled TBA securities are valued by an independent pricing service based on the characteristics of the securities to be delivered or received. A risk associated with TBA transactions is that at settlement, either the buyer fails to pay the agreed price for the securities or the seller fails to deliver the agreed securities. As the value of such unsettled TBA securities is assessed on a daily basis, parties mitigate such risk by, among other things, exchanging collateral as security for performance, performing a credit analysis of the counterparty, allocating transactions among numerous counterparties, and monitoring its exposure to each counterparty.
Options. An option is a derivative. An option on a security (or index) is a contract that gives the holder of the option, in return for the payment of a “premium,” the right, but not the obligation, to buy from (in the case of a call option) or sell to (in the case of a put option) the writer of the option the security underlying the option (or the cash value of the index) at a specified exercise price prior to the expiration date of the option. The writer of an option on a security has the obligation upon exercise of the option to deliver the underlying security upon payment of the exercise price (in the case of a call option) or to pay the exercise price upon delivery of the underlying security (in the case of a put option). The writer of an option on an index has the obligation upon exercise of the option to pay an amount equal to the cash value of the index minus the exercise price, multiplied by the specified multiplier for the index option. The multiplier for an index option determines the size of the investment position the option represents. Unlike exchange-traded options, which are standardized with respect to the underlying instrument, expiration date, contract size, and strike price, the terms of over-the-counter (OTC) options (options not traded on exchanges) generally are established through negotiation with the other party to the option contract. Although this type of arrangement allows the purchaser or writer greater flexibility to tailor an option to its needs, OTC options generally involve credit risk to the counterparty, whereas for exchange-traded, centrally cleared options, credit risk is mutualized through the involvement of the applicable clearing house.
The buyer (or holder) of an option is said to be “long” the option, while the seller (or writer) of an option is said to be “short” the option. A call option grants to the holder the right to buy (and obligates the writer to sell) the underlying security at the strike price, which is the predetermined price at which the option may be exercised. A put option grants to the holder the right to sell (and obligates the writer to buy) the underlying security at the strike price. The purchase price of an option is called the “premium.” The potential loss to an option buyer is limited to the amount of the premium plus transaction costs. This will be the case if the option is held and not exercised prior to its expiration date. Generally, an option writer sells options with the goal of obtaining the premium paid by the option buyer, but that person could also seek to profit from an anticipated rise or decline in option prices. If an option sold by an option writer expires without being exercised, the writer retains the full amount of the premium. The option writer, however, has unlimited economic risk because its potential loss, except to the extent offset by the premium received when the option was written, is equal to the amount the option is “in-the-money” at the expiration date. A call option is in-the-money if the value of the underlying position exceeds the exercise price of the option. A put option is in-the-money if the exercise price of the option exceeds the value of the underlying position. Generally, any profit realized by an option buyer represents a loss for the option writer. The writing of an option will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund covers the transaction in accordance with the requirements described under the heading “Borrowing.”
If a trading market, in particular options, were to become unavailable, investors in those options (such as the funds) would be unable to close out their positions until trading resumes, and they may be faced with substantial losses if the value of the underlying instrument moves adversely during that time. Even if the market were to remain available, there may be times when options prices will not maintain their customary or anticipated relationships to the prices of the underlying instruments and related instruments. Lack of investor interest, changes in volatility, or other factors or conditions might adversely affect the liquidity, efficiency, continuity, or even the orderliness of the market for particular options.
A fund bears the risk that its advisor will not accurately predict future market trends. If the advisor attempts to use an option as a hedge against, or as a substitute for, a portfolio investment, the fund will be exposed to the risk that the
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option will have or will develop imperfect or no correlation with the portfolio investment, which could cause substantial losses for the fund. Although hedging strategies involving options can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in other fund investments. Many options, in particular OTC options, are complex and often valued based on subjective factors. Improper valuations can result in increased cash payment requirements to counterparties or a loss of value to a fund.
OTC Swap Agreements. An over-the-counter (OTC) swap agreement, which is a type of derivative, is an agreement between two parties (counterparties) to exchange payments at specified dates (periodic payment dates) on the basis of a specified amount (notional amount) with the payments calculated with reference to a specified asset, reference rate, or index.
Examples of OTC swap agreements include, but are not limited to, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, equity swaps, commodity swaps, foreign currency swaps, index swaps, excess return swaps, and total return swaps. Most OTC swap agreements provide that when the periodic payment dates for both parties are the same, payments are netted and only the net amount is paid to the counterparty entitled to receive the net payment. Consequently, a fund’s current obligations (or rights) under an OTC swap agreement will generally be equal only to the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement, based on the relative values of the positions held by each counterparty. OTC swap agreements allow for a wide variety of transactions. For example, fixed rate payments may be exchanged for floating rate payments; U.S. dollar-denominated payments may be exchanged for payments denominated in a different currency; and payments tied to the price of one asset, reference rate, or index may be exchanged for payments tied to the price of another asset, reference rate, or index.
An OTC option on an OTC swap agreement, also called a “swaption,” is an option that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to enter into a swap on a future date in exchange for paying a market-based “premium.” A receiver swaption gives the owner the right to receive the total return of a specified asset, reference rate, or index. A payer swaption gives the owner the right to pay the total return of a specified asset, reference rate, or index. Swaptions also include options that allow an existing swap to be terminated or extended by one of the counterparties.
The use of OTC swap agreements by a fund entails certain risks, which may be different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in the securities and other investments that are the referenced asset for the swap agreement. OTC swaps are highly specialized instruments that require investment techniques, risk analyses, and tax planning different from those associated with stocks, bonds, and other traditional investments. The use of an OTC swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions.
OTC swap agreements may be subject to liquidity risk, which exists when a particular swap is difficult to purchase or sell. If an OTC swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid (as is the case with many OTC swaps), it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. In addition, OTC swap transactions may be subject to a fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities.
OTC swap agreements may be subject to pricing risk, which exists when a particular swap becomes extraordinarily expensive or inexpensive relative to historical prices or the prices of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions, it may not be economically feasible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity or to realize the intrinsic value of the OTC swap agreement.
Because certain OTC swap agreements have a leverage component, adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, reference rate, or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the swap itself. Certain OTC swaps have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. A leveraged OTC swap transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund covers the transaction in accordance with the requirements described under the heading “Borrowing.”
Like most other investments, OTC swap agreements are subject to the risk that the market value of the instrument will change in a way detrimental to a fund’s interest. A fund bears the risk that its advisor will not accurately forecast future market trends or the values of assets, reference rates, indexes, or other economic factors in establishing OTC swap positions for the fund. If the advisor attempts to use an OTC swap as a hedge against, or as a substitute for, a portfolio investment, the fund will be exposed to the risk that the OTC swap will have or will develop imperfect or no correlation
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with the portfolio investment. This could cause substantial losses for the fund. Although hedging strategies involving OTC swap instruments can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in other fund investments. Many OTC swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Improper valuations can result in increased cash payment requirements to counterparties or a loss of value to a fund.
The use of an OTC swap agreement also involves the risk that a loss may be sustained as a result of the insolvency or bankruptcy of the counterparty or the failure of the counterparty to make required payments or otherwise comply with the terms of the agreement. Additionally, the use of credit default swaps can result in losses if a fund’s advisor does not correctly evaluate the creditworthiness of the issuer on which the credit swap is based.
Other Investment Companies. A fund may invest in other investment companies to the extent permitted by applicable law or SEC exemption. Under Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, a fund may invest up to 10% of its assets in shares of investment companies generally and up to 5% of its assets in any one investment company, as long as no investment represents more than 3% of the voting stock of an acquired investment company. In addition, no funds for which Vanguard acts as an advisor may, in the aggregate, own more than 10% of the voting stock of a closed-end investment company. The 1940 Act and related rules provide certain exemptions from these restrictions, for example, for funds that invest in other funds within the same group of investment companies. If a fund invests in other investment companies, shareholders will bear not only their proportionate share of the fund’s expenses (including operating expenses and the fees of the advisor), but they also may indirectly bear similar expenses of the underlying investment companies. Certain investment companies, such as business development companies (BDCs), are more akin to operating companies and, as such, their expenses are not direct expenses paid by fund shareholders and are not used to calculate the fund’s net asset value. SEC rules nevertheless require that any expenses incurred by a BDC be included in a fund’s expense ratio as “Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses.” The expense ratio of a fund that holds a BDC will thus overstate what the fund actually spends on portfolio management, administrative services, and other shareholder services by an amount equal to these Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses. The Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses are not included in a fund’s financial statements, which provide a clearer picture of a fund’s actual operating expenses. Shareholders would also be exposed to the risks associated not only with the investments of the fund but also with the portfolio investments of the underlying investment companies. Certain types of investment companies, such as closed-end investment companies, issue a fixed number of shares that typically trade on a stock exchange or over-the-counter at a premium or discount to their net asset value. Others are continuously offered at net asset value but also may be traded on the secondary market.
A fund may be limited to purchasing a particular share class of other investment companies (underlying funds). In certain cases, an investor may be able to purchase lower-cost shares of such underlying funds separately, and therefore be able to construct, and maintain over time, a similar portfolio of investments while incurring lower overall expenses.
Preferred Stock. Preferred stock represents an equity or ownership interest in an issuer. Preferred stock normally pays dividends at a specified rate and has precedence over common stock in the event the issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy. However, in the event an issuer is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of bonds take precedence over the claims of those who own preferred and common stock. Preferred stock, unlike common stock, often has a stated dividend rate payable from the corporation’s earnings. Preferred stock dividends may be cumulative or noncumulative, participating, or auction rate. “Cumulative” dividend provisions require all or a portion of prior unpaid dividends to be paid before dividends can be paid to the issuer’s common stock. “Participating” preferred stock may be entitled to a dividend exceeding the stated dividend in certain cases. If interest rates rise, the fixed dividend on preferred stocks may be less attractive, causing the price of such stocks to decline. Preferred stock may have mandatory sinking fund provisions, as well as provisions allowing the stock to be called or redeemed, which can limit the benefit of a decline in interest rates. Preferred stock is subject to many of the risks to which common stock and debt securities are subject. In addition, preferred stock may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than common stock or debt securities because preferred stock may trade with less frequency and in more limited volume.
Private Equity. Private equity is equity capital that is not quoted on a public exchange. Acquiring private equity involves making investments directly into private companies or conducting buyouts of public companies that result in a delisting of public equity. Capital for private equity can be used to fund new technologies, expand working capital within an owned company, make acquisitions, or to strengthen a balance sheet. Private equity securities should be regarded as
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illiquid, as they are not listed on an exchange and generally are not widely transferable. By their nature, investments in privately held companies tend to be riskier than investments in publicly traded companies. Generally, there will be no readily available market for private equity investments and, accordingly, most such investments are difficult to value and can be difficult to exit.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). An equity REIT owns real estate properties directly and generates income from rental and lease payments. Equity REITs also have the potential to generate capital gains as properties are sold at a profit. A mortgage REIT makes construction, development, and long-term mortgage loans to commercial real estate developers and earns interest income on these loans. A hybrid REIT holds both properties and mortgages. To avoid taxation at the corporate level, REITs must distribute most of their earnings to shareholders.
Investments in REITs are subject to many of the same risks as direct investments in real estate. In general, real estate values can be affected by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, supply and demand for properties, general or local economic conditions, and the strength of specific industries that rent properties. Ultimately, a REIT’s performance depends on the types and locations of the properties it owns and on how well the REIT manages its properties. For example, rental income could decline because of extended vacancies, increased competition from nearby properties, tenants’ failure to pay rent, regulatory limitations on rents, fluctuations in rental income, variations in market rental rates, or incompetent management. Property values could decrease because of overbuilding in the area, environmental liabilities, uninsured damages caused by natural disasters, a general decline in the neighborhood, losses because of casualty or condemnation, increases in property taxes, or changes in zoning laws.
The value of a REIT may also be affected by changes in interest rates. Rising interest rates generally increase the cost of financing for real estate projects, which could cause the value of an equity REIT to decline. During periods of declining interest rates, mortgagors may elect to prepay mortgages held by mortgage REITs, which could lower or diminish the yield on the REIT. REITs are also subject to heavy cash-flow dependency, default by borrowers, and changes in tax and regulatory requirements. In addition, a REIT may fail to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the IRC and/or fail to maintain exemption from the 1940 Act.
Reliance on Service Providers, Data Providers, and Other Technology. Vanguard funds rely upon the performance of service providers to execute several key functions, which may include functions integral to a fund’s operations. Failure by any service provider to carry out its obligations to a fund could disrupt the business of the fund and could have an adverse effect on the fund’s performance. A fund’s service providers’ reliance on certain technology or information vendors (e.g., trading systems, investment analysis tools, benchmark analytics, and tax and accounting tools) could also adversely affect a fund and its shareholders. For example, a fund’s investment advisor may use models and/or data with respect to potential investments for the fund. When models or data prove to be incorrect or incomplete, any decisions made in reliance upon such models or data expose a fund to potential risks.
Repurchase Agreements. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which a fund acquires a debt security (generally a security issued by the U.S. government or an agency thereof, a banker’s acceptance, or a certificate of deposit) from a bank, a broker, or a dealer and simultaneously agrees to resell such security to the seller at an agreed-upon price and date (normally, the next business day). Because the security purchased constitutes collateral for the repurchase obligation, a repurchase agreement may be considered a loan that is collateralized by the security purchased. The resale price reflects an agreed-upon interest rate effective for the period the instrument is held by a fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying instrument. In these transactions, the securities acquired by a fund (including accrued interest earned thereon) must have a total value in excess of the value of the repurchase agreement and be held by a custodian bank until repurchased. In addition, the investment advisor will monitor a fund’s repurchase agreement transactions generally and will evaluate the creditworthiness of any bank, broker, or dealer party to a repurchase agreement relating to a fund. The aggregate amount of any such agreements is not limited, except to the extent required by law.
The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. One risk is the seller’s ability to pay the agreed-upon repurchase price on the repurchase date. If the seller defaults, the fund may incur costs in disposing of the collateral, which would reduce the amount realized thereon. If the seller seeks relief under bankruptcy laws, the disposition of the collateral may be delayed or limited. For example, if the other party to the agreement becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under bankruptcy or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying security is collateral for a loan by the fund not within its control, and therefore the realization by the fund on such collateral may be automatically stayed. Finally, it is possible that the fund may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying security and may be deemed an unsecured creditor of the other party to the agreement.
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Restricted and Illiquid Securities. Illiquid securities are investments that a fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. The SEC generally limits aggregate holdings of illiquid securities by a mutual fund to 15% of its net assets (5% for money market funds). A fund may experience difficulty valuing and selling illiquid securities and, in some cases, may be unable to value or sell certain illiquid securities for an indefinite period of time. Illiquid securities may include a wide variety of investments, such as (1) repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days (unless the agreements have demand/redemption features), (2) OTC options contracts and certain other derivatives (including certain swap agreements), (3) fixed time deposits that are not subject to prepayment or do not provide for withdrawal penalties upon prepayment (other than overnight deposits), (4) certain loan interests and other direct debt instruments, (5) certain municipal lease obligations, (6) private equity investments, (7) commercial paper issued pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the 1933 Act, and (8) securities whose disposition is restricted under the federal securities laws. Illiquid securities may include restricted, privately placed securities that, under the federal securities laws, generally may be resold only to qualified institutional buyers. If a substantial market develops for a restricted security held by a fund, it may be treated as a liquid security in accordance with procedures and guidelines approved by the board of trustees. This generally includes securities that are unregistered, that can be sold to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, or that are exempt from registration under the 1933 Act, such as commercial paper. Although a fund’s advisor monitors the liquidity of restricted securities, the board of trustees oversees and retains ultimate responsibility for the advisor’s liquidity determinations. Several factors that the trustees consider in monitoring these decisions include the valuation of a security; the availability of qualified institutional buyers, brokers, and dealers that trade in the security; and the availability of information about the security’s issuer.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements. In a reverse repurchase agreement, a fund sells a security to another party, such as a bank or broker-dealer, in return for cash and agrees to repurchase that security at an agreed-upon price and time. Under a reverse repurchase agreement, the fund continues to receive any principal and interest payments on the underlying security during the term of the agreement. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the market value of securities retained by the fund may decline below the repurchase price of the securities sold by the fund that it is obligated to repurchase. In addition to the risk of such a loss, fees charged to the fund may exceed the return the fund earns from investing the proceeds received from the reverse repurchase agreement transaction. A reverse repurchase agreement may be considered a borrowing transaction for purposes of the 1940 Act. A reverse repurchase agreement transaction will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by a fund, if the fund covers the transaction in accordance with the requirements described under the heading “Borrowing.” A fund will enter into reverse repurchase agreements only with parties whose creditworthiness has been reviewed and found satisfactory by the advisor. If the buyer in a reverse repurchase agreement becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy, a fund’s use of proceeds from the sale may be restricted while the other party or its trustee or receiver determines if it will honor the fund’s right to repurchase the securities. If the fund is unable to recover the securities it sold in a reverse repurchase agreement, it would realize a loss equal to the difference between the value of the securities and the payment it received for them.
Securities Lending. A fund may lend its securities to financial institutions (typically brokers, dealers, and banks) to generate income for the fund. There are certain risks associated with lending securities, including counterparty, credit, market, regulatory, and operational risks. The advisor considers the creditworthiness of the borrower, among other factors, in making decisions with respect to the lending of securities, subject to oversight by the board of trustees. If the borrower defaults on its obligation to return the securities lent because of insolvency or other reasons, a fund could experience delays and costs in recovering the securities lent or in gaining access to the collateral. These delays and costs could be greater for certain types of foreign securities, as well as certain types of borrowers that are subject to global regulatory regimes. If a fund is not able to recover the securities lent, the fund may sell the collateral and purchase a replacement security in the market. Collateral investments are subject to market appreciation or depreciation. The value of the collateral could decrease below the value of the replacement investment by the time the replacement investment is purchased. Currently, a fund invests cash collateral into Vanguard Market Liquidity Fund, an affiliated money market fund that invests in high-quality, short-term money market instruments.
The terms and the structure of the loan arrangements, as well as the aggregate amount of securities loans, must be consistent with the 1940 Act and the rules or interpretations of the SEC thereunder. These provisions limit the amount of securities a fund may lend to 33⅓% of the fund’s total assets and require that (1) the borrower pledge and maintain with the fund collateral consisting of cash, an irrevocable letter of credit, or securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government having at all times not less than 100% of the value of the securities lent; (2) the borrower add to such collateral whenever the price of the securities lent rises (i.e., the borrower “marks to market” on a daily basis); (3) the
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loan be made subject to termination by the fund at any time; and (4) the fund receives reasonable interest on the loan (which may include the fund investing any cash collateral in interest-bearing short-term investments), any distribution on the lent securities, and any increase in their market value. Loan arrangements made by a fund will comply with any other applicable regulatory requirements. At the present time, the SEC does not object if an investment company pays reasonable negotiated fees in connection with lent securities, so long as such fees are set forth in a written contract and approved by the investment company’s trustees. In addition, voting rights pass with the lent securities, but if a fund has knowledge that a material event will occur affecting securities on loan, and in respect to which the holder of the securities will be entitled to vote or consent, the lender must be entitled to call the loaned securities in time to vote or consent. A fund bears the risk that there may be a delay in the return of the securities, which may impair the fund’s ability to vote on such a matter. See Tax Status of the Funds for information about certain tax consequences related to a fund’s securities lending activities.
Pursuant to Vanguard’s securities lending policy, Vanguard’s fixed income and money market funds are not permitted to, and do not, lend their investment securities.
Tax Matters—Federal Tax Discussion. Discussion herein of U.S. federal income tax matters summarizes some of the important, generally applicable U.S. federal tax considerations relevant to investment in a fund based on the IRC, U.S. Treasury regulations, and other applicable authorities. These authorities are subject to change by legislative, administrative, or judicial action, possibly with retroactive effect. Each Fund has not requested and will not request an advance ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as to the U.S. federal income tax matters discussed in this Statement of Additional Information. In some cases, a fund’s tax position may be uncertain under current tax law and an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to such a position could adversely affect the fund and its shareholders, including the fund’s ability to continue to qualify as a regulated investment company or to continue to pursue its current investment strategy. A shareholder should consult his or her tax professional for information regarding the particular situation and the possible application of U.S. federal, state, local, foreign, and other taxes.
Tax Matters—Federal Tax Treatment of Derivatives, Hedging, and Related Transactions. A fund’s transactions in derivative instruments (including, but not limited to, options, futures, forward contracts, and swap agreements), as well as any of the fund’s hedging, short sale, securities loan, or similar transactions, may be subject to one or more special tax rules that accelerate income to the fund, defer losses to the fund, cause adjustments in the holding periods of the fund’s securities, convert long-term capital gains into short-term capital gains, or convert short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses. These rules could therefore affect the amount, timing, and character of distributions to shareholders.
Because these and other tax rules applicable to these types of transactions are in some cases uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to these rules (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect whether a fund has made sufficient distributions, and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements, to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid a fund-level tax.
Tax Matters—Federal Tax Treatment of Futures Contracts. For federal income tax purposes, a fund generally must recognize, as of the end of each taxable year, any net unrealized gains and losses on certain futures contracts, as well as any gains and losses actually realized during the year. In these cases, any gain or loss recognized with respect to a futures contract is considered to be 60% long-term capital gain or loss and 40% short-term capital gain or loss, without regard to the holding period of the contract. Gains and losses on certain other futures contracts (primarily non-U.S. futures contracts) are not recognized until the contracts are closed and are treated as long-term or short-term, depending on the holding period of the contract. Sales of futures contracts that are intended to hedge against a change in the value of securities held by a fund may affect the holding period of such securities and, consequently, the nature of the gain or loss on such securities upon disposition. A fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on one position, such as futures contracts, to the extent of any unrecognized gains on a related offsetting position held by the fund.
A fund will distribute to shareholders annually any net capital gains that have been recognized for federal income tax purposes on futures transactions. Such distributions will be combined with distributions of capital gains realized on the fund’s other investments, and shareholders will be advised on the nature of the distributions.
Tax Matters—Federal Tax Treatment of Non-U.S. Currency Transactions. Special rules generally govern the federal income tax treatment of a fund’s transactions in the following: non-U.S. currencies; non-U.S. currency-denominated debt obligations; and certain non-U.S. currency options, futures contracts, forward contracts, and similar instruments. Accordingly, if a fund engages in these types of transactions it may have ordinary income or loss to the extent that such
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income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the non-U.S. currency concerned. Such ordinary income could accelerate fund distributions to shareholders and increase the distributions taxed to shareholders as ordinary income. Any ordinary loss so created will generally reduce ordinary income distributions and, in some cases, could require the recharacterization of prior ordinary income distributions. Net ordinary losses cannot be carried forward by the fund to offset income or gains realized in subsequent taxable years.
Any gain or loss attributable to the non-U.S. currency component of a transaction engaged in by a fund that is not subject to these special currency rules (such as foreign equity investments other than certain preferred stocks) will generally be treated as a capital gain or loss and will not be segregated from the gain or loss on the underlying transaction.
To the extent a fund engages in non-U.S. currency hedging, the fund may elect or be required to apply other rules that could affect the character, timing, or amount of the fund’s gains and losses. For more information, see “Tax Matters—Federal Tax Treatment of Derivatives, Hedging, and Related Transactions.”
Tax Matters—Foreign Tax Credit. Foreign governments may withhold taxes on dividends and interest paid with respect to foreign securities held by a fund. Foreign governments may also impose taxes on other payments or gains with respect to foreign securities. If, at the close of its fiscal year, more than 50% of a fund’s total assets are invested in securities of foreign issuers, the fund may elect to pass through to shareholders the ability to deduct or, if they meet certain holding period requirements, take a credit for foreign taxes paid by the fund. Similarly, if at the close of each quarter of a fund’s taxable year, at least 50% of its total assets consist of interests in other regulated investment companies, the fund is permitted to elect to pass through to its shareholders the foreign income taxes paid by the fund in connection with foreign securities held directly by the fund or held by a regulated investment company in which the fund invests that has elected to pass through such taxes to shareholders.
Tax Matters—Market Discount or Premium. The price of a bond purchased after its original issuance may reflect market discount or premium. Depending on the particular circumstances, market discount may affect the tax character and amount of income required to be recognized by a fund holding the bond. In determining whether a bond is purchased with market discount, certain de minimis rules apply. Premium is generally amortizable over the remaining term of the bond. Depending on the type of bond, premium may affect the amount of income required to be recognized by a fund holding the bond and the fund’s basis in the bond.
Tax Matters—Passive Foreign Investment Companies. To the extent that a fund invests in stock in a foreign company, such stock may constitute an equity investment in a passive foreign investment company (PFIC). A foreign company is generally a PFIC if 75% or more of its gross income is passive or if 50% or more of its assets produce passive income. Capital gains on the sale of an interest in a PFIC will be deemed ordinary income regardless of how long a fund held it. Also, a fund may be subject to corporate income tax and an interest charge on certain dividends and capital gains earned in respect to PFIC interests, whether or not such amounts are distributed to shareholders. To avoid such tax and interest, a fund may elect to “mark to market” its PFIC interests, that is, to treat such interests as sold on the last day of a fund’s fiscal year, and to recognize any unrealized gains (or losses, to the extent of previously recognized gains) as ordinary income (or loss) each year. Distributions from a fund that are attributable to income or gains earned in respect to PFIC interests are characterized as ordinary income.
Tax Matters—Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits. If a fund invests directly or indirectly, including through a REIT or other pass-through entity, in residual interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs) or equity interests in taxable mortgage pools (TMPs), a portion of the fund’s income that is attributable to a residual interest in a REMIC or an equity interest in a TMP (such portion referred to in the IRC as an “excess inclusion”) will be subject to U.S. federal income tax in all events—including potentially at the fund level—under a notice issued by the IRS in October 2006 and U.S. Treasury regulations that have yet to be issued but may apply retroactively. This notice also provides, and the regulations are expected to provide, that excess inclusion income of a registered investment company will be allocated to shareholders of the registered investment company in proportion to the dividends received by such shareholders, with the same consequences as if the shareholders held the related interest directly. In general, excess inclusion income allocated to shareholders (1) cannot be offset by net operating losses (subject to a limited exception for certain thrift institutions); (2) will constitute unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) to entities (including a qualified pension plan, an individual retirement account, a 401(k) plan, a Keogh plan, or other tax-exempt entity) subject to tax on UBTI, thereby potentially requiring such an entity, which otherwise might not be required, to file a tax return and pay tax on such income; and (3) in the case of a non-U.S. investor, will not qualify for any reduction in U.S. federal withholding tax. A shareholder will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on such inclusions notwithstanding any exemption from such income tax otherwise available under the IRC. As a result, a fund investing in such interests may not be suitable for charitable remainder trusts. See “Tax Matters—Tax-Exempt Investors.”
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Tax Matters—Tax Considerations for Non-U.S. Investors. U.S. withholding and estate taxes and certain U.S. tax reporting requirements may apply to any investments made by non-U.S. investors in Vanguard funds. Certain properly reported distributions of qualifying interest income or short-term capital gain made by a fund to its non-U.S. investors are exempt from U.S. withholding taxes, provided the investors furnish valid tax documentation (i.e., IRS Form W-8) certifying as to their non-U.S. status.
A fund is permitted, but is not required, to report any of its distributions as eligible for such relief, and some distributions (e.g., distributions of interest a fund receives from non-U.S. issuers) are not eligible for this relief. For some funds, Vanguard has chosen to report qualifying distributions and apply the withholding exemption to those distributions when made to non-U.S. shareholders who invest directly with Vanguard. For other funds, Vanguard may choose not to apply the withholding exemption to qualifying fund distributions made to direct shareholders, but may provide the reporting to such shareholders. In these cases, a shareholder may be able to reclaim such withholding tax directly from the IRS.
If shareholders hold fund shares (including ETF shares) through a broker or intermediary, their broker or intermediary may apply this relief to properly reported qualifying distributions made to shareholders with respect to those shares. If a shareholder’s broker or intermediary instead collects withholding tax where the fund has provided the proper reporting, the shareholder may be able to reclaim such withholding tax from the IRS. Please consult your broker or intermediary regarding the application of these rules.
This relief does not apply to any withholding required under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which generally requires a fund to obtain information sufficient to identify the status of each of its shareholders. If a shareholder fails to provide this information or otherwise fails to comply with FATCA, a fund may be required to withhold under FATCA at a rate of 30% with respect to that shareholder on fund distributions. Please consult your tax advisor for more information about these rules.
Tax Matters—Tax-Exempt Investors. Income of a fund that would be UBTI if earned directly by a tax-exempt entity will not generally be attributed as UBTI to a tax-exempt shareholder of the fund. Notwithstanding this “blocking” effect, a tax-exempt shareholder could realize UBTI by virtue of its investment in a fund if shares in the fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of IRC Section 514(b).
A tax-exempt shareholder may also recognize UBTI if a fund recognizes “excess inclusion income” derived from direct or indirect investments in residual interests in REMICs or equity interests in TMPs. See “Tax Matters—Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits.”
In addition, special tax consequences apply to charitable remainder trusts that invest in a fund that invests directly or indirectly in residual interests in REMICs or equity interests in TMPs. Charitable remainder trusts and other tax-exempt investors are urged to consult their tax advisors concerning the consequences of investing in a fund.
Time Deposits. Time deposits are subject to the same risks that pertain to domestic issuers of money market instruments, most notably credit risk (and, to a lesser extent, income risk, market risk, and liquidity risk). Additionally, time deposits of foreign branches of U.S. banks and foreign branches of foreign banks may be subject to certain sovereign risks. One such risk is the possibility that a sovereign country might prevent capital, in the form of U.S. dollars, from flowing across its borders. Other risks include adverse political and economic developments, the extent and quality of government regulation of financial markets and institutions, the imposition of foreign withholding taxes, and expropriation or nationalization of foreign issuers. However, time deposits of such issuers will undergo the same type of credit analysis as domestic issuers in which a Vanguard fund invests and will have at least the same financial strength as the domestic issuers approved for the fund.
Warrants. Warrants are instruments that give the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy an equity security at a specific price for a specific period of time. Changes in the value of a warrant do not necessarily correspond to changes in the value of its underlying security. The price of a warrant may be more volatile than the price of its underlying security, and a warrant may offer greater potential for capital appreciation as well as capital loss. Warrants do not entitle a holder to dividends or voting rights with respect to the underlying security and do not represent any rights in the assets of the issuing company. A warrant ceases to have value if it is not exercised prior to its expiration date. These factors can make warrants more speculative than other types of investments.
When-Issued, Delayed-Delivery, and Forward-Commitment Transactions. When-issued, delayed-delivery, and forward-commitment transactions involve a commitment to purchase or sell specific securities at a predetermined price or yield in which payment and delivery take place after the customary settlement period for that type of security. Typically, no interest accrues to the purchaser until the security is delivered. When purchasing securities pursuant to
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one of these transactions, payment for the securities is not required until the delivery date. However, the purchaser assumes the rights and risks of ownership, including the risks of price and yield fluctuations and the risk that the security will not be issued as anticipated. When a fund has sold a security pursuant to one of these transactions, the fund does not participate in further gains or losses with respect to the security. If the other party to a delayed-delivery transaction fails to deliver or pay for the securities, the fund could miss a favorable price or yield opportunity or suffer a loss. A fund may renegotiate a when-issued or forward-commitment transaction and may sell the underlying securities before delivery, which may result in capital gains or losses for the fund. When-issued, delayed-delivery, and forward-commitment transactions will not be considered to constitute the issuance, by a fund, of a “senior security,” as that term is defined in Section 18(g) of the 1940 Act, and therefore such transaction will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by the fund, if the fund covers the transaction in accordance with the requirements described under the heading “Borrowing.”
Regulatory restrictions in India. Shares of Vanguard International Growth Fund, Vanguard Global Wellington Fund, and Vanguard Global Wellesley Income Fund have not been, and will not be, registered under the laws of India and are not intended to benefit from any laws in India promulgated for the protection of shareholders. As a result of regulatory requirements in India, shares of each Fund shall not be knowingly offered to (directly or indirectly) or sold or delivered to (within India); transferred to or purchased by; or held by, for, on the account of, or for the benefit of (i) a “person resident in India” (as defined under applicable Indian law), (ii) an “overseas corporate body” or a “person of Indian origin” (as defined under applicable Indian law), or (iii) any other entity or person disqualified or otherwise prohibited from accessing the Indian securities market under applicable laws, as may be amended from time to time. Investors, prior to purchasing shares of each Fund, must satisfy themselves regarding compliance with these requirements.
Share Price
Multiple-class funds do not have a single share price. Rather, each class has a share price, called its Net Asset Value, or NAV, that is calculated as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), generally 4 p.m., Eastern time, on each day that the NYSE is open for business (a business day). In the rare event the NYSE experiences unanticipated disruptions and is unavailable at the close of the trading day, each Fund reserves the right to treat such day as a business day and calculate NAVs as of the close of regular trading on the Nasdaq (or another alternate exchange if the Nasdaq is unavailable, as determined at Vanguard’s discretion), generally 4 p.m., Eastern time. The NAV per share is computed by dividing the total assets, minus liabilities, allocated to the share class by the number of Fund shares outstanding for that class. On U.S. holidays or other days when the NYSE is closed, the NAV is not calculated, and the Funds do not sell or redeem shares. However, on those days the value of a Fund’s assets may be affected to the extent that the Fund holds securities that change in value on those days (such as foreign securities that trade on foreign markets that are open).
The NYSE typically observes the following holidays: New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King, Jr., Day; Presidents’ Day (Washington’s Birthday); Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Thanksgiving Day; and Christmas Day. Although each Fund expects the same holidays to be observed in the future, the NYSE may modify its holiday schedule or hours of operation at any time.
Purchase and Redemption of Shares
Purchase of Shares  (Other than ETF Shares)
The purchase price of shares of each Fund is the NAV per share next determined after the purchase request is received in good order, as defined in the Fund's prospectus.

For non-ETF purchases, the Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund charges a 0.50% purchase fee. The purchase fee is paid to the Fund to reimburse it for the transaction costs incurred from purchasing securities. The fee is deducted from all purchases, including exchanges from other Vanguard funds. Information regarding the application of purchase fees is described more fully in the Fund’s prospectus.
Exchange of Securities for Shares of a Fund. Shares of a Fund may be purchased “in kind” (i.e., in exchange for securities, rather than for cash) at the discretion of the Fund’s portfolio manager. Such securities must not be restricted as to transfer and must have a value that is readily ascertainable. Securities accepted by the Fund will be valued, as set forth in the Fund’s prospectus, as of the time of the next determination of NAV after such acceptance. All dividend,
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subscription, or other rights that are reflected in the market price of accepted securities at the time of valuation become the property of the Fund and must be delivered to the Fund by the investor upon receipt from the issuer. A gain or loss for federal income tax purposes, depending upon the cost of the securities tendered, would be realized by the investor upon the exchange. Investors interested in purchasing fund shares in kind should contact Vanguard.
Redemption of Shares  (Other than ETF Shares)
The redemption price of shares of each Fund is the NAV per share next determined after the redemption request is received in good order, as defined in the Fund’s prospectus.
Each Fund can postpone payment of redemption proceeds for up to seven calendar days. In addition, each Fund can suspend redemptions and/or postpone payments of redemption proceeds beyond seven calendar days (1) during any period that the NYSE is closed or trading on the NYSE is restricted as determined by the SEC; (2) during any period when an emergency exists, as defined by the SEC, as a result of which it is not reasonably practicable for the Fund to dispose of securities it owns or to fairly determine the value of its assets; or (3) for such other periods as the SEC may permit.
The Trust has filed a notice of election with the SEC to pay in cash all redemptions requested by any shareholder of record limited in amount during any 90-day period to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the net assets of a Fund at the beginning of such period.
If Vanguard determines that it would be detrimental to the best interests of the remaining shareholders of a Fund to make payment wholly or partly in cash, the Fund may pay the redemption price in whole or in part by a distribution in kind of readily marketable securities held by the Fund in lieu of cash in conformity with applicable rules of the SEC and in accordance with procedures adopted by the Fund's board of trustees. Investors may incur brokerage charges on the sale of such securities received in payment of redemptions.
The Funds do not charge redemption fees. Shares redeemed may be worth more or less than what was paid for them, depending on the market value of the securities held by the Fund.
Vanguard processes purchase and redemption requests through a pooled account. Pending investment direction or distribution of redemption proceeds, the assets in the pooled account are invested and any earnings (the “float”) are allocated proportionately among the Vanguard funds in order to offset fund expenses. Other than the float, Vanguard treats assets held in the pooled account as the assets of each shareholder making such purchase or redemption request.
Right to Change Policies
Vanguard reserves the right, without notice, to (1) alter, add, or discontinue any conditions of purchase (including eligibility requirements), redemption, exchange, conversion, service, or privilege at any time and (2) alter, impose, discontinue, or waive any purchase fee, redemption fee, account service fee, or other fee charged to a shareholder or a group of shareholders. Changes may affect any or all investors. These actions will be taken when, at the sole discretion of Vanguard management, Vanguard believes they are in the best interest of a fund.
Account Restrictions
Vanguard reserves the right to: (1) redeem all or a portion of a fund/account to meet a legal obligation, including tax withholding, tax lien, garnishment order, or other obligation imposed on your account by a court or government agency; (2) redeem shares, close an account, or suspend account privileges, features, or options in the case of threatening conduct or activity; (3) redeem shares, close an account, or suspend account privileges, features, or options if Vanguard believes or suspects that not doing so could result in a suspicious, fraudulent, or illegal transaction; (4) place restrictions on the ability to redeem any or all shares in an account if it is required to do so by a court or government agency; (5) place restrictions on the ability to redeem any or all shares in an account if Vanguard believes that doing so will prevent fraud, financial exploitation or abuse, or to protect vulnerable investors; (6) freeze any account and/or suspend account services if Vanguard has received reasonable notice of a dispute regarding the assets in an account, including notice of a dispute between the registered or beneficial account owners; and (7) freeze any account and/or suspend account services upon initial notification to Vanguard of the death of an account owner.
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Investing With Vanguard Through Other Firms
Each Fund has authorized certain agents to accept on its behalf purchase and redemption orders, and those agents are authorized to designate other intermediaries to accept purchase and redemption orders on the Fund’s behalf (collectively, Authorized Agents). A Fund will be deemed to have received a purchase or redemption order when an Authorized Agent accepts the order in accordance with the Fund’s instructions. In most instances, a customer order that is properly transmitted to an Authorized Agent will be priced at the NAV per share next determined after the order is received by the Authorized Agent.
Management of the Funds
Vanguard
Each Fund is part of the Vanguard group of investment companies, which consists of over 200 funds. Each fund is a series of a Delaware statutory trust. The funds obtain virtually all of their corporate management, administrative, and distribution services through the trusts’ jointly owned subsidiary, Vanguard. Vanguard may contract with certain third-party service providers to assist Vanguard in providing certain administrative and/or accounting services with respect to the funds, subject to Vanguard’s oversight.  Vanguard also provides investment advisory services to certain Vanguard funds. All of these services are provided at Vanguard’s total cost of operations pursuant to the Fifth Amended and Restated Funds’ Service Agreement (the Agreement).
Vanguard employs a supporting staff of management and administrative personnel needed to provide the requisite services to the funds and also furnishes the funds with necessary office space, furnishings, and equipment. Each fund (other than a fund of funds) pays its share of Vanguard’s total expenses, which are allocated among the funds under methods approved by the board of trustees of each fund. In addition, each fund bears its own direct expenses, such as legal, auditing, and custodial fees.

Pursuant to an agreement between Vanguard and JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. (JP Morgan), JP Morgan provides services for Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF, Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF, Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund, Vanguard Global Wellesley Income Fund, and Vanguard Global Wellington Fund. These services include, but are not limited to: (i) the calculation of such funds’ daily NAVs and (ii) the furnishing of financial reports. The fees paid to JP Morgan under this agreement are based on a combination of flat and asset based fees. As of the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020, JP Morgan had received fees from the Funds for administrative services rendered as follows: for Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF, $8,499.96; and for Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF, $5,666.64. For Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund, Vanguard Global Wellesley Income Fund, and Vanguard Global Wellington Fund, JP Morgan had not received any fees for services rendered as of the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.

Pursuant to an agreement between Vanguard and State Street Bank and Trust Company (State Street), State Street provides services for Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund, Vanguard International Growth Fund, Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund, Vanguard Mega Cap Index Funds, and Vanguard U.S. Sector Index Funds. These services include, but are not limited to: (i) the calculation of such funds’ daily NAVs and (ii) the furnishing of financial reports. The fees paid to State Street under this agreement are based on a combination of flat and asset based fees. As of the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020, State Street had not received any fees for services rendered.
The funds’ officers are also employees of Vanguard.
Vanguard, Vanguard Marketing Corporation (VMC), the funds, and the funds’ advisors have adopted codes of ethics designed to prevent employees who may have access to nonpublic information about the trading activities of the funds (access persons) from profiting from that information. The codes of ethics permit access persons to invest in securities for their own accounts, including securities that may be held by a fund, but place substantive and procedural restrictions on the trading activities of access persons. For example, the codes of ethics require that access persons receive advance approval for most securities trades to ensure that there is no conflict with the trading activities of the funds.
Vanguard was established and operates under the Agreement. The Agreement provides that each Vanguard fund may be called upon to invest up to 0.40% of its net assets in Vanguard. The amounts that each fund has invested are adjusted from time to time in order to maintain the proportionate relationship between each fund’s relative net assets and its contribution to Vanguard’s capital.
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As of August 31, 2020, each Fund had contributed capital to Vanguard as follows:
Vanguard Fund
Capital
Contribution
to Vanguard
Percentage of
Fund’s Average
Net Assets
Percent of
Vanguard Funds’
Contribution
Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund
$ 1,530,000
Less than 0.01%
0.61%
Vanguard International Growth Fund
2,197,000
Less than 0.01%
0.88 
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund
157,000
Less than 0.01%
0.06 
Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund
363,000
Less than 0.01%
0.15 
Vanguard Communication Services Index Fund
115,000
Less than 0.01%
0.05 
Vanguard Consumer Discretionary Index Fund
165,000
Less than 0.01%
0.07 
Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund
268,000
Less than 0.01%
0.11 
Vanguard Energy Index Fund
137,000
Less than 0.01%
0.05 
Vanguard Financials Index Fund
278,000
Less than 0.01%
0.11 
Vanguard Health Care Index Fund
559,000
Less than 0.01%
0.22 
Vanguard Industrials Index Fund
130,000
Less than 0.01%
0.05 
Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund
1,658,000
Less than 0.01%
0.66 
Vanguard Materials Index Fund
92,000
Less than 0.01%
0.04 
Vanguard Utilities Index Fund
231,000
Less than 0.01%
0.09 
Vanguard Mega Cap Index Fund
125,000
Less than 0.01%
0.05 
Vanguard Mega Cap Value Index Fund
124,000
Less than 0.01%
0.05 
Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund
374,000
Less than 0.01%
0.15 
Vanguard Global Wellesley Fund
20,000
Less than 0.01%
0.01 
Vanguard Global Wellington Income Fund
53,000
Less than 0.01%
0.02 
Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF
76,000
Less than 0.01%
0.03 
Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF
47,000
Less than 0.01%
0.02 
Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF1
1 Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF commenced operations on September 22, 2020.
Management. Corporate management and administrative services include (1) executive staff, (2) accounting and financial, (3) legal and regulatory, (4) shareholder account maintenance, (5) monitoring and control of custodian relationships, (6) shareholder reporting, and (7) review and evaluation of advisory and other services provided to the funds by third parties.
Distribution. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, 100 Vanguard Boulevard, Malvern, PA 19355, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vanguard, is the principal underwriter for the funds and in that capacity performs and finances marketing, promotional, and distribution activities (collectively, marketing and distribution activities) that are primarily intended to result in the sale of the funds’ shares. VMC offers shares of each fund for sale on a continuous basis and will use all reasonable efforts in connection with the distribution of shares of the funds. VMC performs marketing and distribution activities in accordance with the conditions of a 1981 SEC exemptive order that permits the Vanguard funds to internalize and jointly finance the marketing, promotion, and distribution of their shares. The funds’ trustees review and approve the marketing and distribution expenses incurred by the funds, including the nature and cost of the activities and the desirability of each fund’s continued participation in the joint arrangement.
To ensure that each fund’s participation in the joint arrangement falls within a reasonable range of fairness, each fund contributes to VMC’s marketing and distribution expenses in accordance with an SEC-approved formula. Under that formula, one half of the marketing and distribution expenses are allocated among the funds based upon their relative net assets. The remaining half of those expenses is allocated among the funds based upon each fund’s sales for the preceding 24 months relative to the total sales of the funds as a group, provided, however, that no fund’s aggregate quarterly rate of contribution for marketing and distribution expenses shall exceed 125% of the average marketing and
B-36

distribution expense rate for Vanguard and that no fund shall incur annual marketing and distribution expenses in excess of 0.20% of its average month-end net assets. Each fund’s contribution to these marketing and distribution expenses helps to maintain and enhance the attractiveness and viability of the Vanguard complex as a whole, which benefits all of the funds and their shareholders.
VMC’s principal marketing and distribution expenses are for advertising, promotional materials, and marketing personnel. Other marketing and distribution activities of an administrative nature that VMC undertakes on behalf of the funds may include, but are not limited to:
■ Conducting or publishing Vanguard-generated research and analysis concerning the funds, other investments, the financial markets, or the economy.
■ Providing views, opinions, advice, or commentary concerning the funds, other investments, the financial markets, or the economy.
■ Providing analytical, statistical, performance, or other information concerning the funds, other investments, the financial markets, or the economy.
■ Providing administrative services in connection with investments in the funds or other investments, including, but not limited to, shareholder services, recordkeeping services, and educational services.
■ Providing products or services that assist investors or financial service providers (as defined below) in the investment decision-making process.
■ Providing promotional discounts, commission-free trading, fee waivers, and other benefits to clients of Vanguard Brokerage Services® who maintain qualifying investments in the funds.
VMC performs most marketing and distribution activities itself. Some activities may be conducted by third parties pursuant to shared marketing arrangements under which VMC agrees to share the costs and performance of marketing and distribution activities in concert with a financial service provider. Financial service providers include, but are not limited to, investment advisors, broker-dealers, financial planners, financial consultants, banks, and insurance companies. Under these cost- and performance-sharing arrangements, VMC may pay or reimburse a financial service provider (or a third party it retains) for marketing and distribution activities that VMC would otherwise perform. VMC’s cost- and performance-sharing arrangements may be established in connection with Vanguard investment products or services offered or provided to or through the financial service providers. VMC’s arrangements for shared marketing and distribution activities may vary among financial service providers, and its payments or reimbursements to financial service providers in connection with shared marketing and distribution activities may be significant.
VMC, as a matter of policy, does not pay asset-based fees, sales-based fees, or account-based fees to financial service providers in connection with its marketing and distribution activities for the Vanguard funds. VMC does make fixed dollar payments to financial service providers when sponsoring, jointly sponsoring, financially supporting, or participating in conferences, programs, seminars, presentations, meetings, or other events involving fund shareholders, financial service providers, or others concerning the funds, other investments, the financial markets, or the economy, such as industry conferences, prospecting trips, due diligence visits, training or education meetings, and sales presentations. VMC also makes fixed dollar payments to financial service providers for data regarding funds, such as statistical information regarding sales of fund shares. In addition, VMC makes one-time fixed dollar payments for setup expenses associated with financial service providers’ use of Vanguard’s model portfolios comprised of funds.
In connection with its marketing and distribution activities, VMC may give financial service providers (or their representatives) (1) promotional items of nominal value that display Vanguard’s logo, such as golf balls, shirts, towels, pens, and mouse pads; (2) gifts that do not exceed $100 per person annually and are not preconditioned on achievement of a sales target; (3) an occasional meal, a ticket to a sporting event or the theater, or comparable entertainment that is neither so frequent nor so extensive as to raise any question of propriety and is not preconditioned on achievement of a sales target; and (4) reasonable travel and lodging accommodations to facilitate participation in marketing and distribution activities.
VMC policy prohibits marketing and distribution activities that are intended, designed, or likely to compromise suitability determinations by, or the fulfillment of any fiduciary duties or other obligations that apply to, financial service providers. Nonetheless, VMC’s marketing and distribution activities are primarily intended to result in the sale of the funds’ shares, and as such, its activities, including shared marketing and distribution activities and fixed dollar payments as described above, may influence applicable financial service providers (or their representatives) to recommend, promote, include, or invest in a Vanguard fund or share class. In addition, Vanguard or any of its subsidiaries may retain a financial service provider to provide consulting or other services, and that financial service provider also may provide services to
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investors. Investors should consider the possibility that any of these activities, relationships, or payments may influence a financial service provider’s (or its representatives’) decision to recommend, promote, include, or invest in a Vanguard fund or share class. Each financial service provider should consider its suitability determinations, fiduciary duties, and other legal obligations (or those of its representatives) in connection with any decision to consider, recommend, promote, include, or invest in a Vanguard fund or share class.
The following table describes the expenses of Vanguard and VMC that are incurred by the Funds. Amounts captioned “Management and Administrative Expenses” include a Fund's allocated share of expenses associated with the management, administrative, and transfer agency services Vanguard provides to the Vanguard funds. Amounts captioned “Marketing and Distribution Expenses” include a Fund's allocated share of expenses associated with the marketing and distribution activities that VMC conducts on behalf of the Vanguard funds.
As is the case with all mutual funds, transaction costs incurred by the Funds for buying and selling securities are not reflected in the table. Annual Shared Fund Operating Expenses are based on expenses incurred in the fiscal years ended August 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020, and are presented as a percentage of each Fund's average month-end net assets. Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF commenced operations on September 22, 2020.
Annual Shared Fund Operating Expenses
(Shared Expenses Deducted From Fund Assets)
Vanguard Fund
2018
2019
2020
Vanguard Communication Services Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.06%
0.08%
0.08%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Consumer Discretionary Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.08%
0.09%
0.09%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
Less than 0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.08%
0.09%
0.09%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Energy Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.08%
0.08%
0.08%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.11%
0.13%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.09%
0.10%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Vanguard Financials Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.08%
0.09%
0.09%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.14%
0.12%
0.12%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Vanguard Global Wellesley Income Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.17%
0.20%
0.19%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Less than 0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
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Annual Shared Fund Operating Expenses
(Shared Expenses Deducted From Fund Assets)
Vanguard Fund
2018
2019
2020
Vanguard Global Wellington Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.17%
0.20%
0.20%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Less than 0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Health Care Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.09%
0.09%
0.09%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Industrials Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.08%
0.09%
0.09%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.09%
0.09%
0.09%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Vanguard International Growth Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.16%
0.16%
0.15%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Materials Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.08%
0.08%
0.08%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.06%
0.06%
0.06%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Vanguard Mega Cap Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.04%
0.05%
0.06%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
Vanguard Mega Cap Value Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.06%
0.06%
0.06%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
Less than 0.01 
Less than 0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.17%
0.16%
0.16%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
Vanguard Utilities Index Fund
 
 
 
Management and Administrative Expenses
0.08%
0.09%
0.09%
Marketing and Distribution Expenses
0.01 
0.01 
0.01 
The U.S. Growth Fund’s investment advisors may direct certain security trades, subject to obtaining the best price and execution, to brokers who have agreed to rebate to the Fund part of the commissions generated. Such rebates are used solely to reduce the Fund‘s management and administrative expenses and are not reflected in these totals.
Officers and Trustees
Each Vanguard fund is governed by the board of trustees of its trust and a single set of officers. Consistent with the board’s corporate governance principles, the trustees believe that their primary responsibility is oversight of the management of each fund for the benefit of its shareholders, not day-to-day management. The trustees set broad policies for the funds; select investment advisors; monitor fund operations, regulatory compliance, performance, and costs; nominate and select new trustees; and elect fund officers. Vanguard manages the day-to-day operations of the funds under the direction of the board of trustees.
The trustees play an active role, as a full board and at the committee level, in overseeing risk management for the funds. The trustees delegate the day-to-day risk management of the funds to various groups, including portfolio review,
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investment management, risk management, compliance, legal, fund accounting, and fund financial services. These groups provide the trustees with regular reports regarding investment, valuation, liquidity, and compliance, as well as the risks associated with each. The trustees also oversee risk management for the funds through regular interactions with the funds’ internal and external auditors.
The full board participates in the funds’ risk oversight, in part, through the Vanguard funds’ compliance program, which covers the following broad areas of compliance: investment and other operations; recordkeeping; valuation and pricing; communications and disclosure; reporting and accounting; oversight of service providers; fund governance; and codes of ethics, insider trading controls, and protection of nonpublic information. The program seeks to identify and assess risk through various methods, including through regular interdisciplinary communications between compliance professionals and business personnel who participate on a daily basis in risk management on behalf of the funds. The funds’ chief compliance officer regularly provides reports to the board in writing and in person.
The audit committee of the board, which is composed of F. Joseph Loughrey, Mark Loughridge, Sarah Bloom Raskin, and Peter F. Volanakis, each of whom is an independent trustee, oversees management of financial risks and controls. The audit committee serves as the channel of communication between the independent auditors of the funds and the board with respect to financial statements and financial reporting processes, systems of internal control, and the audit process. Vanguard’s head of internal audit reports directly to the audit committee and provides reports to the committee in writing and in person on a regular basis. Although the audit committee is responsible for overseeing the management of financial risks, the entire board is regularly informed of these risks through committee reports.
All of the trustees bring to each fund’s board a wealth of executive leadership experience derived from their service as executives (in many cases chief executive officers), board members, and leaders of diverse public operating companies, academic institutions, and other organizations. In determining whether an individual is qualified to serve as a trustee of the funds, the board considers a wide variety of information about the trustee, and multiple factors contribute to the board’s decision. Each trustee is determined to have the experience, skills, and attributes necessary to serve the funds and their shareholders because each trustee demonstrates an exceptional ability to consider complex business and financial matters, evaluate the relative importance and priority of issues, make decisions, and contribute effectively to the deliberations of the board. The board also considers the individual experience of each trustee and determines that the trustee’s professional experience, education, and background contribute to the diversity of perspectives on the board. The business acumen, experience, and objective thinking of the trustees are considered invaluable assets for Vanguard management and, ultimately, the Vanguard funds’ shareholders. The specific roles and experience of each board member that factor into this determination are presented on the following pages. The mailing address of the trustees and officers is P.O. Box 876, Valley Forge, PA 19482.
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s)
Held With
Funds
Vanguard
Funds’ Trustee/
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years,
Outside Directorships,
and Other Experience
Number of
Vanguard Funds
Overseen by
Trustee/Officer
Interested Trustee1
 
 
 
 
Mortimer J. Buckley
(1969)
Chairman of the
Board, Chief
Executive
Officer, and
President
January 2018
Chairman of the board (2019–present) of Vanguard and
of each of the investment companies served by
Vanguard; chief executive officer (2018–present) of
Vanguard; chief executive officer, president, and
trustee (2018–present) of each of the investment
companies served by Vanguard; president and director
(2017–present) of Vanguard; and president
(2018–present) of Vanguard Marketing Corporation.
Chief investment officer (2013–2017), managing
director (2002–2017), head of the Retail Investor Group
(2006–2012), and chief information officer (2001–2006)
of Vanguard. Chairman of the board (2011–2017) and
trustee (2009–2017) of the Children’s Hospital of
Philadelphia; and trustee (2018–present) and vice chair
(2019–present) of The Shipley School.
211
1 Mr. Buckley is considered an “interested person” as defined in the 1940 Act because he is an officer of the Trust.
B-40

Name, Year of Birth
Position(s)
Held With
Funds
Vanguard
Funds’ Trustee/
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years,
Outside Directorships,
and Other Experience
Number of
Vanguard Funds
Overseen by
Trustee/Officer
Independent Trustees
 
 
 
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
(1948)
Trustee
January 2008
Executive chief staff and marketing officer for North
America and corporate vice president (retired 2008) of
Xerox Corporation (document management products
and services). Former president of the Worldwide
Channels Group, Latin America, and Worldwide
Customer Service and executive chief staff officer of
Developing Markets of Xerox. Executive in residence
and 2009–2010 Distinguished Minett Professor at the
Rochester Institute of Technology. Director of SPX
FLOW, Inc. (multi-industry manufacturing). Director of
the University of Rochester Medical Center, the
Monroe Community College Foundation, the United
Way of Rochester, North Carolina A&T University, and
Roberts Wesleyan College. Trustee of the University of
Rochester.
211
Amy Gutmann
(1949)
Trustee
June 2006
President (2004–present) of the University of
Pennsylvania. Christopher H. Browne Distinguished
Professor of Political Science, School of Arts and
Sciences, and professor of communication, Annenberg
School for Communication, with secondary faculty
appointments in the Department of Philosophy, School
of Arts and Sciences, and at the Graduate School of
Education, University of Pennsylvania.
211
F. Joseph Loughrey
(1949)
Trustee
October 2009
President and chief operating officer (retired 2009) and
vice chairman of the board (2008–2009) of Cummins
Inc. (industrial machinery). Chairman of the board of
Hillenbrand, Inc. (specialized consumer services) and
the Lumina Foundation. Director of the V Foundation.
Member of the advisory council for the College of Arts
and Letters and chair of the advisory board to the
Kellogg Institute for International Studies, both at the
University of Notre Dame.
211
Mark Loughridge
(1953)
Lead
Independent
Trustee
March 2012
Senior vice president and chief financial officer (retired
2013) of IBM (information technology services).
Fiduciary member of IBM’s Retirement Plan
Committee (2004–2013), senior vice president and
general manager (2002–2004) of IBM Global Financing,
vice president and controller (1998–2002) of IBM, and
a variety of other prior management roles at IBM.
Member of the Council on Chicago Booth.
211
Scott C. Malpass
(1962)
Trustee
March 2012
Chief investment officer and vice president of the
University of Notre Dame (retired June 2020).
Assistant professor of finance at the Mendoza College
of Business, University of Notre Dame, and member
of the Notre Dame 403(b) Investment Committee
(retired June 2020). Member of the board of Catholic
Investment Services, Inc. (investment advisors) and
the board of superintendence of the Institute for the
Works of Religion.
211
B-41

Name, Year of Birth
Position(s)
Held With
Funds
Vanguard
Funds’ Trustee/
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years,
Outside Directorships,
and Other Experience
Number of
Vanguard Funds
Overseen by
Trustee/Officer
Deanna Mulligan
(1963)
Trustee
January 2018
Board chair (2020–present), chief executive officer
(2011–2020), and president (2010–2019) of The
Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Chief
operating officer (2010–2011) and executive vice
president (2008–2010) of Individual Life and Disability
of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
Member of the board of the American Council of Life
Insurers and the Economic Club of New York. Trustee
of the Partnership for New York City (business
leadership), the Chief Executives for Corporate
Purpose, the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Catalyst,
and the Bruce Museum (arts and science). Member of
the Advisory Council for the Stanford Graduate School
of Business.
211
André F. Perold
(1952)
Trustee
December 2004
George Gund Professor of Finance and Banking,
Emeritus at the Harvard Business School (retired
2011). Chief investment officer and co-managing
partner of HighVista Strategies LLC (private
investment firm). Board of Advisors and investment
committee member of the Museum of Fine Arts
Boston. Board member (2018–present) of RIT Capital
Partners (investment firm); investment committee
member of Partners Health Care System.
211
Sarah Bloom Raskin
(1961)
Trustee
January 2018
Deputy secretary (2014–2017) of the United States
Department of the Treasury. Governor (2010–2014) of
the Federal Reserve Board. Commissioner
(2007–2010) of financial regulation for the State of
Maryland. Member of the board of directors
(2012–2014) of Neighborhood Reinvestment
Corporation. Director (2017–present) of i(x)
Investments, LLC; director (2017–present) of Reserve
Trust. Rubenstein Fellow (2017–present) of Duke
University; trustee (2017–present) of Amherst College;
and trustee (2019–present) of Folger Shakespeare
Library.
211
Peter F. Volanakis
(1955)
Trustee
July 2009
President and chief operating officer (retired 2010) of
Corning Incorporated (communications equipment)
and director of Corning Incorporated (2000–2010) and
Dow Corning (2001–2010). Director (2012) of SPX
Corporation (multi-industry manufacturing). Overseer
of the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration,
Dartmouth College (2001–2013). Chairman of the
board of trustees of Colby-Sawyer College. Member of
the board of Hypertherm Inc. (industrial cutting
systems, software, and consumables).
211
Executive Officers
 
 
 
 
John Bendl
(1970)
Chief Financial
Officer
October 2019
Principal of Vanguard. Chief financial officer
(2019–present) of each of the investment companies
served by Vanguard. Chief accounting officer, treasurer,
and controller of Vanguard (2017–present). Partner
(2003–2016) at KPMG (audit, tax, and advisory
services).
211
Christine M. Buchanan
(1970)
Treasurer
November 2017
Principal of Vanguard. Treasurer (2017–present) of each
of the investment companies served by Vanguard.
Partner (2005–2017) at KPMG (audit, tax, and advisory
services).
211
B-42

Name, Year of Birth
Position(s)
Held With
Funds
Vanguard
Funds’ Trustee/
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years,
Outside Directorships,
and Other Experience
Number of
Vanguard Funds
Overseen by
Trustee/Officer
David Cermak
(1960)
Finance Director
October 2019
Principal of Vanguard. Finance director (2019–present)
of each of the investment companies served by
Vanguard. Managing director and head (2017–present)
of Vanguard Investments Singapore. Managing director
and head (2017–2019) of Vanguard Investments Hong
Kong. Representative director and head (2014–2017)
of Vanguard Investments Japan.
211
John Galloway
(1973)
Investment
Stewardship
Officer
September 2020
Principal of Vanguard. Investment stewardship officer
(September 2020–present) of each of the investment
companies served by Vanguard. Head of Investor
Advocacy (February 2020–present) and head of
Marketing Strategy and Planning (2017–2020) at
Vanguard. Deputy Assistant to the President of the
United States (2015).
211
Thomas J. Higgins
(1957)
Finance Director
July 1998
Principal of Vanguard. Finance director (2019–present),
chief financial officer (2008–2019), and treasurer
(1998–2008) of each of the investment companies
served by Vanguard.
211
Peter Mahoney
(1974)
Controller
May 2015
Principal of Vanguard. Controller (2015–present) of
each of the investment companies served by
Vanguard. Head of International Fund Services (2008–
2014) at Vanguard.
211
Anne E. Robinson
(1970)
Secretary
September 2016
General counsel (2016–present) of Vanguard.
Secretary (2016–present) of Vanguard and of each of
the investment companies served by Vanguard.
Managing director (2016–present) of Vanguard.
Managing director and general counsel of Global Cards
and Consumer Services (2014–2016) at Citigroup.
Counsel (2003–2014) at American Express.
211
Michael Rollings
(1963)
Finance Director
February 2017
Finance director (2017–present) and treasurer (2017)
of each of the investment companies served by
Vanguard. Managing director (2016–present) of
Vanguard. Chief financial officer (2016–present) of
Vanguard. Director (2016–present) of Vanguard
Marketing Corporation. Executive vice president and
chief financial officer (2006–2016) of MassMutual
Financial Group.
211
John E. Schadl
(1972)
Chief
Compliance
Officer
March 2019
Principal of Vanguard. Chief compliance officer
(2019–present) of Vanguard and of each of the
investment companies served by Vanguard. Assistant
vice president (2019–present) of Vanguard Marketing
Corporation.
211
All but one of the trustees are independent. The independent trustees designate a lead independent trustee. The lead independent trustee is a spokesperson and principal point of contact for the independent trustees and is responsible for coordinating the activities of the independent trustees, including calling regular executive sessions of the independent trustees; developing the agenda of each meeting together with the chairman; and chairing the meetings of the independent trustees. The lead independent trustee also chairs the meetings of the audit, compensation, and nominating committees. The board also has two investment committees, which consist of independent trustees and the sole interested trustee.
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The independent trustees appoint the chairman of the board. The roles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer currently are held by the same person; as a result, the chairman of the board is an “interested” trustee. The independent trustees generally believe that the Vanguard funds’ chief executive officer is best qualified to serve as chairman and that fund shareholders benefit from this leadership structure through accountability and strong day-to-day leadership.
Board Committees: The Trust's board has the following committees:
■ Audit Committee: This committee oversees the accounting and financial reporting policies, the systems of internal controls, and the independent audits of each fund. The following independent trustees serve as members of the committee: Mr. Loughrey, Mr. Loughridge, Ms. Raskin, and Mr. Volanakis. The committee held six meetings during the Trust’s fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.
■ Compensation Committee: This committee oversees the compensation programs established by each fund for the benefit of its trustees. All independent trustees serve as members of the committee. The committee held one meeting during the Trust’s fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.
■ Investment Committees: These committees assist the board in its oversight of investment advisors to the funds and in the review and evaluation of materials relating to the board’s consideration of investment advisory agreements with the funds. Each trustee serves on one of two investment committees. Each investment committee held four meetings during the Trust’s fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.
■ Nominating Committee: This committee nominates candidates for election to the board of trustees of each fund. The committee also has the authority to recommend the removal of any trustee. All independent trustees serve as members of the committee. The committee held two meetings during the Trust’s fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.
The Nominating Committee will consider shareholder recommendations for trustee nominees. Shareholders may send recommendations to Mr. Loughridge, chairman of the committee.
Trustee Compensation
The same individuals serve as trustees of all Vanguard funds and each fund pays a proportionate share of the trustees’ compensation. Vanguard funds also employ their officers on a shared basis; however, officers are compensated by Vanguard, not the funds.
Independent Trustees. The funds compensate their independent trustees (i.e., the ones who are not also officers of the funds) in three ways:
■ The independent trustees receive an annual fee for their service to the funds, which is subject to reduction based on absences from scheduled board meetings.
■ The independent trustees are reimbursed for the travel and other expenses that they incur in attending board meetings.
■ Upon retirement (after attaining age 65 and completing five years of service), the independent trustees who began their service prior to January 1, 2001, receive a retirement benefit under a separate account arrangement. As of January 1, 2001, the opening balance of each eligible trustee’s separate account was generally equal to the net present value of the benefits he or she had accrued under the trustees’ former retirement plan. Each eligible trustee’s separate account will be credited annually with interest at a rate of 7.5% until the trustee receives his or her final distribution. Those independent trustees who began their service on or after January 1, 2001, are not eligible to participate in the plan.
“Interested” Trustee. Mr. Buckley serves as a trustee, but is not paid in this capacity. He is, however, paid in his role as an officer of Vanguard.
Compensation Table. The following table provides compensation details for each of the trustees. We list the amounts paid as compensation and accrued as retirement benefits by the Funds for each trustee. In addition, the table shows the total amount of benefits that we expect each trustee to receive from all Vanguard funds upon retirement and the total amount of compensation paid to each trustee by all Vanguard funds.
B-44

VANGUARD WORLD FUND
TRUSTEES’ COMPENSATION TABLE
Trustee
Aggregate
Compensation From
the Funds1
Pension or Retirement
Benefits Accrued as Part of
the Funds’ Expenses1
Accrued Annual
Retirement Benefit at
January 1, 20202
Total Compensation
From All Vanguard
Funds Paid to Trustees3
Mortimer J. Buckley
Emerson U. Fullwood
$ 18,530
$ 287,500
Amy Gutmann
18,530
287,500
F. Joseph Loughrey
19,819
307,500
Mark Loughridge
23,045
357,500
Scott C. Malpass
18,530
287,500
Deanna Mulligan
18,530
287,500
André F. Perold
18,530
287,500
Sarah Bloom Raskin
19,819
307,500
Peter F. Volanakis
19,819
307,500
1
The amounts shown in this column are based on the Trust's fiscal year ended August 31, 2020. Each Fund within the Trust is responsible for a proportionate share of these amounts. Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF commenced operations on September 22, 2020.
2
Each trustee is eligible to receive retirement benefits only after completing at least 5 years (60 consecutive months) of service as a trustee for the Vanguard funds. The annual retirement benefit will be paid in monthly installments, beginning with the month following the trustee’s retirement from service, and will cease after 10 years of payments (120 monthly installments). Trustees who began their service on or after January 1, 2001, are not eligible to participate in the retirement benefit plan.
3
The amounts reported in this column reflect the total compensation paid to each trustee for his or her service as trustee of 213 Vanguard funds for the 2019 calendar year.
Ownership of Fund Shares
All current trustees allocate their investments among the various Vanguard funds based on their own investment needs. The following table shows each trustee’s ownership of shares of each Fund (except for Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF, which commenced operations on September 22, 2020) and of all Vanguard funds served by the trustee as of December 31, 2019.
VANGUARD WORLD FUND
Vanguard Fund
Trustee
Dollar Range of
Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Aggregate Dollar Range
of Vanguard Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Vanguard Communication Services Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
B-45

Vanguard Fund
Trustee
Dollar Range of
Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Aggregate Dollar Range
of Vanguard Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Vanguard Consumer Discretionary Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Energy Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
B-46

Vanguard Fund
Trustee
Dollar Range of
Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Aggregate Dollar Range
of Vanguard Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Financials Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
$10,001 – $50,000
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
B-47

Vanguard Fund
Trustee
Dollar Range of
Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Aggregate Dollar Range
of Vanguard Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Vanguard Global Wellesley Income Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Global Wellington Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Health Care Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
$10,001 – $50,000
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Industrials Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
B-48

Vanguard Fund
Trustee
Dollar Range of
Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Aggregate Dollar Range
of Vanguard Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard International Growth Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Materials Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Mega Cap Growth Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
B-49

Vanguard Fund
Trustee
Dollar Range of
Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Aggregate Dollar Range
of Vanguard Fund Shares
Owned by Trustee
Vanguard Mega Cap Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Mega Cap Value Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
 
 
 
 
Vanguard Utilities Index Fund
Mortimer J. Buckley
Over $100,000
 
Emerson U. Fullwood
Over $100,000
 
Amy Gutmann
Over $100,000
 
F. Joseph Loughrey
Over $100,000
 
Mark Loughridge
Over $100,000
 
Scott C. Malpass
Over $100,000
 
Deanna Mulligan
Over $100,000
 
André F. Perold
Over $100,000
 
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Over $100,000
 
Peter F. Volanakis
Over $100,000
As of November 30, 2020, the trustees and officers of the funds owned, in the aggregate, less than 1% of each class of each fund’s outstanding shares.
B-50

As of November 30, 2020, the following owned of record 5% or more of the outstanding shares of each class (Other than ETF Shares):
Vanguard Fund
Share Class
Owner and Address
Percentage
of Ownership
Vanguard Communication Services Index Fund
Admiral Shares
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
CORPORATION JERSEY CITY, NJ
11.88%
Vanguard Consumer Discretionary Index Fund
Admiral Shares
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
CORPORATION JERSEY CITY, NJ
6.04%
Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund
Admiral Shares
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
CORPORATION JERSEY CITY, NJ
10.85%
Vanguard Energy Index Fund
Admiral Shares
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SAN
FRANCISCO, CA
5.51%
 
 
MAC & CO PITTSBURGH, PA
9.96%
 
 
US BANK NA MILWAUKEE,WI
6.92%
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund
Institutional Shares
COMPENSATION AT RETIREMENT
TRUST VFTC FBO COMPENSATION AT
RETIREMENT (CAR) PLAN OF BOLER
COMPANY ITASCA, IL
5.34%
 
 
MAC & CO PITTSBURGH, PA
11.83%
 
 
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY STAFF
PENSION PLAN
(NON-CONTRIBUTORY) NEW YORK, NY
5.72%
 
 
THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY
FBO JOHNS HOPKINS HEALTH
SYSTEM A/C2228555 CHICAGO, IL
10.95%
 
 
THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY
TRUSTEE U OF C - 3 LONG DURATION
2287703 CHICAGO, IL
5.97%
 
 
UTICA MUTUAL NATIONAL
INSURANCE CO NEW HARTFORD,NY
5.8%
 
Institutional Plus Shares
SG PENSION PLAN NEW YORK, NY
20.37%
 
 
THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY
FBO TNT-LDN-AVANGRID INC DEFINED
BENEFIT A/C #17-99979 Chicago, IL
27.51%
 
 
TRANSOCEAN U.S. RETIREMENT
PLAN HOUSTON, TX
52.01%
Vanguard Financials Index Fund
Admiral Shares
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
CORPORATION JERSEY CITY, NJ
11.06%
Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund
Institutional Shares
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SAN
FRANCISCO, CA
7.04%
 
 
FIDELITY INVESTMENTS
INSTITUTIONAL OPERATIONS CO
COVINGTON, KY
35.09%
 
 
KAISER PERMANENTE 401K
RETIREMENT PLAN (KP401K)
5.99%
 
Admiral Shares
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SAN
FRANCISCO, CA
10.06%
 
 
FIDELITY INVESTMENTS
INSTITUTIONAL OPERATIONS CO
COVINGTON, KY
5.33%
 
 
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
CORPORATION JERSEY CITY, NJ
5.08%
Vanguard Global Wellesley Income Fund
Investor Shares
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
CORPORATION JERSEY CITY, NJ
9.58%
 
Admiral Shares
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SAN
FRANCISCO, CA
16.18%
 
 
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
CORPORATION JERSEY CITY, NJ
8.18%
B-51

Vanguard Fund
Share Class
Owner and Address
Percentage
of Ownership
Vanguard Global Wellington Fund
Investor Shares
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
CORPORATION JERSEY CITY, NJ
15.09%
 
Admiral Shares
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SAN
FRANCISCO, CA
10.22%