Vanguard funds have been performing well for years. That performance, mixed with ultra low costs is the reason they have thrived over the last decade and now contend for being the largest asset manager. However, there is a little known reason they have done so well—they employ a patented system for minimizing taxes in mutual funds. Vanguard uses a trading technique employing “heartbeat” trades which move stocks between ETFs and mutual funds in such a way that completely eliminates the taxability of their capital gains. Vanguard employs the strategy on 14 funds, and those have reported a combined $191 bn in gains while reporting zero to the IRS. Vanguard says the technique is entirely legal and has a patent on it through 2023.
FINSUM: This is an excellent competitive advantage and we thought advisors would like the view under the hood as to why Vanguard is thriving as one of the very best fund providers.