The new year is still young, but one of the more interesting news items to this point in 2015 from the exchange traded funds industry was Tuesday’s news that Vanguard will introduce its first municipal bond ETF.
The Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund will be the firm’s first tax-exempt index fund and ETF. Pennsylvania-based Vanguard already has a substantial municipal bond footprint with about $140 billion in tax-exempt bond and money market funds, according to a statement issued by the firm. The new ETF is expected to debut in the second quarter. [Vanguard to Introduce First Muni ETF]
“Vanguard continued to receive relatively strong inflows in ETFs in 2014, despite having a narrower lineup than peers. We believe Vanguard’s success stems from having well-diversified, low-cost and liquid products that can easily fit into an investors’ asset allocation strategy. We believe this week’s regulatory filing of a new municipal bond ETF, the first for the asset manager, will help spur continued demand for Vanguard’s offerings,” said S&P Capital IQ in a new research note.
Led by the Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO) and the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (NYSEArca: BND), Vanguard placed four funds among 2014’s top asset-gathering ETFs. Last year, investors poured a record $215.5 billion into Vanguard funds, including $75.3 billion into Vanguard ETFs. [ETFs Hit $2 Trillion Milestone]
However, Vanguard only issues 67 ETFs at the moment and none of its funds were among the just over 200 new ETFs that debuted in 2014.
“Vanguard has 67 ETFs, including various U.S. equity style and sector ETFs as well as 15 taxable bond ETFs. However, one of the gaps in Vanguard’s lineup has been offering investors a tax-free bond alternative,” said S&P Capital IQ.